Twenty-two years ago, we uprooted ourselves from our suburban home and relocated to where we are now. We went from a house that was spacious enough to house our family to a two bedroom, one bathroom farmhouse. Keep in mind that there were five children and two adults doing this. We converted space in the upstairs to accommodate the kids. Did I mention that the bathroom was the size of a postage stamp and had no shower? It is a decent house but quite different from what we moved out of. It was perfect for a young couple or a small family but we overwhelmed it.
My brother and his wife had been to our old house and visited us at the farm. He was very kind and non-judgemental. He did however pull me off to the side and asked me if we were in financial trouble and could he help. I am not sure that I convinced him that we bought the place for the property and had every intention of building a new and larger home. At any rate, he informed me that we reminded him of the "Douglas's" from the show "Green Acres" and dubbed our farmhouse "The Haney Place" . Those of you in my age range will understand, anyone younger please check on line or ask your parents
We were officially country bumpkins, right down to me having to face a new challenge - Mice!. A neighbor who was in high school would babysit occasionally. She popped over once and asked if she could take the kids to her house to swim. Four went with her and I kept the baby, "Pook". I remember when her mother brought them back and told me that she couldn't believe these were city kids, in fact she was sure that they weren't. When they were done swimming she told them it was time to get dressed. They were all standing on her deck. She turned around to grab their towels and by the time she faced them again, she was facing four naked children. These were definitely country kids!
The Haney Place was a bit of a challenge, with the bathroom being the biggest of those. "Doc" decided to have a shower put in downstairs. Great idea, right?! Did I mention that the cellar had a dirt floor and no heat? There was an outside entrance that reminded me of the cyclone shelter from the "Wizard of Oz". Any normal group would have re-thought that plan. Oh yes, we also put our washer and dryer down there. Every time I did laundry, I felt like I was in a horror movie and I looked over my shoulder waiting for Zombies. Did I mention that I switched to baths instead of showers.
One of the biggest challenges was discipline for the kids. I had become the master of sending them to their rooms when they needed to be separated. There was not nearly enough space for that! There was nowhere to send them to be alone. Let's be honest, I wanted to be sent to my room to get a break and the place was just too small to get away from anyone.
The urgency to build escalated when "The Surprise" was announced. We moved forward with plans the year he was born and moved into our new home when he was nine to ten months old. The kids were happy to misbehave as usual. They were happier to be sent to their rooms. Me too! We learned a lot about living together in close quarters. It was fun and challenging and we REALLY appreciated our new home when we finally moved in. Have I mentioned that I love my life?
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!