Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SEA CHANGE or TREE CHANGE (07/13/17)
TITLE: Living the Dream?
By Nancy Sullivan
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To him, it was just another day on his second job. His first was as a firefighter doing the dangerous things they do without a single thought; his day-off job was that of a carpenter/roofer. I had trusted him with the single-most adventure of my life and our two young daughters’ lives, but that judgement seemed a little misplaced now as we led this one-vehicle parade east on a major interstate in, yes, Oklahoma!
A stroll through the local mall one Saturday afternoon had been the final match needed to ignite my husband’s dream of owning a few acres on the skirts of the city we had both lived in all of our lives. Those few acres would grow to 80 as his dreams never know normal limits. Throw in a model log cabin on display at the mall, and there was no going back, although more research had replaced the plan for logs with Hackett stone from Arkansas. Can this get any more rural?
A spur-of-the-moment decision to actually contact a realtor on a snowy winter morning in February led us to those 80 acres. How could we afford this much land on our modest income?
We couldn’t have even considered a piece of real estate that size if it actually had electricity, running water, or even a road! But we could be sweet-talked into the possibilities of a Little House on the Prairie spot complete with 45 acres of timber and, oh yes, the grassy open field that emerged after we had climbed the adjoining neighbor’s fence, trudged through partially frozen streams and ducked around low-hanging brush and tree limbs. Cue the theme as our two blond daughters scampered into open territory. We were home. A home as primitive as any scene from any 19th century setting could ever be. BUT, we did have that potty chair!
The real estate deal that must have had our grandmotherly agent/broker smiling and scratching her head simultaneously was finalized in 1978. Actual construction began in August, 1980, during Oklahoma’s hottest summer on record. Of course. And it also made perfect sense to my “macho, macho man” to build the barn first. And this story can only get better. Years and years of “better.”
The scraggly, bumpy road, carved by a friend on a tractor, also had a stream. The hottest summer on record couldn’t have warned these city folks of the raging, uncross-able river transformed by torrential rains. Who knew we would actually need a bridge? A few design fails spanning an equal number of rains, and we would eventually have an actual bridge that stayed in the original spot rather than being washed away in helpless rubble. And the bad judgement of an oil company that completely destroyed that one and only access to our home after one of those rains led to a decent road with layers of chat and gravel for most of that half mile to the other dirt road. Thank you, Lord!
That answered prayer was one of many being offered by us and our families still residing in civilization 60 miles away. Even my grandmother who had lived much the same scenario on another farm in Oklahoma, without a phone and inside bathroom at first, was wringing her hands at the thought of our taking two little girls into the wilds of the Sooner State.
My life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6 would be my reminder of His will for our family. Perfect will or permissive will? We simply trusted him to halt our decision at any given moment of the progression of our adventure. He didn’t.
Fifteen years later, after having lived that dream and actually surviving it with our marriage intact and two beautiful young women ready to face their own adventures, we would load our belongings and memories for a lifetime and return to the big city. But this time … there was no potty chair tied on top of the pickup.
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