On Heading to the Country

by arianne

I’ve always been in love with stories. Books, literature, little worlds that I could become a part of just by turning a page.  I remember being so enthralled with the Little House books, reading all about how Laura Ingalls Wilder went from young pioneer girl to pioneer woman.  It made me yearn to branch out, to become a pioneer in life and in my heart.

I distinctly remember longing for my own lovely white handkerchief to gently fold around a piece of bread to serve as my lunch, and wishing that a cup of sugar was as rare and beautiful now as it was when Laura Ingalls was a child.  All those things simple yet precious, unlike life in the suburbs where what had once been thought beautiful, had become mundane.   Dwelling on the simple and beautiful sparked a fire inside me.

I also became mesmerized by country, prairie living.  Growing up in the Arizona desert meant that I spent my summers either in a swimming pool or indoors, because 120+ degree heat does not make for outdoor exploring.  Even when the weather wasn’t too hot, the exploring wasn’t my kind — rocks and snakes and scorpions and dust didn’t seem to excite me the way tales of the country did.

As far as I can remember myself (when did you first meet yourself?), I have been a person that thinks differently than most…a go against the grain type of girl.  A pioneer of the heart. But I sometimes wonder if all those pioneer books planted a seed of adventure and squashed fears of the unknown, inside me, more than I was made that way?  Either way, it is a part of me now.  I have always wanted my own homestead, thrilled at the blessings of daily tasks that would make a family whole.

I long for that homestead, still, and I’m not afraid to wander until I find it.

***

This year we’ve slowly seen doors closing here in Chicago-land, and doors opening elsewhere.  We’ve felt the call to pack up this family and head out to another adventure.  Not Prairie, like Laura Ingalls did, but Low Country.  She west, me east.

Our family has been through so many trials and tribulations this year, we’ve found our hearts longing for a place we could go to heal.  Somewhere that could give us a respite, a time to rebuild.

At least that is how the searching started.

Now that we’ve found our destination, we’ve realized it’s not that this place is a place to heal (even though it is) or that it’s a place we can rest (even though we can), but it’s that we discovered that this new place is actually Home.

For the first time in my life, I went to a completely new city in the South, new culture, new everything, and felt like I had finally come Home.

In just two short weeks, we’ll be packing up this family and heading to our new home in Charleston, South Carolina.  We couldn’t be more excited!

The great thing about going where you feel God is calling you, is that it gives you peace to get through the hard bumps and bruises along the way.  We will all miss our friends here dearly.  Thankfully we know that just as the internet has brought us long distance best friends, it will also keep our Chicago-land friends close to our hearts, no matter where we may wander.

I hope you’ll join me as I learn the ways of southerners, discover all the lovely they’ve been keeping to themselves all this time, and build our homestead among the rivers, marsh, ocean and forests of Charleston.  We’ll need your positive thoughts and prayers as we transition these three special needs boys to a whole new place and routine.

I’m sure we’ll have stories of adventure and trials and fun and everything else.  But first, meet my new front porch:

low country front porch

It looks like the sort of place that can shape a woman’s soul, no?

We are beyond blessed to live in this lovely house in the low country, many prayers have been answered and much research rewarded.  We can’t wait to get there and make this house our Home.

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