I have a girl who loves many things. The ocean, rabbits, ducks, the woods, crochet, reading, cooking. She wants more than anything to raise animals on a farm, have guinea pigs and a saltwater fish tank. She reads late into the night, no matter how many times we tell her she should go to bed. She is growing into the woman that she will become, and I both love and despair at her growing independence of thought and action...because it means, she is growing up.
I am riding the waves of her life, and realizing that even when it's rocky I'd rather be here then on the shore watching. I am thankful that at this time in my life I can devote everyday to growing with my kids. And what I've learned is that the older they get the more complex, interwoven, delicate and beautiful the relationship becomes. I live in those moments right now, and it is worth the work to make it as beautiful as it can be.
We also; sat in a lot of traffic, fought for parking, paid crazy prices to park at the beach ($20 a day!?!), and spent way too much money. Thank you New England, you are beautiful...but I must admit, when we drove away I felt some tightness relieving in my chest. Too many people, too much hustle and bustle...I'm not sure where people come from that this would be a place to relax! It took me a few days to relax FROM our trip!
If we had more time, we would have headed further up the coast towards Bar Harbor, and then onto Eastport. They were calling my name more...less people, more nature. Hopefully next year...but for now, we are headed West. (We made a promise to a little girl, and it must be kept.)
We knew that the next phase in our lives, after traveling, would be to settle down and start a farm. This is something the four of us have been planning for the last 3 years, and hasn't changed in the slightest. We didn't really know where we wanted to live, and since we're planning on staying (at least mostly) retired, we need a place that has; low taxes, low real estate prices, gorgeous landscape, moderate climate and relaxed homeschool laws.
Once you cross reference all these things, there aren't a ton of places that are left...which is good, because it pointed the way to the Blue Ridge. We fell in love with the area, and found a house we were ready to buy. Pre-civil war farmhouse on the river with 7 acres of woods and a barn. It was AMAZING. It was in our price range.
And...an offer, from someone else, got accepted on the day we were ready to put in an offer.
It was a blow that we're still recovering from a little bit.
But I learned something from this, something that is changing how we look at properties now. I think we loved it TOO much. At first, that seemed like a good thing. But in the end I think it blinded us to a few things. Because we loved it so much, we were making compromises that we didn't want to make. It was a big house. Beautiful, yes...but big. We said we didn't want a big house.
Plus, it was in a larger city then we wanted, and it didn't have a definitive central community feel to it. It felt scattered...it felt impersonal. Too much shopping, too many chain stores and restaurants. We said we wanted a small community, with a personal feel.
It was on a busy road. Granted, there was property and it was on a river...but the house itself was near a busy road that you could hear all day long. We said we wanted to be far enough into the country that you don't hear traffic.
Ideally, you want to love your house, right? But what if you love it so much that you are willing to compromise your ideals? What if you feel tied to it? What if it keeps you from doing other things you want to do? After giving it some serious thought I realized, I don't want something I love SO MUCH that I feel like I can't let it go.
Because life changes, and I want to be able to change with it.
AND, it was stressing us out.
Oh my goodness, haven't we learned anything?
So I am taking this as a reminder to not let it happen again.
To stay the course.
To travel more.
To know that when we find something it should not make us compromise our values.
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.