Exactly two years and one day ago, my family landed back in the good old USA after spending 3 years in Germany because of the Military. The 9 hour flight was terrible with bad turbulence! But despite that, it was good to be home.
When we landed in America, there was a crowd of people right outside the gate giving out water, bags of snacks, and actual girl scouts giving out girl scout cookies.. All of us military familys thought that it was some kind of a mistake when they started to give the stuff to us military families, instead of waiting to give it to all of the soldiers coming home from deployment. I was in tears later as I realized that they were truly ment for us and that, after 12 years in the military, someone was actually doing something for the FAMILIES of the military, not just the soldiers. After 9 hours of bumpy flying and an hour of going through customs, my mom and I felt sick, we were all sleep deprived, and us girls had eaten very little in the plane (by choice because we felt sick). I swear my brother and dad could sleep anywhere! And the boys, not feeling sick, had scarfed down mom and I’s food no problem. But those simple bags of chips, rice crispy treats, and water bottles were a huge life saver to all of us families, and we were all so grateful for some food and water.
As we took a shuttle bus to one of the nearest hotels (to get five hours of sleep before driving all day), some of the other military families and I were joking about how great it was to be back in America. No paying for public restrooms or shopping carts, and driving on BIG ROADS again! Yay! 😂
Exactly two years ago, after driving 11 hours from Baltimore Maryland to Michigan, with my mom, my dad, my brother, and a cat, I was finally home..!
My homesteading journey started that day. Exactly two years ago. When I moved back home, became a civilian, and left my parents to move in with my grandparents to help take care of them and learn from them. I started my future..!
It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come in the past two years! There has been a LOT of firsts for me, and a LOT of trying new things these past two years.
Like my first time building something!
My grandmother had this beautiful metal archway that was in one of her many gardens. The first year I was here, the wind rudely knocked it over and broke the archway. My grandmother was devastated! So I thought, ‘how hard can it be to build her a new one?’ With a few days of plotting, three days building, and zero experience, the archway formed and I surprised her with her new archway in her garden right after the new year. To my surprise, it’s still standing!
Or the first time I got to paint my room!
To other people this may not be that big of a deal. But to someone who was never allowed to paint their room because of military housing, IT’S A HUGE DEAL! I love my room! The second I moved into it, my grandmother used it as an excuse to rip out the ugly blue carpeting and told me to paint my room whatever color I wanted! Never wanting to see another white wall as long as I lived, I picked the closest shade of green I could get to pine trees outside my window and spent the whole day painting my room with a paintbrush (see above). My arm was killing me by the end of that day (but it was worth it)! I was allowed to put nails in my walls as well, to hang stuff up with (again, not a big deal to some, but it means the world to me), and stars on my ceiling! I’ll say it again, I love my room!
And let’s not forget my first ever garden!
I had moved back home just in time for spring, and my grandmother quickly had me learning how to garden! I was so mesmerized by watching everything grow. Most of the stuff I grew my first year was gotten at a nursery, only the lettuce, a few tomatoes, and a few cucumbers, were grown from seeds. The seeds didn’t make it that far in life, not with the raccoons quickly trying to take over the garden as their own person buffet.
Speaking of raccoons, I can’t tell you how many times I had to chase those dang things away from the bird feeders! They just kept coming back for more!
I survived my first winter!
Now, you would think that being from Michigan, the snow wouldn’t have been much of a shock to me..! Sadly, after living in Kentucky for three years, Georgia for two years, and Germany (with VERY light winters) for three years, my body wasn’t ready for just how truly cold Michigan gets in the winter. And the SNOW! I was not mentally ready for the amount of snow we had gotten that first year, and not physically ready for all of the shoveling I had to do! I tried explaining to some of my southern friends (whom I used to laugh at for calling two inches of snow a ‘lot’ of snow) just how much snow we got and how cold it was. One of my good friends from Georgia told me that shoveling was the northern version of an extreme workout. How ever long your driveway was, determined the level of workout you did. She wasn’t wrong..!
All the new things I’ve added to the homestead!
Trees, a cut flower garden, an obstacle course, a greenhouse, a new compost, and new equipment are just some of the things that have been added to the homestead in the past two years since I moved in. True, some of these things didn’t work out (the greenhouse is in shambles, the compost fell apart, and the trees were eaten by deer), but that’s part of the fun right? You learn, you redo, and you make new!
I can’t believe it’s been two years of living this beautiful life! I love the military, and I wouldn’t have traded my ‘unusual’ childhood for anything! I got to see the world, meet new people, and learn about so many different cultures. But I sure am glad to be home and in one place, and can’t I wait for the rest of my family to join me (so close to retirement dad!). So I raise my glass (or cup of tea) to my future. To all of the adventures to come, all the firsts still yet to be, and all of the things that will be added in the near future.
See more everyday homesteading stuff like quotes, lifestyle, pictures, stories, etc, at my official Facebook page here.