It has been a sad time for me, losing my Mother not even 3 months ago and my Father in a nursing home with Alzheimer's for the past few years. I have tried to keep my spirits up by staying busy, connecting with my own grown children more often, and keeping close to Hubby. But sometimes, you just need a little bit of solitude to contemplate things. I love to take walks around my little 5 acres of Paradise and get back to nature. I am very fortunate to be able to do this. I realize that. But it came after many, many years of hard work and sacrifice.
We were very young when we decided to give up our comfortable life in suburbia and move onto raw land a state away. We had been searching for a little piece of Paradise, something we dreamed of way back in High School when Hubby and I would cut class and sit in the park and plan our life together. We knew we wanted at least 3 children, and a home in the mountains. Beyond that, we had no plans on how to achieve that, but knew our love and determination would bring us the happiness we desired.
And so I thought about how we managed to attain this little Shangrila as I strolled along.
We sold everything we owned to buy this land and moved with 3 little babies under the age of 5. We had no electricity, and no well, but we had a nice big old camper with a full bath, nearly a full kitchen, and Hubby built a 16' x 20' shed (which we still use and love) to house a living room and a small bunk room for the children. We hauled in water and gathered rain water from the roof. We had propane appliances and heat, and a gas pump for our water. But no television or electric lights. That came a year later.
My parents had already moved onto a parcel down the road and my Dad, with his optimistic encouragement, assured us we could build our own home and that he would be available for assistance whenever necessary. This was the second home my Dad had built and he was an old pro by then. But Hubby had never built so much as a dog house before!
I remember the first time we came here. We came to visit my parents who had just bought their land. We were astounded at the pristine beauty of the forest, the amazing view of Mt. Rainier, the herds of Elk grazing in the wild flower meadows. And there were more parcels for sale. We simply had to have one.
And so we traded it all in, the comfortable life, Hubby's solid job, even the nice little car. We needed something rugged to 4 wheel up to our new life, as the road was barely passable. Were we crazy? Absolutely! But we knew if we passed this by, another chance might never come along to live in such an amazing place.
And so fast forward, years go by, we struggled to build, using every available cent, every available vacation of Hubby's. By then we had 4 little ones, all needing our attention. Things were put on the back burner and we lived with unfinished rooms, projects on hold. Little by little we raised the kids, and stuck to our goals. We would get an income tax return and buy sheetrock for walls, or a bonus, and put in ceilings. I went out to work whenever I could, never having a career so to speak, but doing what I could to help out. And every evening, Hubby and I would take a walk to remind ourselves of why we were doing it all.
Meanwhile my parents were there to encourage us, while also struggling to build their dream home. I think back to that time and realize that they were nearly the age we are now, when they undertook this project. And I wonder how they found the energy and the stamina.
We would have many shared experiences, living here in the mountains, dealing with weather, wildlife, setbacks, and triumphs. My parents had the wonderful quality of always looking at the humorous side of things. We would sit together in our half finished houses and laugh until our sides hurt over the impossible situations we would find ourselves in.
And now I must Come To Terms with the reality that even though Hubby and I are at a very comfortable and content time in our lives, my parents lives are over. The home they so lovingly built is now being sold to help pay for my Dad's care. This home is at the end of my road, within a 5 minute walk down the quiet gravel lane. My children grew up skipping down this road to visit Grammy and Papa. I always knew it as a safe haven for me whenever I needed a home cooked meal or a cup of coffee and a shoulder to lean on. Now I must stand on my own, but with my roots firmly in the ground, sure of my place and secure in the legacy that my parents left me; Never give up your dreams, Always stick to your goals, Provide a safe haven for your children but encourage them to fly on their own, Teach them that they can overcome any obstacle and always remember to take the time to be Grateful for what you have, where you came from and where you are going. And always look on the bright side. Thank you Mom and Dad.