Solace and Unease

Homestead in Cullom IL

When I’m facing a big change, I find comfort in serendipity – any little sign that I’m doing the “right thing.” We arrived in Cullom, Illinois safely on Thursday evening, April 25. We had a lot to be thankful for. in our 2000 Ford F150 with California plates. Up until a week before we started our move, it wasn’t reliable at all. Our repair shop in Sunnyvale fixed it up just in time! We missed the line of tornadoes that ripped up I80 in Nebraska and Iowa by about 24 hours. Neither of us fell asleep at the wheel. None of our lodging had bedbugs. We got to visit friends along our way, one we hadn’t seen in 30 years!

The best sign that we were heading into a happy-ending sunset came on Monday night. Our new home has a private Facebook group for sharing updates and requests in our community. As I checked the new posts, I saw something I didn’t quite believe at first. The latest post was a photo of our destination at sunset. Liz Ann, the photographer and post’s author, wrote that she’d taken the image a couple summers ago and that she found the place very beautiful. She didn’t know whose farm it was, so I claimed it and announced we are moving in this month. Liz Ann graciously gave me permission to use the image, so I’m sharing it here with you.

So happy to be home – also, there’s a lot to do!

As the inheritor of a run-down farmhouse, I have been unsure what to do with the property. Some old houses are demolished and plowed under for crops. I can think of several examples. Liz Ann’s admiration puts a vote in favor of restoration. I wrote in my response that I considered the photo a lovely house-warming present.

So, how do I feel leaving Sunnyvale and California and taking up residence in Illinois?

Physically, I have allergies. I lost some weight during the process due to being ill. I’m comfortable, mostly. We treated ourselves to a favorite restaurant yesterday – yummy food and drinks are so welcoming!

Mentally, I feel glad that I started work the day after I got back. It’s a bit of a distraction from all the boxes we have yet to unpack. We moved into my dad’s home with most of his stuff still in it. Wade wants an underwear drawer to call his own. So that’s doable. I need to start revising and updating and adding to the huge list of things to do around here.

Emotionally, I’m in shock, I guess. I needed tissues because of allergies and I put back the ones with lemons because I miss our citrus tress already. I miss easy access to organic vegetables and fruit. I don’t really miss any of things shoved into storage, yet. Being here in the house where I grew up is comfortable, like wearing favorite warm loungewear on a cold night. If I’m honest, I’m also resentful of my father who left a lot of things for me to fix and sort through. (More about that in upcoming posts.)

In short, I’m thinking “And now, the work begins.” What work, though? Where do we even start?

Today, we’re reviewing a bid to renovate the apartment we plan to move into while we do whatever it is we’ll to do this house once we clean all my dad’s things out of it. Also, we’re setting up that underwear drawer. I have a Rotary Vocational Training Team meeting with Generation Girl in Indonesia. I am going to a funeral for a cousin who passed away and making a salad for the repast dinner at the community hall after the service. Life goes on.

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