Sunday, November 18, 2018

20 years

Last spring marked 20 years of us living here. A lot has happened in the last 20 years. A lot has changed.  When I look in the mirror I see a much older, much more experienced man looking back at me.

20 years ago I was a jumble of emotions, with all kinds of extremes, excitement for a new adventure, happiness that a lifelong dream was finally coming true, a sense of freedom, and then there were all kinds of fears, hang-ups and anxieties.  Mixed emotions! Our kids were still pretty young then.  How was I going to support our family? I didn’t have a real job.  I worked for a short time through a temp service working at just minimum wage, hardly enough to support us.

During that stint of working for minimum wage, which was a hard pill to swallow after having left a $20+ an hour job before we moved, I would imagine that I could make more money doing just about anything else on my own, for instance I could mow lawns.  I never did do that, but I was confident that I could make more money than minimum wage just mowing peoples lawns.

As God’s providence went we got into the garbage business in the year 2000 two years after we’d been here. We are still currently in the garbage business after 18 years.  It’s been a long hard journey, but I still wouldn’t trade my life here in this place for anything else, except heaven of course.

My favorite place on earth right now is out at the beaver pond on our land. I love sitting out there watching the ripples on the water and hearing the sound of it as it flows through the dam.

Our kids are all adults and Kelli and I are now grandparents. So far 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter.  We love this newest season of life of being grandparents.

Our married children still live in Wisconsin, but not close by.  Its 3 hours to one and 4 hours to the other.  One daughter is still home with us.  We cherish the times when we can all be together.

In 2017 we finally had to make a decision. We had 3 businesses going at once, the garbage collection, the log cabin rental and the road side vegetable stand dubbed the “farm stand”. We just couldn’t keep being spread so thin so we decided to stop doing the thing that was least profitable for us and that was the farm stand.  

Kelli and I never were real good at it.  It was always kind of a miracle that we ever had any produce to sell at all.  There were things about it that were enjoyable but the truth is that farming is not either mine or Kelli’s strong suit.  We are better at simply “homesteading” and not attempting to make a business out of it.  We want to always have animals and a small garden, but to try and raise enough to market; we know that’s no longer for us.

So now for income we are just concentrating on the garbage business and the log cabin rental and the cabin rental has really been taking off the last few years. If we can ever get the funding we’d like to build 4 more cabins and that hopefully will be our retirement and then get out of the garbage business which is so labor intensive.  I’m almost 55 and am hoping and praying that I’m not still throwing garbage at age 60.

My current dream is to get a saw mill, build more log cabins and a little “HEATED” wood shop, and harvest timber off of our land and create things with the wood.  Notice that I emphasized the word “heated” wood shop, after 20 years I’m still doing all my work out in the cold in this often frigid northern climate and a little heated shop is something that I REALLY long for.

With the extra income from the log cabin rental we were able to purchase more land.  We acquired another 80 acres giving us a grand total of 200 acres.  This works real nice with the log cabin rental because our guests have a lot of places to explore here as we have and maintain miles of trails all throughout.

The terrain here is like no other I’ve ever seen, there is something very unique about it, with its mixture of open pasture, high and low land, woods, swamps, ponds and creeks and rolling hills.  We knew it had everything we wanted when we first laid eyes on it in the fall of 1989.  We purchased the original 120 acres in January of 1990, way back in the last century! Ha,ha Sounds so long ago!

But even after nearly 29 years of exploring this land we are still finding little hidden secret places that we didn’t even know were here known only to the woodland creatures like deer, rabbits, squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, skunks, weasels, muskrats, bears, fox, coyotes and the occasional wolf to name a few. There’s more!

I’ve pretty much given up on blogging, but I’ve been meaning on making a post to commemorate our 20th anniversary of living here on this land.  Maybe someone will happen by and see it then again maybe not and that’s alright. It’s written down here and will be here as long as this current digital media lasts (who can know how long that will be), maybe my grandkids will read it and get a kick out of it if it’s still here.

Until Next Time,



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