So, when I relocated from the Gulf south region back to the Midwest in late summer 2020, after 33 years away, I had a few plans for how I’d like things to go. I’d install my son in his freshman dorm room at his midwestern college, then land at my parents’ house in my old hometown for an indefinite stay, enabling me to help them as they age in place. Free from the responsibility of parenting a minor child, I’d have plenty of focus to excel at my new job. Living with my parents would mean that personal expenses would be low, allowing me to build my savings back up after all the costs of moving. After 6-12 months, I’d start looking for a home to buy. In the meantime, I’d be able to help my parents out: run errands, grocery shop, share cooking duties.
My son decided to take a gap year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My parents don’t really want help, thank you very much. The schedules and routines of a fifty-something adult working 8-5, an eighteen-year-old with no school to attend and no job to report to, and two retired eighty-somethings were in conflict at times. Really, there was no drama, but I think everyone was relieved when I started looking for a house to buy in the fall.
We bought a house on a city lot that is 8/10ths of an acre in size. The house is 1940s-built, added onto in the early 2000s. In my opinion, the additions retain the character of the home, and that is important to me. I love my house, and can get house proud and do have plans for making it more functional for the way that we live. But it’s the outside that really excites me. Almost an acre, all in lawn and humdrum plantings. I see a farm, people! This is the start of the journey from city lot to productive urban farm. We call the spot Thistledee, just because we can do anything we like. I hope that you’ll check back frequently to see the latest developments.