The Neighbors

After reading the launch post of my blog, my neighbor said, “I can’t believe you didn’t say anything about your interesting neighbors.”  Taken aback a bit, I realized she was right to call me on my lack of introduction. My neighbors unquestionably deserve a mention. Matter of fact, they are interesting enough for an entire post.

When the hubby and I made our list of pros and cons for buying the parent’s place, the “neighbors” were taken into consideration (just to clarify, they were on the pro side). It so happens these neighbors are part of the family, the baby sister and her husband (now that you know she is the baby of the family you understand why she asked about being left out). They built a house on the family land a couple of years ago, but that was after constructing a photo studio…….. a mini version of the log house.  They are awesome photographers. They specialize in high school seniors, school and sports photography, and commercial and environmental shots. I can also vouch for their ability to make me look less scary in a headshot. That takes work. Since I gave them a plug here, go ahead and check out their website

In addition to photography, they flip houses. They aren’t into the shiplap like the Gaines, but their work and renovation projects sell fast. If not for my neighbor and her designer’s touch, my sunroom would be blue, the bathroom floor would be something besides tile (some ladies like jewelry, my sister was thrilled with a new tile saw her hubby purchased), and I wouldn’t have an accent wall that everyone seems to admire when they visit.

Last, the neighbors have chickens and baby doll sheep. Receiving fresh eggs unquestionably has its perks. The baby dolls are just adorable with cute names. All, but one, are expecting baby lambs any day. Oh, and the neighbor just got new baby chicks. Baby lambs and baby chicks will earn this granny extra marks with the granddaughter. Who doesn’t want to pet a lamb and hold a chick at Easter?

So, having neighbors that are family, friends, talented helpers, and just plain fun to be around positively enhances life here on Windy Hill. It’s nice to have someone to drink a cup of coffee with (did I mention they have a cappuccino machine) and to share pizza on the deck. As Gilbert K. Chesterton said, we make our friends: we make our enemies: but God makes our next door neighbor.

Life is good on Windy Hill.

Windy Hill

Our new place doesn’t need a name, but I wanted one. It has an address for identification and we call it home. We called it Mom and Dad’s for 20 years. Even after their deaths in 2011 and 2013, we still called it Mom and Dad’s.

At some point, I noticed my struggle and my sisters to call it something else. We needed something less sad. It happened naturally to start calling it the farm. Even though it isn’t a working farm today (unless you count briers and privet), it has the acreage for possibilities. We didn’t think it too unrealistic to call it the farm.

It doesn’t take long to realize the wind blows all the time at the farm. When I was young, we lived across the road in the house that Mom and Dad built in the 1950s after they married (They built this house after retirement.). I remember sleeping in the front bedroom with the wind whistling around the corners until I covered my ears to sleep.  I had lots of dreams about The Wizard of Oz when the wind howled at night (I actually thought our apple trees turned into tornadoes….that’s another post.).

In summer, the wind provides much needed relief from the humidity and heat. In winter, the wind is not a good thing. It’s brutal. It pierces your skin and chills straight to the bone. When Mom was still here, I remember ringing the doorbell and waiting….and waiting……and waiting. Between Mom’s loud music playing (My own loud music and reading addiction came from Mom), her slower pace, and the square footage, it could take a while. When she finally arrived to let me in, I would fall into the doorway with my teeth chattering from the wind. Granted, it isn’t North Dakota frigid, but for the south it’s pretty darn cold.

So although I spent years in marketing and trying to be creative, it wasn’t that hard to find a name for our home. The truth is…the wind blows all the time. Our house is on a hill. I’d love to tell you it was something much deeper and emotional that created the name, but just plain calling it like we feel and see it.

Windy Hill it is.

We love this life on Windy Hill.

Adventure Awaits

That’s what the sign says. A retirement gift from a co-worker. The official retirement date is later this year, but with some time built up, I’m planning to spend a few months relaxing and preparing to say, “I’m retired”. I’ve had a job since 12, so it’s uncharted territory for this Type A personality. I believe it will take practice.

My timing isn’t great. In addition to figuring out how to retire, David and I just moved. We’ve lived in the same house for 30 years. We bought Mom and Dad’s place in 2016.  Who knew it would take 16 months to renovate and paint (that’s a whole post by itself)?

I had no way of knowing when I turned in my notice for retirement that moving and quitting would roll into one big, life changing ball. The quote comes to mind that life happens while busy making plans.

So, I now have free time previously dedicated to the two-way trip to the Bluegrass State, and the 50+ hours of actual marketing work. I also have the extra time I dedicated to  painting 400 miles (not really, but felt like it) of stained trim. Don’t get me wrong, the house is not finished. There are no doors on the closet or laundry. There’s more trim to paint (I missed some). We have a laundry room leak that continues to baffle us, and corners without accent chairs (when I took down the Christmas trees—big space left).

There are recipes to try (or better yet, investigate a Blue Apron or Hello Fresh service), and I’m seriously thinking about starting some bee hives. I believe the honey bee needs help. I hear if done well, there’s honey in it for us. We love honey.

When the weather warms, I want to put to use the small amount of knowledge I gained from the Master Gardener class (My fault not the instructor’s. He lost me at grasses.) and plant bee-loving and bouquet flowers. I have a half-finished lasagna garden.

I have a beautiful grand daughter and a brand new grandson born a few weeks ago (He’s adorable by the way).  I will have and make time for granny adventures.

So, with all the possibilities – here are the real reasons to occasionally post a blog.

  • To entertain myself and my brain so I don’t forget my words. (I’ve been moving into the stage of calling everything a “thing”.)
  • Writing will give me something to do besides sniffing paint fumes in a room with little ventilation.
  • I sometimes have introvert tendencies so a connection to the outside world is a must-even if it is not in person.
  • While searching for a subject, it will help me “take notice” of what is important.

That’s the plan anyway.

Join me here at

Adventure awaits.