Well, here we are, a full nine months on from my last blog entry. How time flies.
As I hinted in the last entry, a great deal has happened in the last nine months. We had, at a number of times in the past, thought about looking for another property especially when things had started to get us down when we had encountered conflicts, but after the passing of BJ in December it was a different feeling. For Melisa it was almost a realisation that BJ was the glue that has stuck us to Colorado, and without her there was little to hold us here. Some soul searching led us to conclude that, for the lifestyle we wanted, the Colorado property was far from being the best suited to the direction that we wanted to go in. The other events of the year had left us in the situation where, if we wanted to move on, now was the time to do it. We looked at alternative properties in other states, particularly in Melisa’s home state of Michigan, and drew up a shortlist. In January, Melisa went to Michigan, while I ‘Ranch sat’, to look at a few of them, and whittled down the list to two. Then she returned to Colorado and we swapped. My visit to Michigan finalised the list to one.
The months that followed saw some frantic activity, securing finance and packing things up on the ranch and a great deal of arranging of transportation for belongings, animals, vehicles and even two very large rocks! A deal was struck with one of my colleagues to get an extended leave to give me more time at home to help with the move and getting settled in Michigan, and in May, we made the big move.
For us, the road trip was fairly straight forward; two people, two cars, two trailers, four dogs, five goats, six states and 1500 miles all in 46 hours door to door. For the rest of the move we had to arrange a haulage company to move 3 semi’s of stuff from the ranch and storage in Colorado to Michigan, and two others to move the rest of the livestock and the expanding collection of cars.
Of course, getting there was only half the story, as it almost always is in situations like this. Once there, you always find things that need doing over what you had expected or planned. We have done a lot of jobs, and still have a lot to do, but things are slowly taking shape. We had hoped that we would have everything done the way we wanted by Christmas this year, but the reality is that Christmas NEXT year may be being optimistic.
Anyway, our new property is still fairly rural, 20 acres, mainly tree covered with a natural spring fed pond near the center, with a little stream flowing across it. A small house and a variety of outbuildings give us most of the accommodations we need.
We have already done a great deal in the garden. We took many of our plants from
Colorado and for the most part the majority of them are flourishing in their new home. We have also planted a good number of fruit trees and bushes to create our own orchard.
Work has commenced on clearing some of the older and more at risk trees as we have had three or four fall over just in the short time that we have been here. I had been worried that, with the number of tree that we were going to have to take out, that we would lose the feel of the property, but the landscaper pointed out all the small saplings that are being stunted by the older trees and assures us that once the old trees are gone, the saplings will rocket up!
Plans are afoot to re-roof the out-buildings to make them bigger, more secure and more stable in temperature variation. And in the spring we will start with some alteration to the house itself, mainly re-building the existing sun-room to make it more comfortable and versatile, and expanding the entry hallway and adding a covered porch on the front. After all, I need somewhere for my rocking chair!
Doubtless, I will be posting more on the subject of the work that we have done to the property as time move relentlessly onward. And I will, of course, be posting more photographs in the future.. he said in a vaguely threatening maner!