Dear Friends & Family,
What an amazing year 2011 has been. Robert and I have never been more eager for this year to come to an end. As you've followed our progress you might remember some of our highlights this year. It is hard to believe a year ago we moved into the 'little house' in January. Although the house wasn't ready, I think we were ready to move out of the trailer. I remember Robert wiring the part of the house for electricity and having heat. I also remember he had to trench a long way to get electricity to the house and how remarkable that day was. Of course moving our furniture from Weatherford really made the 'little house' feel like home. It was special to sit on our sofa and sleep in a bed without walking two feet to open a fridge...teasing about the size of our living space in the trailer and reminding myself I can do many things beyond my own expectation and living in a travel trailer with two children in school and limited water for 1/2 the school year was one of those things.
Spring is usually my favourite time of the year, everything started out green, but quickly dried up like our drilling for our well. Water this year was heavy on our hearts and desires. It's interesting how much we take for granted in modern living and how essential certain things are that we don't think about. As some of you read about our drilling experience and getting a dry cavity. We ended up using plan B and trenching over half a mile from the co-op meter we had to pay to install at the end of our lane and piping the water 1/2 mile back was the direction we ended up taking. It was a miracle that Bud made happen with a lot of sweat, hard earned money and his amazing determination and will power. Having running water at the house was our idea at the time like finding that pot at the end of the rainbow. I pray that we'll always be grateful for what God provides us.
Water is never far from my thoughts as we witnessed the WORST DROUGHT in Texas History. But as the saying goes, Texas does everything BIG or BIGGER! Of course we had to add another record of having over 70 days in some areas of temperatures of 100 degrees. Lakes, rivers, ponds, stock tanks and our land dried up before our eyes. All the beautiful wildflowers that I had waited for, died or never bloomed. However, having a garden hose and a slip and slide the children managed to have fun. We were fortunate that our large pond was deep enough (possibly spring fed) and did not dry up, but went down 8 feet. It did allow us to walk around the pond and experience different parts of nature that we hadn't when the pond was full our first summer here.
I suppose I could skimmed over Robert actually plumbing the water into the house and flushing a toilet for the first time and I hope the children learned how much work that is involved in having a flushing toilet, because they saw their dad out side for days digging a hole big enough for our septic tank and trenching two long lateral lines. I have learned more about plumbing than I'd liked to know...smile.
We also managed to plumb in our bathtub and it's been a luxury that I have enjoyed having back in my life.
As you can imagine we couldn't wait for school to start because it meant Summer is over and hopefully we'd see the temperatures drop. Robert managed to move the front loaders out to the house and when I hear their little tunes play at the end of the cycle, it feels like the heavens have opened and angels are singing. As many mothers might relate to laundry being one of their least favourite chores, imagine that and then hand washing it outside or for several months we actually took it to the Weatherford house to wash and I can say, I did manage to avoid public facilities. I was so thankful to have my lovely front loaders here and try to remember to appreciate being able to do laundry for the rest of my life, because when you think things are hard, honestly they can be a lot worse.
The Little House is steadily becoming more and more as one with the land and our family has reaped what it's sown and abundantly more from this past year. As some of you might realize, we're living our dream, but living a dream isn't like dreaming one, it requires a lot of hard work, passion, desire to make it happen, disappointments and ups and downs on the way, but the bounty that we've already experienced reminds us so often how blessed we truly are to be a part of this creation.
We'd like to thank everyone who has been following our journey and we hope you're living your dreams, too.
Jennifer, Robert, Audrey & Jack