Thursday, July 1, 2010

South Texas ranch.

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"The country life is to be preferred, for there we see the works of God, but in the cities little less than the works of men. And the one makes a better subject for contemplation than the other."

-William Penn

The hubby and I have always talked of owning a ranch someday. A small ranch...nothing big, but a place where we could spread our wings. A haven from the world. A place where our son could learn to love nature by being outdoors helping his Daddy clear brush, mow, take care of cows and horses, fish in a pond and all kinds of things kids can do when they live out on some land. Both the hubby and I grew up in the country. Our homes were a few miles outside of our hometown of Gilmer, Texas. A small, rural town with just under 5,000 people. As a kid, it was a great place to grow up.

For me, when I was very young, we first lived in the city limits of Gilmer. On Greenway street in a little, quaint home. I learned to ride my bike in this neighborhood and had so much fun stopping in at each of my friend's houses down the street. At the time we lived in the "Patterson Edition", a much desired subdivision in my hometown where so many of my closest friends lived. At the latter part of my 1st grade year in elementary school, my parents were considering buying a larger lot in the back side of the Patterson Edition. It would be the place where they would build the home that my brothers and I would grow up in. Where we would plant our roots and create childhood memories.

As a little girl, I remember being overjoyed about this prospect. But then--fate intervened or should I say a more higher, divine power, either way, our plans for the Patterson Edition living suddenly were not as certain. Mom and Dad found a piece of land out in the country-- just off Latch road , right outside of our hometown-- 28 acres to be exact. It was a beautiful piece of property, but it most definitely did not fit into my social plans for the future. No doubt, my parents had a big decision to make....to build their home in the city or out in the country. In fact, I remember with such clarity the process they went about while trying to make the right decision about where to build their home. By this time, I was in 2nd grade and I still remember the day when my parents sat myself and my three brothers down and presented our options for where we could build our home. They wanted to know where we wanted to live. Of course, I feel fairly confident, being the sassy girl that I was, I must have made a lively argument to go forward with the purchase of the lot in the Patterson Edition.

Looking back, I now realize that this must have been a difficult decision for my young parents to make. They had the wisdom to understand that where they built their home and raised their children was something that could not be taken lightly. I am sure that they had a strong desire to ensure that our new home would be a safe-haven for our family of six. A place where they could care for us, teach us, and protect us. A place where we would have ample space to innocently run and play as kids, enjoy nature and have the privacy to spend quality time as a family. I still remember the day that we went as a family to the lot we were considering buying in the Patterson Edition. We walked to the center of it which was a wooded area and knelt in prayer as a family. My dad offered a simple yet heartfelt prayer. He prayed for guidance and direction as to which path we should take. And quite honestly, I remember peaking out of one eye the entire time and saying my own selfish prayer that 1.) none of my friends in the neighborhood would see my family out in broad daylight kneeling in prayer -and- 2.) my parents would come to their senses and buy the lot in town and not move us out to the country.

My parents received an answer to their prayers and in the end, it was the right one. Selfishly, at the time, it wasn't the answer I was hoping for--but it was what was best for our family. We built our home on that 28 acres and it was the beginning of my life as a country girl...well kind of.

Now as an adult, I am so. so. so very grateful that my parents chose to make our home in the country. All 28 acres of our family's land proved over the years to be the stomping ground for me and my brothers for many years. We roamed and played all over that pasture, we helped our granddad take care of cows, jumped across the "bumpers" and had great fun playing on all those hay bales. It's where I learned to drive my dad's truck and, well...it's the same place I wrecked his pick-up truck...ugh!! We'll save that story for another day. And as far as my social concerns, I had many a great slumber party and looking back, my friends never seemed to mind that they had to drive to the country to come play or hang out with me. In fact, most seemed to enjoy their time at our place.

Life in the country proved to be (and continues to be) an escape from the world for my family. I am also fortunate that my in-laws have made their home as well on a piece of property that his family has nicknamed "The Resort". It is a peaceful and beautiful respite from the world.

We have hopes someday to build something similar for our family....a respite from the world. A place that our loved ones and friends will want to come and visit. A place where special memories can be made....memories that will last a lifetime.

A dear friend of ours purchased his own "little piece of heaven"--that's what we call it here in Texas. It is a 200 acre ranch that he has been slowly working on and prepping to build a home . This past week, we drove around the property. It made my heart swell with fond memories of living in the country as I walked around and took a few pics. Here is a glimpse of some South Texas ranch country.


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noah hat

I think Little Man is ready for the country life...what do you think?


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