Monday, September 23, 2013

This Autumn's Changes. . .

This year my favorite season brings more than just a change of seasons.  More than vibrant colors and crisp air.  More than pumpkins and scarecrows.

This year Autumn brings broken hearts.

Our neighbors--the ones who have the chickens we get our eggs from; the ones with all the kitties; the ones with the plot where we planted pumpkins--dropped a bomb on us the other day.  They are ready to sell the house.

Now, I had thought this day would come eventually, but not now.  Honestly, I always thought that they'd be there to the end, unable to give up what they had worked so hard for long.  The place they raised their daughters and the animals Mr. Bob becomes so attached to.

But circumstances are what they are, and it's too much for them anymore.  Even with our help and the help of their family, it's too much.  I get it, but still my heart aches.

We had hoped to be able to purchase the house and land from them when the time came.  For my parents to move in next door.  But my parents are not a point in their lives when they want to take on a house that needs renovating.  Especially after making their house what they want.

My husband and I would help care for the property.  I would rebuild the stalls in the barn for future horse(s), and the fix fencing around the small pen behind the barn for goats.  Bug and I would care for the chickens and goats.  My husband even said he'd rebuild the fencing around the back pastures and buy me a horse.

We'd need the lot across the street, too.  That is merely for insurance against future developers of the farm beyond.  Owning it would insure us that they couldn't put a road in right across from our house.  In fact, that piece is a hinge for us.  Without it, we may change our plans for our family's future here.

All of this makes it sound as if I don't want them to sell unless we can buy it.  And, while that would be wonderful, my heart does not break over who our neighbors may be in the future.  (Although it would also be wonderful if one of their grandkids could buy it.)  It breaks for losing the people who have planted roots in our hearts.

Bug and I have grown so close to Bob and Joan that they are like family.  We gallivant through the fruit trees and around the pond.  We search for new kittens in the barn and feed the chickens clover and long blades of grass.  We check on the produce in the garden and small orchard, harvesting what's ready.  Bug swings on the plastic tire sing hanging from the huge maple behind the house.

We visit for no other reason than, "I wanna go to Mr. Bob's."  And once inside, Bug raids the pistachios and candy closet.  He plays with the marble game Ms. Joan found for him.  He "vacuums" the sofa and floor with one of the attachments.  He talks to the kitties that live inside.  And he tells Mr. Bob and Ms. Joan all about everything going on in his life.  Sometimes he even calls them Grandmom and Grandpop.

The night I was told of this great upheaval, I couldn't sleep for visions of my little man running across the tractor-worn path under the maple on his way to the barn or pond.  I know that Bob and Joan are just as upset about this life change as I am.  Probably more.

We don't know what the future holds at this point.  All we can do is go along for the ride and make our plans as they need to be made.  For me, this means I have started looking into keeping our own backyard chickens and praying for strength and guidance.