It’s been quite a start to the year for me, much as it was quite an ending to last year. I started a new job in early December as the marketing manager at TRACE International. I worked there previously — from 2014 to 2016 — and in an entirely different role. I enjoyed my time there and was sad to leave, but we moved from Maryland to Ohio. Working remotely wasn’t an option.
I never quite found the career fulfillment I enjoyed at TRACE, once we were in Ohio. One silver lining of COVID, I suppose, is that so many companies had to shift to remote work. That included TRACE. And that’s what allowed me to come back. It’s different, of course. I miss the office parties and potlucks. I miss the camaraderie I had with my co-workers. It’s not quite the same over GoToMeeting. But I’m still so happy to be back, and I’m learning so much. I felt so stagnant before because I wasn’t being challenged or learning anything new. But now I’m expanding my skill set at a rapid pace, and I am not afraid to jump in with both feet when I’m tasked with something I have no idea how to do. I’m very lucky to have a boss who trusts I will figure things out.
So, there’s the new job. And at the same time, we closed on our new house and moved.
I can’t recommend experiencing two major life changes at once. However, I am on the other side of it now and I survived. A bit bruised and beaten up, but otherwise intact.
This is how I ended 2021 and started 2022. With each passing day, I get more settled into my new role and my new home.
We’re still not completely settled in yet (and I still have a gaping hole in my kitchen cabinets where a dishwasher ought to be by now — we’ve hit a few snags with Home Depot), but I feel so much more at peace than I did living in the suburbs. I relish the slower pace of life. And we still live 10 minutes away from grocery stores and good pizza. (And a hospital, which is also helpful.) What more do you need?
It’s so much quieter here. And I can’t get enough of walking around our five acres, even if it does get really squishy when it rains (and it’s been raining A LOT … I have definitely been making good use of my new rain boots). Blitz loves it, too. Every time we go out for a stroll around the yard, he becomes ten years younger. Especially the other day when it snowed.
Here is what I know about what we now call Five Acre Fruit Farm:
- At least one snapping turtle lives in our pond. We also have fish.
- We have a walking path that cuts through a grove of trees at the very back of the property.
- Wildlife sightings/signs spotted on the property include a great horned owl, a fox, deer, rabbits, and raccoons.
- We have a huge barn filled with old, rusty garden implements; broken garden carts that need mending; an old riding mower; dozens of clay pots; tons of firewood; bricks; paving stones; rocks; and sundry other items that may or may not be useful.
- I am now the proud owner of too many mason jars to count.
Of course, there is also the reason we call it Five Acre Fruit Farm. The yard features:
- 8 apple trees
- 1 pear tree
- 1 cherry tree
- 1 peach tree
- 1 mulberry tree
In addition to black raspberries, Concord grapes, strawberries, and who knows what else?
I felt like I could barely deal with my small suburban yard and the veggie patch. Now I have FIVE+ ACRES and quite a lot of fruit production — not to mention whatever comes back in all those raised beds you see in the above photo. I need to learn to be OK with weeds. I’m also suddenly enthusiastic about bat boxes and thinking about where to install some (near our pond, I suppose).
Sometimes, I think we were insane to buy this house. And sometimes I am excited to think about the new discoveries I will no doubt make on a regular basis.
So, my resolution for 2022 (if you want to call it that) is to enjoy the process of discovering this property. And to write about it here. I never had a specific theme for this blog before. I would just write whatever I felt like writing. But now I feel this blog must be about life here at Five Acre Fruit Farm.