“Are you settled in?”

We are hearing this a lot and the answer is that 30 days is not nearly long enough to feel settled. We’ve changed states, we’ve completely changed our lifestyle (from suburban to rural), and Mr. Nobody is now working from the house, instead of an office. He travels to his clients as needed.

For better or worse, my priority has been to unpack and focus first on the kitchen, bedroom and bath. Mr. Nobody has helped with all of that, plus setting up his office. The laundry room, the eating area and the entry complete the first floor. Only in the last few days do I find things on the first try.

The lower level is where the desktop computer is, where our guest quarters will go, and where the library will be. This is finished space, and there is another full bath. There is a nice large unfinished space for off season storage and Mr. Nobody’s workout space. Not much has been done here yet.

What I’m really itching to do is plant. I’ve had to restrain myself thus far. It’s hot, muggy and buggy here at the moment and the season is longer. My urgency is based on Michigan rhythms.

It does take time to get to know a place.

Since I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, perhaps it takes me even longer. Awareness dawns when it does, and as I age, that is later rather than sooner.

I’m still pretty sure that the trees here look better than those to the East of the Mississippi, but they don’t look that great here, either. On our place, there are lots of oaks. I don’t yet know what the varieties might be, but those closest to the barn and house look awful. Leaves are shriveled, bumpy and brown

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Acorns are dropping like crazy. Canopies are thin or dead. One oak IS dead. And the Japanese maple and the unknown tree have browned, burned-looking leaves.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m trying to figure out how many should come down sooner rather than later to avoid damage to a building. At the moment, I think the number is five, but that could go up.

Amongst the death, there is still a lot of life.

I like to sit outside at night and close my eyes and just listen. Between the various insects and frogs and toads, it’s a cacophony out there. Then, like a wave, wind comes through the trees, and if it’s not too dark, I can watch them sway.

Two owls were having a conversation the other evening. A whippoorwill joined in. The red bellied woodpecker loves the dead oak. Now I have a sound to go with the bird.

We put up one hummingbird feeder and three females claimed it immediately. When a male came in and started bugging the girls, I put up a second one out of view of the first. Now the interaction strikes me as play rather than war. If I could fly the way these birds can, I’d do it out of the sheer joy of it too.

Whenever I leave the homestead, I drive on Blood Alley – so nicknamed because it is a two lane state highway that is hilly and twisty. It’s taken several trips before comprehension hit me like a brick: It’s the trash, you idiot.

On the mountain in Kentucky, all along the road to our property, are permanent, fairly elaborate fixtures: Bear proof garbage containers. Here, there is no such thing. Regular suburban type wheelies sit at the end of every driveway.


So there will probably be no chance encounters with bear or bobcat or mountain lion or beavers or foxes or elk or maybe even deer here on The Missouri Compromise.  I hear dogs and target practice nearly daily.

Unlike the first Missouri Compromise, there are good things here still. While mammals might be in short supply, insects and birds and reptiles abound. DSCN1770 DSCN1789 DSCN1787

We learned a long time ago that it takes about 90 days to form a new habit.  You can try this at home….move a trash container from one spot to another and see how long it takes to become second nature…..the more ingrained the habit, the longer it takes.

By the end of October, this Missouri Compromise will feel more like home, I hope.

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4 Responses to Named

  1. witsendnj says:

    Haha, The Missouri Compromise! I love it!!

    I just got a little dog and named him Camus. He’s a Papillon with giant silly butterfly ears that will remind me every day of the existential absurdity of life. Here’s hoping you thrive in your new home – cheers!!

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