I have missed growing vegetables. Our previous home was located within the domain of an HOA that forbade such “unattractive” landscaping so, aside from the pitiful potted tomato plant on my pack patio, I had to go to the local Farmers’ Market to find fresh veggies.
Now we have eight beautiful acres. I have thought and a re-thought about where to put a garden and finally decided to build it in the backyard proper, within the fence, where Bambi and Thumper, as cute as they are, are less likely to devour our harvest. Then I had to decide what materials to use. I have visited Lowes and Home Depot many times, perusing the stone piles and wood options. I found out you never, ever use landscape timbers or railroad ties because they can be laced with chemicals such as asbestos. Not good. I seriously considered stone but it would require a lot of ground prep and, well, I am impatient.
We moved in on the first of July. Buried beneath a mountain of boxes, I frantically unpacked one after another, driven by the intense need to rid the rooms of cardboard and see the beautiful hardwoods hiding beneath the piles of packing paper.
Finally, after two weeks in this lovely place, I ascended a stepladder with a hammer and a smile to put a hole in the wall–a permanent scar that forever signifies the transplant of our lives here, in this big brick house surrounded by ponds and woods, fields and farms. A picture hung of seven smiling faces just before my oldest left the nest. Our family.
A few months ago I read Andrew Peterson’s book, Adorning the Dark. In this incredible work, Andrew describes the labor and intentionality of creativity and community. He describes his family’s decision to leave the city and move out to the country, putting down deep roots. He encourages the reader to be purposeful in settling down by saying,
“Give your house a name. Watch how it changes the way you treat it.”
Gosh, that sounded lovely. I experimented with possible names for our house, but nothing stuck. They didn’t feel authentic, and I hate the feeling of being a copycat so I ditched the idea and moved on.
I have always been a dog person. Ever since my husband and I were newly married we have had dogs. From German Shepherds to Malamutes and multiple odd mixes of breeds, our furry friends have been sweet additions to our home and good therapy. (For who doesn’t love the feel of a warm body curled up at your feet? Or an excited, tail-wagging greeting when you arrive home after a long day?)
So, without further adieu, meet our pups, Clara and Hollie.
A full-time mom and home educator, Jeanine has spent much of her precious free time immersed in books and the occasional art project. She loves sunsets more than just about anything and Autumn is her favorite season of the year. She now resides at Arundelle Green in the heart of beautiful Tennessee with her husband, children, two dogs, and two cats…so far. She is also author of the novel, Paper Dolls: Trust Your Instincts as well as an editor for Foundling House. She has contributed chapters in various compilations and has had pieces published at The Rabbit Room and Foundling House.