Countryside Chaos

We’ve been here almost two weeks now, and while our brief presence here is evidenced by the stacks of broken-down cardboard boxes, or the piles of those waiting still to be unpacked, it doesn’t feel like we’ve only been here so short a time.

Remarkably, it feels like we’ve been here a lot longer, and this feels more like home to us every day.

That said, it’s still quite chaotic here in the countryside.

I have no garden, and at this point, barely a plan and a stockpile of seeds for spring. We were just recently under a frost warning (what?!) and I didn’t have any tomatoes to rush out and cover, or any beans to hurry and harvest.

While I was able to harvest a garlic crop, potatoes, a few freezer-portions of green beans, even fewer of peas, and a jar’s worth of dried beans from our Minnesota garden, I had to leave everything else behind, including the amazing fence and gate Hubs had built around the garden this spring.

I feel a little ill-prepared for winter without my onions, tomatoes, beans, parsnips, zucchini, winter squashes and so much else, but I’m thankful I was able to harvest anything at all and bring a little taste of the old homestead to the new homestead.

I did make a stop at the local nursery to buy two apple trees and a rhubarb plant, and I’m hopeful those will all produce for us for years to come (and not be completely decimated by wind, hail, or grasshoppers…).

Also, we visited a church on Sunday and I managed to leave with a dozen ears of corn and crookneck squash!

But the lack of a garden or homegrown produce is not our biggest issue presently.

We have varmints.

Last week, after being here exactly one week, I went out to our makeshift chicken coop to check for eggs. I found a rattlesnake instead. All curled up, enjoying the warmth of the coop and the privacy it provided…. so we had to kill it. Immediately.

I’ve seen my uncle do it so many times out on his orchard in California, but having to do it on your own property is another experience entirely. Throwing away a snake body and burying a severed head are not things I had on my prairie living bucket list. But I can check them off, regardless.

Just the other evening, I went out to check the chickens one last time and shut them in tight for the night. I stepped outside and saw something moving in front of my feet. I looked down to see a possum. It scampered a few paces away from me, turned and stared, and I said something like, “What the crap!” and it ran away.

It all happened so fast, and I have to admit, I was not at all, ever, expecting to have a possum scampering around at my feet. I ran to the chicken coop, flashlight in hand, making sure everyone was alright and there were only chickens in there and not any unwanted guests.

Possums eat eggs, but they also eat chickens. I’m not a fan.

The chaos continues inside as well. We just started our homeschool year (5th and 1st grades) and we’re trying to get our routines and daily structure figured out in the midst of spelling tests and multiplication tables.

The kids decided they would like to call me “Miss Mama” during school, and I’m trying to be sweet in my responsiveness to it, but I’m predicting hearing it every 10 seconds from each child while I’m trying to assist the other with something might not become my favorite thing.

We still have stacks of cardboard, boxes to unpack, pictures to hang, things to find a place for. It’s chaotic in here.

And yet… it’s amazing.

This house, the views, the peace and quiet, the church corn… it’s all amazing.

We have a long list of to-dos before we consider ourselves officially settled in, but the long list of blessings we’ve experienced just by being here are well worth any time, money, and effort spent in making this our forever homestead.

And I guess it isn’t chaos in the countryside after all. It’s just us finding a new rhythm, a new routine, a new resolve.

Even though it sounds like things are a little crazy here, we are ultimately content. And exceptionally grateful. The Lord has given us so very much.

For God is not a God of chaos, but of peace…

1 Corinthians 14:33

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