Simple Life Sunday – Our first year in the 100 acre woods

If you missed the last Simple Life Sunday post click here.

Sounds like a title for a Winnie the Pooh story.  No bears here, but plenty of bees, now if only I could find that honey pot.

This grand adventure happened quite by accident.  We had no intention of moving shortly after I left my lab job and taking a long trip to the western US.  But as chance would have it, another big change was in the works for us.  It truly was the perfect fit for us.  One of the things I noticed about returning from our trip, I missed the wide open spaces.  Now mind you, I grew up in the country.  Throughout my 20’s & 30’s I loved living in or near the city.  At that time, I had no intention of ever moving back to the country.  As my 30’s drew to a close, so did my attitude about the country.  When the opportunity arose, we took some time to think about it & decided we had to go for it.  A move to 100 acres of forested property was just what we needed.

Our first year was met with many challenges, new experiences, and great memories.  We moved in the middle of January, not the ideal time to move when you live in Indiana.  Lucky for us, the snow held off until we were fully moved in.

Our driveway on Feb 1 & Feb 5.  We finished moving on Jan 30.

Our first big challenge, firewood.  With a cabin that was heated exclusively with a wood stove, it was time to stock up.  Without a truck to haul it, we improvised and used our Honda CRV.  Next winter we would be ready with wood chopped and seasoned from our own property.  Many down trees awaited their next purpose.

The next big challenge, make the shop operational for Shane & his business.  When we moved here, the shop was basically a pole barn.  The shop would need to be insulated and finished out in order to make it a comfortable working space, especially in the winter.  Without a source of heat in the shop, the progress was slow.  By next winter, a shop wood stove would be installed, making winter work possible.

The property encompasses 100 acres and includes many hiking and biking trails.  My challenge was to find them based on a crude map from the previous owner.  Spending 2-3 hours a day for a month, I finally found & marked all of the trails.  The goal being to maintain and create new trails over the next year(s).

Josie, the boxer was a great trail finder. 

With warmer weather approaching, the shop was almost complete, just in time for the many customers anxiously awaiting the reopening.  For me, it was time to start working on my photography business and market myself. For the last few months, I was busy settling into our new place.

Up until this point, we had shared the household responsibilities, cooking, errands, etc.  Now with the shop re-opened, Shane had very little time to spare.  It was time to tackle our next challenge.  I took over all of the cooking, picking up groceries, running errands, and maintaining the household.  This, in turn, gave Shane the time needed to catch up with the backlog of business.

This arrangement worked well for us, especially while I was trying to build a client base and I had more free time.  However, this also presented a challenge for me, finding the time to devote to building my business.  A challenge I struggled with for a while and still do.

All in all, our first year turned out just fine.  We had a few challenges to face and work through, but we learned so much that first year.

Up next:  The final installment of this series.  Now, the future & how I am dealing with my biggest challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

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