It's 145 days until Mark graduates...145 days! If you only knew how long of a process this has been. I mean, Mark has only been going 6 years (not bad if you think that most people do it in 5 years and we've moved to Florida and back, had babies etc.) but school has just been such a big deciding factor in our lives...I am incredibly proud of Mark for sticking with school and not giving up. He's an amazing father and I cannot wait to see him teach his very own classroom full of children. He's trying to figure out ways to integrate "green" lessons with science and math - imagine children cooking their afternoon snack in solar ovens that they made by hand! ...and I am so excited to be even the slightest part of all this.
We've been thinking about the garden a lot lately...my girl in Portland has hers already planned out...but (as usual) life has been crazy busy and I haven't had the chance to complete my excel sheet (maybe today?) - that's right people, I use an excel spreadsheet to layout my garden. Mark refers to me as "planner girl" - I HAVE to have a plan. I want the garden to be both pretty and functional and couldn't stand to look at it if my tomato plants were planted all haphazard throughout the garden...Last year, we built the trellis for the beans and cucumbers out of gathered sticks - this year I think we will do more of the same...but want to make sure that they are done earlier in the season. We'll share spreadsheets and pictures when we have them ready. Right now, our garden is sleeping soundly with a layer of leaves on top. Our potted plants are looking pretty sad - but I'm hoping that they will spring back to life come late March, early April...I've never done the container garden and am hoping that these wintry, cold, snowy days haven't affected my blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. I'm thinking of getting a couple of small fruit trees to start in pots and then by the time we have our home - we can plant them in the ground and enjoy the fruit. Fresh apple pie anyone?
So here's a question - if you could live any where you REALLY wanted to...where would it be. Think of it though - think of all the things that you need to consider...could you find work, is a local university important to you (to further your degree or just take some classes), what is the climate that you prefer, could you AFFORD the housing there? That is where we are at right now. The program where I work will not be around forever...perhaps it will last until the end of this year - or maybe squeeze another year out of it and then...who knows? So what does that mean for my career? I absolutely love what I do - I love the interaction with people, I love the flexibility, I have a great boss - I'd want to stay with the company as long as they have a position available...but where IS that position? Could there be another move in our future? We talked with the family last night and all came to the conclusion that Ohio really isn't what we thought it would be. I guess we had a case of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We felt drawn to Florida originally because we are all water people - we love to dig our toes in the sand. However, when we came home for a visit - we felt drawn back to Ohio to be near family and have the four seasons. We know that fate brought us to Florida and back to Ohio - we are here for a reason. Soon we will have the opportunity to move on (if we choose) and frankly being here in Ohio (to reference Big Fish) we are all "drying out". Everyone is open to moving - we never know how the kids will react to something like this - but they all seem up for the adventure. So where will fate bring us next? Still in Ohio - just outside of where we are now? We know that this city doesn't have the land we would need to do what we want...We'd have to be pretty far north or east of where we are. North Carolina? South Carolina? Georgia coast? Florida panhandle? Oregon? (ok...Oregon might be a little far...but if that is where fate is telling us - then we will follow) - We do feel that the next move will be the last. We see us buying the home/barn of our dreams, filling our pantry with foods from our land, building/rehabbing to fit our needs/wants, having amazing indoor and outdoor spaces for us to enjoy.
I feel like we talk about fate a lot. For us...that IS our religion. We don't believe in the Bible or the typical "Christian God" - but we do believe that there is a plan out there. We are supposed to be in certain places at certain times and cross paths with certain people - every moment is one to learn from, to grow from. I have a tattoo on my arm - it is Sanskrit for "Everything Happens For a Reason" - we very much believe this. I have the tattoo - because when times are tough, it's not always easy to remember that - that moment is happening FOR A REASON. Looking at my wrist has gotten me through some really tough times in the past.
....hmmm so where WILL fate take us?