Today has been a day full of thought and reflection on my life.
I started the day sore and stiff from my recent minor back injury. But I had to put that aside and got to work on making some sort of a dent in all that has to be done around this place today.
For those of you who don’t know the story of what we call “Six Acres”, let me share a little about that before I go on with my thoughts of today.
When Ranae and I returned from Guatemala and our missionary work there, we initially bought 30 acres of raw land in Missouri. It was a great place to live, but sadly we never felt like it was home so we returned to Texas in December 2012. Last year (2013) we purchased a little 5.3 acre piece of raw land and began to make it a home. We then bought another slice of land to our north to make it an even 6 acres. We like the name… “Six Acres” since that’s how many acres we now own and it’s our last name. Get it? LOL
When we bought this land it had nothing but trees and brush. We put in water and electricity and bought some storage buildings that could easily be “finished out” into a home or office or study or whatever. We currently have three such buildings.
The first one was my office. This was the building that my son Marc and I used as a bunk house while he did most of the carpentry work on our main cabin, the second such building.
Our main cabin is not much larger than a small effeciency apartment, but it suits us quite well and will serve as as the guest house, once we build our main house. I am praying that will be later this year. The fact that my son did most of the inside work on it makes it even better.
The next building we purchased and finished out was one that serves as Ranae’s office and our storage room and library. We hired most of that work done and I just managed the project. I could write an entire book on the issues with hiring contractors and laborers but I will spare you that horrific tale.
While putting all these buildings together, we had to clear a ton of brush and trees. A total of 47 trees over 30′ tall each, were removed from our property to make it more usable and appealing. It has been a lot of work and money. More money than work, but it has been a lot of work indeed.
After these buildings were in place we erected a 125′ radio tower directly behind my office cabin. It serves as our ham radio tower (with are both amateur radio operators) but more importantly it is the tower we use for our internet business. (Shameless plug: If you need internet in your rural area… holler at me! We can help!)
Ranae then took to planting some 31 trees and shrubs on the property and started her garden. She is a certified Master Gardener and boy does she have a green thumb! Everything she planted is edible. That’s my girl!
We hired more laborers and together we built her a 70′ x 80′ fenced garden area. It’s pretty cool in that it also houses our 13 chickens. There is a double fence around it that we affectionately call the “Chicken Mote”. When we let the chickens out of their coop, they get to roam around the entire perimeter of the garden eating bugs, etc. The double fence also serves another purpose… it keeps deer and rabbits out of the garden entirely!
All together we have only 1024 square feet of space in a total of 3 buildings. That’s not a lot when you consider the size of some people’s homes and the amount of tools, etc that we have. Not to mention that amount of groceries and supplies that we must store since the nearest grocery supermarket is some 65 miles away EACH WAY.
As today progressed, Ranae and I talked about areas where we could cut waste and more importantly… expenses. We currently rent a couple storage units in a little town not too far from us (about 20 miles away). We have all our family heirlooms, china, etc stored there. But what a waste! We definitely need to get rid of those units and pronto!
That took me to a process of pondering what old papers I could shred; what things could we just donate to some charity or otherwise dispose of; where I should hang some shelves, in our various buildings, to make more room for all the stuff we have accumulated over the years; and other things that all have to get done sooner rather than later.
After sitting here and making a plan, my mind drifted, as it often does, to music. Aaron Tippin’s song “I got it honest” has always been one of my favorites. His song really resonated with me today. This little Six Acres is my home and I’m in it until the day they lower me in the ground. I don’t have much by some people’s standards, but I have more than a lot of other people could ever hope for. AND I GOT IT HONEST!
I continued to think and reflect on what is important about this place and the friends that we have made since moving here. I recently wrote a blog about my hair stylist and it pretty much sums up the good people in this area… good conservative Christian folks that I have the extreme pleasure of calling my friend.
While on the music thought, I also thought about some of my most recent blog posts like this one I wrote last Christmas (2013).
I’m very blessed and even when some city folks look down their nose at me and my lifestyle, I just think about all that God has graced me with in my life. So what if I lived my life backwards from everyone else? I have traveled to 88 countries and accumulated some 4.2 million air miles in my lifetime. I did the retirement part first! Now, I’m just glad to be settling into a place where I will eventually be laid to rest… MY HOME.