Tuesday, November 30, 2004

IT'S ALL ABOUT CHOICES

Sometimes I read what I've written about our old house and wonder if I've give folks the wrong impression.  I hate to hear people "poor-mouth".  You know, "We never get anything."  "I can't afford it."  We'll never be able to... " blah blah blah, fill in the blanks here.

I'd love to have a simple, one-story modular home.  Our credit is good, and we could have one.  It's just that the payments would hinder our lifestyle. 

When we'd been married a little over a year, we found a twenty-acre place with a dumpy little drafty house (that's it in the faded picture), and bought it.  We've never looked back.  Many people don't realize that it's expensive to live in the country.  Propane makes heating very pricey.  Fences and outbuildings must be built and maintained for the (un-necessary) livestock.  It always seemed like doing anything to the house was on the bottom of our list of priorities.  It's about choices. 

Now we're about twenty miles from where we started, in this old, drafty, two-story house.  We finally put siding on it just so it wouldn't be such an eyesore for our neighbors to look at.

Through my children's growing-up years, I chose not to work.  I stayed home and enjoyed my babies and tended my livestock:  in short, I did everything I wanted to do.  As the kids got older, I worked occasionally; I've never had a driver's license, so any job I've had was hinged on my getting a ride with someone; but that's just another choice I made... not to drive.  Cliff worked for a small family butcher shop in the early years of our marriage, and, looking back, it amazes me that we not only survived, but maintained excellent credit.

We've always chosen cows, horses, tractors, and even computers and an expensive Gibson guitar, over remodeling.    

Five years ago we refinanced this place in order to build a shop for Cliff... not because he needed it, but because I felt he deserved it for all the years he spent doing without things  while our kids were growing up.  He spends almost all his waking hours there when he's not out earning a living, so it's money well invested; he's living his dream.  He has a variety of old tractors to tinker with, and a new, rather expensive little John Deere just because, once again, he deserves it.

My point is this:  if a new house had been at the top of our priority list, we'd be living in one now.  Cliff and I just happen to have peculiar priorities!  And every time I catch myself griping about "this old dump", I remind myself of this fact. 

10 comments:

ryanagi said...

It's all in the priorities. As long as the roof over your head is keeping off the rain and you're happy, that's all ya need. :-)

simwarford said...

I love your house! Of course, I live in an old, drafty house--and it's by choice. I just love the history and character--and figure I can put up with a few drafts. Central heat would be nice, though.
Probably the biggest mistake my folks ever made was selling the old house to build the new; not only were they deeply in debt for over 20 years, after about 5 years, it started needing maintenance every bit as much as the old one! Talk about a nasty surprise! At least with an old house, the foundation's already cracked, it's finished settling, and you know what you have. And have to look forward to.
And electricity, phone service, and water (if you get rural water) are a lot more expensive in the country than in town! Which most people don't realize either.
I'm glad (or at least I hope) I have a few more years to decide whether to move out to the farm, or stay here in town. It's going to be a really hard decision. And, unfortunately, I can't have both.

ksquester said...

Your title says it all! I chose to live where we do. It's more than I ever dreamed I would have as a younger woman. The thought of moving just does me in. I would have to clean out the junk rooms, have a garage sale, call the Vets for a pick up.......well that does it, I might as well just stay here. ;-)   Anne

barbpinion said...

It IS all about choices. My husband and I have little. But if he died tomorrow, or I did, we'd have 31 years of memories, wonderful ones, of the things we did that made us happy. Our choices frustrated other people. Not us. And that is what matters. LOVE your house. I really do like reading your entries. SO glad you're part of J-land. Happy Holidays. *Barb* http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/HEYLETSTALK

firestormkids04 said...

Where I've lived and what I've done, I don't regret a day - And if I had it to do over again, I'd do it the same old way . . .Penny
http:/journals.aol.com/Firestormkids04/FromHereToThere

csandhollow said...

i love your house! The only reason we have our new trailer is so we could keep Brook with us. We were just as happy in our travel trailer!(It never moved)

cyandfayedavis said...

Your house is NOT a dump.  Home is where the heart is and all those other sayings that you already know.  Why give up freedom for debt?  When you are not on a "down" day I know your heart bursts with joy at where you are in your life and your lifestyle.  As well it should!!!!!  While out in the predawn chill of new snow gathering logs for the wood stove I would often tell myself "this a great priviledge that no other woman in my office enjoys".  Most of the time I believed it.  The wood stove is gone and so is the public working.  I don't miss either.  But I would trade this debt for less.  

fierro6 said...

Although I am wishing to be somewhere other than a high-rent townhouse, I can be thankful that I can visit my childhood home.  That's why it's so depressing when you talk about moving (I know it's all talk, but depressing nonetheless.)  I can't imagine life without the home place.  It's wonderful just the way it is, drafts and all!

toonguykc said...

You said in your introduction that you were happy to be where you are in your life.   I believe you've made all the best choices to the best of your abilities.  A house is not just a structure -- it's a family member.  I think your home sounds great.  

amy122389 said...

This was such a wonderful entry.  I can relate so much...  :)
~Amy