What better time to write a blog post than when I'm sitting in the van on our 3 hour trip back to our rental! I figured I'd type it out in my word processing program and then copy and paste it on my blog when we have an internet connection tomorrow at the library! This way I have no (almost no...) interruptions and lots of time :) I even brought my adapter thing to plug into the lighter in the van when my battery gets low.
So we traveled back home this weekend since Nathan had a nice 3-1/2 day weekend! It was so nice to sleep in our own bed and not run out of dishes after one meal. Nathan hasn't been home in a month, and he was definitely glad to be back....although he wasn't too excited to see the sod in the yard :( As one friend put it, it looks like it has cancer. We are hoping that after the rains we had this weekend and Nathan pampering it while we were home that at least some of the brown patches aren't completely dead and that some of it will come back to life!
Friday we hosted lunch at our place, even though I didn't make any of the food. My parents, my brother and his family and my sister and her kids came over to visit! Leah is up for her annual summer trip to MN and it worked out perfect to see her since Nathan had this weekend off! All the grandkids were together once again, the last time was at Christmas, so a group picture was definitely in order.
Siblings: Dawn, Leah, & Darren
Top Row: Parker (5), William (6), Ariella (2), Abi (9), Brayan (3), Faith (7)
Bottom Row: Tiernan (6), Caedmon (4), Eliana (4)
After they left we got ready and headed to the park for a graduation party for some friends of ours oldest daughter. It was nice seeing friends we haven't seen in years and the weather cooperated wonderfully!
Saturday I spent the morning garage saleing! It just so happened to be the city wide sales this past weekend and since I haven't seen a garage sale since moving down south with Nathan, I was in dire need of one!! I found some sweet deals, including a lawn mower! Nathan told me in the morning before I left that once I got home he was going to go into town and buy a push mower since we don't have one. And can ya guess what happened? At the very first sale I stopped at, they had exactly what we were looking for! It was a craftsman 22” self-propelled bagger! It was fairly new and in great shape and we got it for a fraction of what a new one would be! How awesome!
Today is Father's day and we spent it running errands, visiting at Nathan's parents a bit and packing to head back down south....and driving ;) But the nice thing is that we will be back before the weeks over! The job that he is on is finishing up ahead of schedule and there are just cleaning up the job sites this week! Then what? Well, isn't that just the million dollar question!!
I wish I knew! It'd be a lot easier to plan...but I don't know so I try to remain as flexible as I can be and supportive of where my husband feels like he is being led.
Some of you may ask, why would you build your house if you weren't positive you'd be staying in the area for good? Well, first of all, does anyone ever know if they'll be where they're at for an extended period of time? Anyone who is employed can get laid off, fired, transferred, whatever at any time. But here is 'why' behind our decision...
Accepting the apprenticeship position gave us a 'ticket' back to Minnesota from Virginia and since he's chosen MN to be his jurisdiction, then all the work throughout the apprenticeship has to be within the state of MN or he doesn't have to accept the job. Given that, we knew that we'd at least be within the state. Nathan has had plan and long-term goal for years and that is to build houses on his land and the land his dad owns. He wanted to get going on that plan and building the first house would be the big first step! (Well, actually the 'first' steps were to get it all platted, surveyed, build the road, etc but that was already accomplished a few years ago :). By building the first house, he is starting to see his vision become a reality!
Another reason why we wanted to build was because we wanted a place to call home, a place to come home to on holidays and vacations if we were on the road, and one location for all our belongings! Granted we had very very little 'stuff' left, we did have a truck load in Nathan's parents garage and attic (although even though everyone was blaming us for taking up their whole third stall, when we got our stuff out, it was still half full! I think other people left things here and there and convieniently blamed us :) We also had a few things at my parents too...and stuff still in our camper. So to have everything in one place is a lot easier to deal with.
Another reason why we built was because we were (and still are) hoping that he can find line work close to home so we can live at home. There is a transmission going up from St. Cloud to Fargo and for him to get on that job would be such a blessing! So we are still hoping for that. In the meantime, we needs to keep going where they send him, as he doesn't have a say in the jobs as an apprentice like he did when he was an operator.
We had a very very very hard time making the decision for him to accept work away from home bc that left 2 options...1) he lives on the road and we stay home, breaking up the family which is no good for anyone or 2) we move with him, leaving behind our new house (btw we have people watching and in and out of there often so no one get any ideas :P). We have made the decision that he will never work on the road again, away from us, so where ever he goes, we go. It makes life exciting :) Guess it gives me more to blog about :) If he didn't accept the job to go down to where we are currently at, he would have to drop the apprenticeship and the goal of becoming a lineman would be no-longer. That would also mean that he'd have no job and we'd have no source of income. On the positive side, we'd have time to get a hobby farm going and we'd be challenged to find ways to earn money and quickly....we love us a challenge! :) But when it came to decision time, we figured since this job was only set for 5 weeks, we'd take it and figure out details later. Staying in this field at this time also allows us to continue with our financial goals of paying off our home and being able to build our next one without a mortgage. Did you know that it cost us like $8000 just to close on the loan?! That's ridiculous!! No more dealing with mortgages! :P
So which brings me back to the question of what are we going to do when this job is over? Well, there is a chance that he'll get laid off, in which case he would sign the union books and wait to get called to go out and work for a contractor anywhere in the state of MN, hopefully by home :) Or, he can get transferred to the next job with this contractor that he's currently working for, and that is to Bemidji. I have mixed feelings about both those options but I guess it's not really up to me! So a few days will tell where we'll be going or what we'll be doing...so stayed tuned! Will we be doing this forever? No. Actually, if he were offered a job close to home, even in a completely different profession, he'd probably accept it, giving us the opportunity to do what we really love...farm! Chickens, pigs, cows, rabbits, cats...can't wait!! All grass-fed and free-range, of course! We've been reading an absolutely outstanding book by Joel Salatin (remember him? The organic farmer who lives in VA who's farm we went to see on Nathan's birthday of 2010 who was interviewed in the movie “Food Inc”? Well, he's the guy...:) called “You Can Farm”....Man, is it good! Best quote yet “If you smell manure, you're smelling mismanagement” Amen! Anyway, time will tell and we'll continue to go where the Lord leads us.