I haven’t posted much about it, so as not to jinx it, but we bought a house!
For the past three months, we’ve been searching for a place to live, looking at a seemingly endless list of houses that weren’t for us. A little more than a month ago we found one we liked, the offer was accepted!
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our realtor, Shelly Abbott (who is also an avid angler), we are now living in our new house. After weeks of negotiating, addendums, inspections, more inspections, and eagerly waiting for the day to come, we moved in Monday.

Walter loves it

We’re still only about half unpacked (realistically: a quarter unpacked) but we have our own place.
And as it turns out, it’s in the country!

The very fact that I am so preoccupied with the fact that our house is “in the country” means I have a long way to go in my “country boy training.” That said, there’s no question: it is 100% rural.
There is a big farm across the street. Actually, there are farms all over the place. We have regularly heard cows mooing through our closed windows; Big green and yellow farm machines are a common sight in our neighbors’ “yards” (ahem, I mean “fields”); There appear to be a large number of wild animals in our back yard, although I’ve yet to see one in person. Evidence of their passage is everywhere: every day I walk back on the path and find new deer tracks.
The other day I found what I think is rabbit poop.

We’ve got a long skinny parcel of 3.65 acres; our house sits in the middle, and it is surrounded by a half acre of lawn, then a large amount of field with tall grasses. On the edges of our property are trees and brambles, especially in the southwest corner by the creek.
That’s right, there is a creek on our property!

I had long ago given up hope of finding a house on the water, but we found this gem that happened to have a small creek running through it. I didn’t even realize it until I walked to the back and saw glistening water through the bushes. It’s not a large creek; certainly a “hop-across” body of water.
On the other hand, it seems to attract a variety of animals (deer, squirrel, and racoon tracks adorn the muddy banks) and yesterday while exploring I found a comparatively deep hole full of fish!
I couldn’t tell what kind of fish they were. The biggest appeared to be about 4-5 inches. No matter. I like fish, big or small. I can’t begin to express how excited I am that there are fish living so close to where I work, eat and sleep. A little more than 300 feet away.
As soon as I saw them in the water, darting around frantically because I spooked them, I ran back to the house to get my fly rod. Of course I couldn’t catch any when I returned, but knowing they are there is amazing. I put out a minnow trap last night to see if I could catch some, but this morning the trap was empty.
I did, however, find a bunch of fresh deer tracks. I am a complete newbie in anything relating to deer, but it appears the deer use the same paths I do to cross our property. I left some old apples on the path and near the creek, hoping to find them eaten later. I’m so curious to know where these animals go, what paths they take. And why I can’t catch them with my own eyes.

This morning the carrots I left by some (what I think are) rabbit holes were left untouched, but the apples were half-eaten, surrounded by deer tracks in the dirt.
Nice view from our back yard

We are very happy. We found a new home, and it has most everything we were looking for. We have plenty of space, although we are a short walk from neighbors. Our place is a short drive from Claire’s parents. Melody Bee Farms is about 3,000 feet down the street; they grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, cows and chickens, turkey and pigs. They also offer a CSA which we will absolutely be taking part in come the growing season.

So as I prepare to begin my day’s work, fixing scanner drivers and troubleshooting software remotely through the internet, I’ll be looking out my window out to fields and barns and pastures and trees. On my breaks I’ll put on my brand new knee-high rubber boots and explore our property, perhaps stack some firewood for our backyard firepit.

I’m from the city. I have little idea what it means to live in a rural setting, other than I need some boots, some Carhartts, and a tractor. I might be a tree-hugging liberal (a hiking, fishing, hunter-wannabe tree-hugging liberal, mind you), but I am happy to call this place home, and am excited to learn anything and everything about this place, our property, and what it means to live out here.

6 responses

  1. Congratulations to you and your wife! Looks like a beautiful piece of land that can call home. You’ll need an axe to start splitting wood for your fires. I’m sure you’re going to see an extreme amount of wildlife.

    • Thanks Justin! Yup an axe is on the list. Unfortunately my office facing the front, toward the road, where there seems to be less wildlife… But I know they’re around! Yesterday I found a wild turkey feather near the creek. Can’t wait for a flock of turkeys to gobble across our back yard. Especially if I have a bow and/or a shotgun.

  2. Sounds like you have found heaven. Both you and Claire will have a lot to learn and I know you and Claire will have so much fun doing it all.
    Good Luck,
    Tim & Kath

  3. Thanks Uncle Tim! Yup we have a lot to learn… But it sure will be fun. You guys will have to swing by the next time you’re in Michigan!

  4. The last time I recall running into you, you were driving a Mini Cooper. They make snow plows for them things?
    Get a good garden going and get some books on canning and preserving. It’s easier than it seems and worth the effort. One thing good for the garden, carp. Best fertilizer on earth.
    Have fun out there.

    • Yessir, we’ve still got the Mini.. but not for long. A truck of some kind is in our future. Along with a lawn tractor, which my friends tell me is the correct term for a riding lawnmower when you live in the country.
      A garden is very high on the list– I’m no survivalist, but I sure do enjoy taking part in getting and preparing my own food. I guess I’ll have to really get those Michigan carp dialed in!

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