Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ten Years Ago (Part 1)

10 years ago this summer, my husband Stuart and I undertook a major, life-changing event.  i kept journals and actually put together an entire book on this event.  it was a compilation of my journal entries, poetry, email updates to friends, and photos.  i even submitted it once to be published because i thought others may have an interest in doing what we did and may want to read about it.  alas; i got no response and promptly gave up on the idea.

anyway, ten years later, i’m going to have to super-condense all those words i wrote and try to summarize a little story for you.  it will take a few posts and i’ll string them out a bit, but to start with, i need to go back even farther, to 1988.  that’s when we found this piece of raw land and decided to build a house on it.  we had been wanting to own some land and live away from the city.  this was the perfect spot – close to everything, yet at the end of a dirt road with a “miles away” feel to it.

we designed much of the house ourselves, positioning it to take full advantage of the view.  it was a thrilling experience to see our vision become translated into reality. although the project took longer and cost more  than expected (don’t they always??), the house exceeded our expectations and was a joy to live in.  we had trees, trails, boulders, lots of growing things and seasonal creeks.  paradise!

i’m only telling you this background so that you can understand that it was not easy to leave.  honestly, most of the time i felt i wanted to live there forever….. why would we ever want to leave??

fast forward to 2001….. still love the house, but my job was feeling sooooo overwhelming and constantly stressful. 
journal entry from 3/31/01:

I have to vent a bit I think – Things I’m sick and tired of:
·         Being responsible for every problem kid in the school
·         Being expected at every meeting ever held
·         Being expected to write every last IEP in the world
·         Never having time to plan
·         Never having enough actual hands-on time with the kids
·         Being approached daily by teachers who have another kid for me
·         Having to spend every last free minute writing IEP’s
Do I sound burned out??

I’ll tell you what – I’m sick and tired of it – I’ve been doing it for 25 years (!) and I’m not going to take it any more!  I feel so strongly about this that I can’t imagine changing my mind.  It’s not only the burnout, it’s the sameness.  I’ve never been one to do the conventional thing – surely no one thought I would keep the same comfortable little job for 30 years and then retire from it?? (least of all me!) I’m more and more convinced – I want to go!!

in addition to all of that, the thought of exploring the country while we were still young enough to hike and appreciate it was starting to be really appealing.  having our cake and eating it too (keeping the house and still traveling) would have been nice, but turned out to be impossible, sooooo.... after much conflict and many sleepless nights, we put the house on the market and – bingo – it sold to the first lookers.  meant to be, right?
(to be continued…)


  1. oh my gosh ,, you live in heaven,, you lucky woman!

  2. brave, strong, adventurous and a little bit crazy. in the best possible way!!! cant wait for the next chapter...

  3. The house was so wonderful and I understand that it took a lot of energy and courage to leave it. I'm so glad that you share all this and I'm really looking forward to some more!

  4. Each step of the journey has its gifts and losses....and each step is essential to the whole of where you are now! jane

  5. I can fully understand that it was hard to sell and leave this beautiful house. But I have the feeling that something "bigger" was waiting for you.

  6. Beautiful house Patty .. the wooden planked dome reminds me of Bali houses. I love hearing about peoples lives ... thanks for sharing. It's like a bedtime story, right? I'll keep tuning in .. you have me hooked. xxDonna

  7. goosebumps. what a gorgeous casa. can't wait for part two.

  8. Thank-you for sharing this. So true that sometimes we have to let go of what we thought we loved the move on grow. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story here.

  9. ohhhh...excited to hear the rest of the story!!

    beautiful home!!!!

  10. I so love the look of your house, Patty! Especially that round room at the top. (There is something about a round room.) How wonderful to design it yourself and see it go from concept to something you could actually live in. Lots of courage to leave, for sure. Can't wait for the rest of the story!

  11. Oh My Gosh..I Was Just Getting Into Your Story ~ Then Ran Smack Into "To Be Continued"! So Interesting To Learn More About Your Journey Patty. I'm Anxious To Read More So For Sure I'll Return For Following Chapters. :)) And POO To The Publishing House That Overlooked Your Story! Oh..And About The "Burn~out" Feelings You Described..Friend, I Know Precisely Where You Were With That! In Days Past When Dealing With Similar Circumstances, I'd Cry First Thing In The Morning And Ask God For The Courage To Put My Feet On The Floor. I'm So Happy You Found The Courage To Move Forward..and I'm Excited To Hear Your Full Story Unfold. Sending You Some Love And Georgia Sunshine Today, Terri


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