Rural Living

I started a new category on my blog called Rural Living. I know that we are not as remote as some people are but to us it is pretty remote. I hope you enjoy this new category and the goings on of living in the country. I wanted to share with you how we got to this area.

We live in a very rural area or as my sister calls it “where the sun don’t shine”.  But the sun does shine and it is beautiful especially this time of the year. It’s really not that far out or maybe I have just gotten used to it.

We have lived in this area for more than twenty years.  I love it now and always for the most part. Well except when the roads are snowy and icy. Luckily that’s not too often.  We are about twenty minutes from the nearest small town with a Walmart or any other grocery store.  We are about an hour from Knoxville or any other larger cities. We don’t usually just run out and grab a hamburger because it can take almost an hour even if we do drive through.  So we plan our trips accordingly. Luckily Mark and I are both homebodies.  I have about a twenty five minute commute to work and Mark has about an hour.

How did we get to this area?  More than twenty years ago my husband’s dad had bought property on Tellico Lake and built a house there and  he loved it!!  We loved it too when we went to visit and fish and just hang out.  I always thought it was a bit out of the way.  Like I said only about twenty minutes from town and about thirty minutes from where we were living at that time, but it seemed longer the first few times we drove it.  Mark loved the area and had always said if he couldn’t live on the ocean he would love to have lake front property and build a house.  A piece of property came available near my father in law’s house and we checked into it.  We were sort of forced to move because highway 322 in Sweetwater, where we lived,  literally came through our house.  We had to move.  We wanted to build a house and we were living in a starter home so we decided to build on the lake.  It took almost a year to build our house. We broke ground on June 8th of 1998 and the house was finished in April of 1999.   It was thirty minutes from Sweetwater, where we were living.  We moved in with my mother in law for the year it took to build our house.

I was skeptical about buying the property it was all wooded and overgrown and it was hard to imagine a house being built there.  A lot of the land had to be cleared.  It would take a lot of work.  I remember the day we went to look at the property.  The drive seemed to take forever. I kept throwing out derogatory comments about living in the country.  When we got to the property we had to make our way through the woods to get to the lake bank.  The wind was blowing.  We were being slapped in the face by tree branches as we walked through the thick wooded area.  I was trying to imagine a house being in the middle of the woods and looking at this lake view every day but it was a little hard to do. I was very skeptical at this point.  Once we got to the lake bank and I was standing there with the wind blowing through the trees and gently lifting my hair I noticed something strange.  I couldn’t hear anything like traffic or people or anything!!!!  All I could hear was the wind in the trees.  It was so peaceful and soothing.  That is the moment I was hooked. I was sold.  

We bought the property, picked out a house plan and the clearing of the land started.  Mark and poppy, my father in law, did a lot of the work. Poppy lived just next door to the property and he was retired so he was able to go to the property every day and check things out.  It seemed like it took forever.  Especially during the winter months when the builders would stop for weeks at a time to go on a hunting trip. I was livid and threatened to withhold any pay they were owed until they finished.  My husband said that would not be a good idea so I didn’t do it.  

We finally moved in almost a year later.  I got used to planning everything around a twenty minute drive into town instead of five minutes like before.  We had no neighbors except poppy.  We could only see his house in the winter when there were no leaves on the trees. When we first moved in I longed for the normalcy of being near a lot of people and running out for food or groceries in five minutes. But now I love this place and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Sure someday we may choose to move closer to town but for now we love our little rural area.

I apologize for the photos you will see. Twenty years ago cell phones just aren’t what they are today. Some of these pictures were taken with a 35MM camera with actual film. So many of them are pictures of pictures.

The clearing of the land started. It was a lot of work.
We broke ground on June 8th. 1998
The foundation was started.
It suddenly started to look like a house.

This was early spring of 1999 just before we were able to move in.
I wish my driveway still looked like this.
This was taken just a few years ago after we had gotten a light snow.

I hope you enjoy this new series on my blog. There will be lots of pictures and stories about rural living.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!

A Very Happy Saturday

I can’t tell you how many times I am late getting somewhere because I will be driving down the road and see a beautiful sight that would make the most beautiful picture. Of course then I have to pull over and take the picture or fifty pictures and time just gets away from me.

Since I had the day off today I took a different road into town. I love to do this when I get a chance and see what new things are going on. I hope you do that every now and then because taking a different route is so refreshing. I had unlimited time to get into town and get my groceries today, forgot to pre-order again, so stopping and taking pictures before getting groceries was probably a form of procrastination. I hate actually going into the store and spending an hour or so gathering groceries. BUT!!! I did see some amazing sites. The trees here are starting to bloom and there is lots of color all over the woods. It was overcast and cloudy but that just added to the beauty of the day.

The road I took also takes me into a small nearby town, Tellico Plains, that I love, it is just the most charming little town. I decided while I was out I would stop at the Mennonite Farm Market. Yesterday was the first day they opened for spring.

The market had mostly baked goods and plants of all kinds including tomato plants and herbs. Not a lot of vegetables have come in yet. Of course there was still the handmade soaps and jams and jellies. I bought some of the apple butter and a tomato plant. Mark loves tomatoes and he hates the taste of the ones in the grocery store. This plant is supposed to produce tomatoes in about sixty three days so we shall see. It is a container plant and will sit on our deck.

I hope I have good luck with this guy.

The Redbuds are blooming!!!! I just love them. By the time they are bloomed out they are actually purple but the pods when they first come out are red and that is why they are called redbuds. When I see the redbuds I know that spring is officially on the way. But don’t forget Redbud Winter is one of the first winters we experience in the south between spring and summer. So that should be here within the next couple of weeks. The temperatures will turn really cool for a few days.

See how red the little pods are before they bloom out.
Beautiful Countryside
You can see the reflection of the cows in this pond.

I continued my drive into town and a terrible thunder storm hit just as I was pulling into Walmart. I sat in the car for a few minutes and the rain stopped. I ran up to the doors at Walmart and the power was out and they weren’t letting anyone in. I waited a few minutes and went back to the car. It was noon so I went through a drive through to grab a hamburger and sit in the parking lot and wait until they let people back into Walmart. It was almost an hour before I was able to get my groceries. A rather long morning but the fact I didn’t have to be anywhere made it great!!!!

I got my groceries, forgot to pick up the mail, oh well and went home. The rain continued so we all took a huge nap and I read a book and cooked dinner. A pretty good Saturday. I had a really crazy week so having an uneventful lazy, picture taking, napping, reading, cooking and just enjoying the rain kind of day was exactly what I needed.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!

We Had A White Christmas

Hello and how was your Christmas? I know that many of you had a quieter and simpler Christmas and so did I and I sort of loved it.

On Christmas Eve I was at work and at about 2:00 and it started snowing. I knew we were supposed to have a chance of light snow later that night but I don’t think anyone expected it to move in as fast as it did. I was supposed to meet Mark at my sisters for a chili supper around 3:30.

By the time I left work at around 3:15 the snow was really coming down. It was crazy how much snow was on the cars and driveway. I wasn’t too worried Mark and I both have All Wheel Drive vehicles. But it still makes me nervous driving in snow. You know we are southerners and not used to driving in any amount of snow. Plus the temperature was steadily dropping and I knew what that meant especially on our backroads where we live.

So we spent only a short time at my sister’s before heading home. A much smaller group of us this year. And though we only spent a short time with each other it was fun and loving and I’m so glad we were able to spend some time together. We have about a thirty minute drive to get home and it was starting to get dark. I was worried about the backroads at our house. We did pass a couple of snow plows scraping the main roads but our roads never get scraped.

This is what our road looked like. I took this through the windshield. My car did fine I didn’t slide one time and I knew Mark was right behind me in his truck if I did. Unfortunately he had to leave for work the next morning at 5:00 AM and the roads were still pretty bad.
This is what I awoke to on Christmas morning. It looked like a winter wonderland.

A much quieter day on Christmas Day snuggling with the fur babies and watching movies and enjoying the snow.

Scruffy loved the snow.
Luckily the snow melted quickly off of the roads.

What a difference the next day made. So much sun melted a lot of the snow.

I am joining the weekly smile at http://www.trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. The snow made me smile and we the fact that it was on Christmas Day was extra special. What made you smile this week?

Have a wonderful week. Always remember.

Love your day your way!!!!

And It All Came to a Grinding Halt!!!!

Sunday morning I was at home by myself with just the babies for company. I was enjoying some banana bread I had just baked. Oh and I have to tell you, I added chocolate chips to one of the loaves and it was amazing. It was about 8:00 AM and the wind was howling terribly. The trees were bending almost double and leaves were swirling outside the windows like we were in a hurricane. You can probably tell I’ve never actually been in a hurricane. I just knew my power was about to go out. That is one of the things about rural living that you have to get used to. So yes at approximately 8:05 AM Sunday morning my power clicked off. Just thinking about it jinxed me I guess. I sat there for a few minutes. My heat went off, my lights went out. My internet stopped working. I thought, well it may come back on in a few minutes. It didn’t. I went into the office and plugged in the rotary phone. Yes I still have one of those for just such occasions. I called the Utility company to report the outage. The automated voice at the other end told me that an outage had already been reported in our area. O.K. way to go distant neighbors!!!. I settled back in my recliner with Kitty Kitty on my lap and Scruffy snuggled against my leg and picked up a book I had been reading. I just can’t explain how cozy it was.

10:00 AM and still no power. I continued reading and napping and loving the weight of the warm babies on me. I dozed and dreamed and contemplated life. I may have gotten up for a small snack.

You may be wondering why I couldn’t do anything while my power was off. O.K. My power is tied to my pump for the water so I couldn’t use too much water because the pump couldn’t pump water without electricity. Just enough for drinking if I wanted to. So I really couldn’t do a lot of cleaning, right? No vacuuming or laundry could be done. So I was sort of trapped. Who am I kidding I sort of loved it!!! HEE HEE!!!! I felt very Little House on the Prairieish. But you know Laura Ingalls and that bunch never had power and it certainly didn’t stop them. Oh well that was a long time ago.

12:00 PM Still no power. I decided to drive to the top of our driveway and see if I could see anything that would have caused the power outage. I would have walked but honestly I have a fear of death by a falling tree. I’m sure there’s a name for this phobia. I don’t like to walk in the woods when the wind is blowing at hurricane strength. I drove to the top of the driveway and could immediately see power lines all over the road. I stopped!!! I didn’t even try to walk up on the road to see if a tree or pole was down or what caused all the lines to be down. I wasn’t sure if those were live wires or not. That was not for me to decide. Realizing that I couldn’t even drive out of the driveway with all of these wires down did make me feel a little trapped but I had no where I had to be.

I went home and called the power company and pressed the number 2 to say that Yes I did have additional information to report about the outage . I felt so proud. Within an hour I heard utility trucks at the top of my driveway and lots of noise from chainsaws.

Within another two hours the power was restored. By this time it was after 2:00 PM and the power had been out for over six hours. A nuisance? maybe. A wonderful opportunity to snuggle babies and catch up on reading with the interruption of my cell phone or anything else? DEFINITELY!!!!

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday. How was your weekend? How is your week going?

Turns out a lot of people were without power that day not just us rural country people. I wonder if they felt Little House on the Prairieish?

Always remember,

Love your day your way!!!