An ode to The Meadows

property dodoMy parents bought 60 acres over a decade ago with dreams of our entire family building on it, complete with visuals of all the grandchildren riding around on bikes between the houses to borrow and return butter.

The son married a Canadian and moved to Vancouver, B.C. and has no desire to build and/or return to the blessed U.S. of A.

The three daughters are obsessed with the property and all want to build. Oddly enough, my parents had purchased this property in a round about way with some family friends, who have the accompanying 20 acres that we have to drive through to get to ours. AND my sister just happened to marry their son (okay, well, three years ago), and he has already started building a tiny home on their 20 acres, which just happens to be very close to where we think my family and I will end up, like throwing a football close. Brother-in-law throwing, not me. Anyway, we’re all totally stoked and have visions of raising our kids there together in a little non-commune commune, it’s a dream we all wish to see come to fruition.

We spend most holidays out there barbecuing, and even aforementioned sister and brother-in-law of course had their wedding out there. It was beautiful, we all helped plan it and put extra love and care into the details. Horse drawn carriage, hanging paper flowers and feathers, bales of hay for seating.

We lovingly nicknamed it “The Meadows” shortly after the two families purchased it, as a nod to one of the movies we’d bonded over after leaving “the church” together, So I Married an Axe Murderer. The part where Mike Myers playing the dad in his best Scottish accent, tells the son (also played by Mike Myers), that “It’s a well-known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.” And forevermore we have called any kind of conspiracy, or organized religion, meeting of elite people, or really anyone we remotely have an issue with, in our best Scottish accents “The Meadows” and since we would be meeting there and conspiring there, we thought it fit.

We also have names for most nooks and crannies. There’s the Ceremony site (pretty obvious why. It’s a gorgeous clearing tucked up inside the trees) where my husband and I hopefully get to build. We’re figuring out if we are buying a five acre parcel or if the county has changed the laws to where it has to be ten acre minimum now. Either way, we’ll have a million trees and this cherished Ceremony site. Then there’s the Camping site where little sis and bro have their Tiny Home and have spent the last decade camping (beautiful, in the trees. Imagine the most ideal camping spot you can drum up, and it’s that.). There’s also the Reception area (oh, my dad had made this amazing platform out in the middle of the big field and we rented a large tent and put up these posts all around with hanging lights and decoration, muahh!) where mom and dad are putting their home. There’s the smaller corral where brother-in-law has removed a lot of the fence to create a parking area. The larger corral where horses were boarded for a while. The lumber mill that was up front by the road, that has since been dismantled and moved to a neighbor’s farm. The creek running along the entire southern border. The pond with enormous mosquitoes. My brother-in-law built a mini Ewok village, tepee, tree houses. It’s lovely and beloved, this property is.

When my dad just had his big scare with his health a couple of months ago, we all worried that my parents were going to need to sell it if my dad could not continue working. This was devastating and future-changing, but my little sister and her husband stepped up and said they’d be willing to help make payments on it, help figure out how to divide off our five or ten acre spot to help reduce my parent’s payment, and do what it takes to keep the property in the family.

My sister told me with tears that they had planned on raising their kids under the tree they planted on their wedding day, had been married on the property because they imagined spending their lives on the property.

Soon to find out, after my dad’s scare, my sister decided it was time to start her family. She found out she was pregnant about a month ago and we are all ecstatic to have another member join our family. It’s been since my youngest that we’ve had anyone enter the family, and it’s about damn time.

It has since worked out that my dad found a medicine that will give him a better quality of life for 5-7 more years, and they took advantage of that to at least get moved out there, even if it was into a travel trailer. They’re currently camped out in the Ceremony site and loving the tranquility. They will build hopefully next summer and then we can get setup in that little spot soon thereafter.

property sun rays dodoSo I’ve been driving my youngest daughter out there every morning before work this summer, to the little trailer with my mom, and it’s been so wonderful to pull into the winding road each day. To drive through the trees and see the sun breaks. Watch the mist over the fields and take picture after picture of the serenity that somehow iphones have just not figured out how to capture fully. It’s meditative and surreal and I cannot believe my family has been blessed with such a haven.

The Pacific Northwest really is heaven. I have traveled various places, and have not found anything that compares. I recently have been considering a job change, and my sister-in-law from Canada was asking if we’d relocate, and I was just stunned by the question. Would I ever move from here? From home? From my family? From my dreams of living on this property with the people I love most and sending my children over on their bikes to borrow eggs from grandma? Not only no, but hell no.

puppy on the property dodoMy husband wants to build another greenhouse out there near where our home will be, and of course it will be much better than the one he has here, since now he knows what he’s doing. Little one wants a donkey, I swear to God. She wants a place where our little sweet rescue doggy can run around and be free. She already loves the place and has enjoyed being out there this summer.

On Father’s Day, not long after my parents got situated in their trailer, us girls went out and spent the afternoon with them, to see the place and hang with dad.

In completely unrelated news, I convinced the whole family to go and see Wonder Woman for Father’s Day (my third time seeing it in theaters), which they loved and it was a perfect way to celebrate the divine feminine that our beloved men have within them.

However, on this afternoon while we were chilling, my baby sister had been ooing and awwing over my parent’s trailer and told her husband “Why don’t we just get one of these instead of putting all of our money into that tiny house?” and my dear sweet brother-in-law didn’t miss a beat, “Sure.” And within two weeks they too were out on the property living in a travel trailer.

There are now conversations of solar panels and generators and we’ve been getting together a lot more.

For my dad’s 60th birthday last week, he asked that the kids get together and have a little quiet time. He shared with us that he’s come to a very peaceful place, which is a relief, since he was struggling so much up until his episode in May. We all sat in the netted canopy we’d purchased our parents a few weeks ago so they could have a little “outdoor room,” and it was so wonderful to be together and share such good news.

The property is not just a piece of land. It is a foundation from which our lives have been built upon, it has been an integral part of our family, has been the stage whereon we have lived and laughed and loved, and will hold the stories of our children and grandchildren. It is home.

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