Sunday, October 24, 2021

When It's Time

 I don't write many posts anymore with work, the house, I don't have much free time to sew, let alone quilt.  But I keep amassing fabric, patterns, and projects in hopes that someday life would change and slow down.  I have been writing this blog for almost 8 years now and in the past 10 years I have had some huge life changes.

I met the love of my life in August of 2011, my little family of 2 grandsons and youngest daughter moved in with him in a huge empty, old farmhouse which had been built by his great, great grandfather in 1861.  Jeff had purchased the house when it was put on the market by the state of Michigan when his great grandmother had been taken into care by social services, I think the sale date I have seen on the paperwork was in the early 1990's. 

I don't know if many people believe, but I think places can be infused with emotion, good and bad.  This house when we first moved in with Jeff always felt sad.  The kids and I filled it with light, laughter and love and the great aunt stated before she passed away that once we moved in the whole spirit of the house and property changed, from even when she was a little girl, growing up and getting old.  That it felt warm, happy, and infused with love and joy. 

In 2013 Jeff and I were married.

Grandson #3 Finn was born.

I was enjoying my happily ever after.  I quilted, blogged, gardened, canned, loved spending time with my husband and family.  Jeff's great aunt and uncle lived in a house on a small piece of property next door and since they were getting up there in years we had a lot of care for their house and property.

We got chickens.

Soon the care of the great aunt and uncle became full time for me.  Cooking, cleaning, doctor's appointments- me running to their house and spending many hours a day.  The great uncle started falling and the of course that meant an assessment of his condition.  We were told by family services they could no longer live alone, they needed 24 hour care.  They could not afford a full time caregiver, nor did they want to be in a home....they had always depended on an agreement with family for care, but when it was time, no one wanted to step up and fulfill that agreement, so Jeff and I took it on with the understanding that we would care for them, and when they passed I would have their home and property.  The only option which would work was to move them into our house.  So a 30 day reno, adding a bedroom to the ground floor, re- configuring the kitchen,  putting a shower in the basement and building a ramp we moved them in.  While it was still a full time job for me cooking, cleaning, doctors, laundry, showers, physical therapy, shopping, picking up prescriptions, but it was much easier in a way.  The uncle was in his 90's and very frail when I started caring for him, so it was only a matter of time, and he passed in February of 2017.  

Never in my life would I expect 28 days later my life would be shattered.  On March 8,  2017 Jeff was killed in an auto accident on his way to work, and life changed in ways that I never expected.  People who were family turned, the great aunt stood by me steadfastly, and I felt like I was in a fog.  In 90 days the great uncle had died, Jeff was killed and the great aunt died and I was left with this house, property, as well as the great aunt and uncle's house and property.  The only saving grace was that my daughter 3 grandsons, her significant other and his daughter moved into the house which was the great aunt and uncle's and we managed to make it work. 

Somehow over the past few years we have accumulated rescue animals, mainly pigs, but a goat and chickens even.  We keep them pretty quiet, we have about 10 acres total, and all of the areas where there are animals, there is a fence with a green privacy screen all the way around.  

The area where we live is really starting to grow, in the past year at least 8 new houses have been built just on our road alone within 1 mile.  The main road North/South is zoned commercial and a couple of trucking companies have moved in and there are two huge warehouse which are being built too.  Our road is constantly busy and people whip in and out of my driveway all the time to turn around. 

And the other problem.....  One of the neighbors is constantly coming onto my property and mowing trees down which I would prefer to let live and grow since there is a field I have allowed to go back to natural woodland.  We get hate mail, unsigned, and postmarked at a major mailing facility.  There is an neig hborhood across the road from us, and we have been told by many of them that the neighbors near us are constantly bad mouthing us and our animals.  One of the kids wanted a playhouse/hangout during COVID so they could get away and work on their schoolwork. It was built on the 1 acre lot between the houses,  and is considered temporary since it is not on a foundation, nor does it exceed the 500 square foot limit before needing a building permit-- someone complained.  The building was 6 inches in front of the front line of the house, and the blight enforcement officer arrived.  Easy fix, we attached a chain and pulled it back 5 feet.  Now they are complaining about our animals and are referencing that the kids per their township rules cannot have anything but 1 cat, and 1 dog.  The easy fix would be to move the pigs and chickens to my property which is much larger, but the kids are done.  The negative is just too much.

Once upon a time Jeff talked about wanting to move away.  I was surprised, but he had decided that it was time. He really loved the west coast, the mountains, rivers, it was just that we had responsibilities, but once those were finished we were going to move somewhere. I loved this house, I loved being with him and I was content but now it is time to start another chapter.  How long to finish writing this chapter remains to be seen, but the kids are actively looking to move to Missouri within the next 6 months.  They want me to move with them. I don't know if I want to live in Missouri.  In fact I don't have an idea of where I want to live exactly.  

I do have some ideas.  I know I need to live on some land away from a big city, I need a couple of acres--I like quiet and solitude--not the race track my 2 lane road has became.  I would like a garden, and flowers.   Some of it will be dependent upon how much I get for my homes and land.  My daughter says perhaps I should buy a truck and travel trailer and explore, using her home as a base until I decide what I want to do.  If the property they buy is large enough I could build a small mother in law house, and a quilt barn.  So many possibilities.  

But for now it is time to assess.  What to keep, what to sell, what to throw away. Start packing and look forward to whatever comes next and embrace the change. 


  1. Oh Collette, I have often wondered how you were managing. I was worried you were getting burnt out. You and your family our in our prayers! Praying for a peaceful place for you and your family!

  2. I hope you can find your own "special place" and be able to enjoy your days.....hugs and prayers, Julierose

  3. Hope all goes well with the move and you find a happy place. Hugs 🤗

  4. I think a special someone is with you and guiding you. Take it slow and with eyes wide open. Look ahead.

  5. I hope you find a great place for you and your family. Take your time deciding what to do.

  6. Ooooo Missouri....near Jenny Doan perhaps? Then we could ALL come visit you for some roadtrip fun. Good luck in this big decision my friend

  7. Don't know if that is closer to me are not but it may be!!!

  8. Wow…..that’s a lot on your plate right now. It’s a shame so much has changed there. I’m sure you will put much thought into where this next chapter will be written, but we’ll all be here for the move.

  9. I do believe that things have a way of working out in the end. There might be some stuff to go through to get there, but get there you will. I'm sorry to read about the issues; it can get very unpleasant with neighbours. It's easy to say don't let it get to you but caring people care. Anyway, there are many many beautiful spots to set yourself down eventually. Time is what you need now to sort it out. I will be thinking of you.

  10. Gosh, you've been through a lot - it's a shame that people moving into your area have made it impossible for you to live your life and enjoy it. It makes me cross when that happens - they expect you to change but they could see your animals and lifestyle before they chose to live there! I hope you find a great place to live - somewhere you can be comfortable and be yourself ♥


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