Monday, July 28, 2008

Want anything?

Ell and I are preparing to upset our lives. I've hesitated to talk about it because I wasn't really sure how to explain it or what people would think. We know some people already find our decisions strange; this shouldn't be anything new for those folks. So here it is... After a couple heart-to-hearts this past week, we made the decision to get rid of most of our "stuff", including our house.

Ell and I have always had somewhat of a disdain for "extra" material possessions. In fact, we enjoyed and look back with fond memories the times when our house was bare. When we moved from our first house to the log house, all of our possessions (except for my Lazy-Boy and the refrigerator) fit into two trips in a Volkswagen convertible. And besides cars, very little of what we've owned was bought new. Yet despite all that, we've accumulated enough "stuff" to fill a 1700 square foot home.

Besides the extra "stuff", Ell has grown tired of how much it takes to live in the log house. To live the way we live takes more physical effort that most people realize. While I could grow old doing that work and living that way, I want to see my wife happy more than I want to live out some ideal I've built up in my head. So the house is going on the block. We're probably going to offer it to our friends and family first and then put it on the market, but either way it should sell fast with all it's charm.

To me, the location has never been ideal, the winters are hard, and the problems always present, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad to be leaving it all behind. I love that our house is so unique. I love the way Ell has decorated it. I love how comfy it is around the fire. I love the way it invites people into it. I love the size of the logs and the ancient tool marks still evident in their grain. I love it like it's family and I will miss it greatly. But everything has it's season, and ours in that house is coming to a close.

I know a couple of you are screaming, "THE GARDEN, THE GARDEN!" Yes, that's the only thing holding me back right now. I've put a lot of years of sweat and blood and time into that garden. I'm ten years invested into soil preparation, compost, organic matter additions, brick paths, year round crops, lifetime plantings, and so much more. I can't take any of it with me. This pill is almost too big to swallow and if I was honest I'd admit I'm having a hard time moving past it. Maybe a few more heart-to-hearts need to happen. At least for me.

Full circle brings me to the title of this post. Over the weekend we started separating stuff into piles labeled keep, sell, give away, throw away, and leave in the house. Like I stated earlier, Ell and I have never been big on "stuff". We've accumulated it but mostly through gifts and presents and the like. A few years back we tried to slow that by asking people to stop all gifts and donate the money to charities instead. We just didn't need anything else. (Despite repeated requests, we have some family members and friends who politely ignore us and buy gifts anyway. And we love them for it.)

So don't be surprised if you get an unexpected package from us. We give it to you in love, but require nothing in return. Not even the obligation to keep it. Your trash can is as good as ours. Keep us in prayer as we head into this next phase of our journey together. And if you want an awesome log house, give us a call.


Blogger HennHouse said...

Keeping the P.O. box, I assume? New abode? The AT?

12:43 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said... I'm starting to suffer a bit of attachment disorder for you and I don't consider myself to be a real attached person!

Godbless this new journey!

P.S. ya, the new abode?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

I actually don't like a lot of extra "stuff" either, yet we somehow seem to accumulate tons of it. It's funny, I just yesterday commented on another blog of a person who's goal this year was to get rid of 1,000 things. I think that's a great idea! One I might decide to take on myself.

Any thoughts on where your new abode will be? We'll certainly be praying for you as you go through this big transition.

Anyway, applause on your decision! I think it's awesome.

And, thanks again for the books;-)

3:12 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

New abode? Not a clue. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. We may just be thinking about renting but we're not even sure about that yet either. I have a couple job considerations in and around Columbiana so most likely close to there. When we get back from the AT we'll most likely be living with friends, so our plan is to not set down too many permanent roots. We're still young, right? The world is our oyster.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Buddy that is a huge decision. I am in awe of the mature that you bless my life by. Speaking as someone who recently moved; good luck the process is not an easy one but for us it's been a blessed adventure. I assume "AT" is in reference to the Trail. How long and where will you guys be? That has always been a dream of mine! God bless you buddy simplicity is a strange but amazing discipline. Your writing encourages me.

So now the big question. Will you be simplifying your pipe tastes as well? only English, or perhaps Virginias?, maybe cavendish?

5:17 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

You inspire me. I love reading about how God works in your lives. God bless you both!

8:25 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Sam, we are right with you.

I am so glad that you shared this part of your life with us. I've felt very much like you in the our recent life changes. We have made a wonderful transition and I know, that I know we made the right choice.

As far as the extras that we some how accumulate, Mike and I have decided that less it best. It's worse when you have a family because it doubles the extras you accumulate.

Please know that we, at least to some degree, understand where you are in your lives. We are supporting you all the way and will be praying for direction for both you and Elle.

8:57 PM  
Blogger vic said...

Hey, We'd be honored to 'house' an item or two that you should not give away - maybe an old family photo or other item that you'd miss someday and want it back. We would look at it and think of how much we love you guys - sitting by the lock talking, listening to Laura's beautiful laugh, watching you lead a group of guys, hanging out at Hocking Hills...eventually we'd happily give the item back.

'Just a thought.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

If I sounded less than encouraging - my mom and dad randomly found an area in CO, sold their home, put the bare necessities in a horse trailer(9 kids and 2 adults packed a lot of 'necessities' into that trailer) and moved 1700 miles with no real plans and no real money.

I don't think there was a soul in the world who thought it was a good idea, but there wasn't a thing in the world that could have been more right.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow Sam, thats a biggie. I do understand it though. My mom used to go through times when she would get rid of "things". She was a bit of a gypsie and I think she felt tied down when she had too many things. My sister is much the same. Every so often she feels the need to give away just about everything she owns and move on somewhere else.

Best of luck to you and your wife :)

11:35 PM  
Blogger Sweet Peripety said...

I admire ya, and I'm sure after I tell Rich, he'll say, let's do the same LOL. He would love to just get a dumpster and put everything we own in it! HAHA!! Good luck cleaning out. Praying for ya. What are you getting rid of? Ifyou had time, you should ebay it! LOL!

8:26 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Dave, there will be no paring down of pipe paraphanelia. I said I was a bit not nutty, not completely crazy. :-)

Faye, loved the story of your Gypsie Mother.

Vic, I've had some serious thoughts about our books and you. While I'm sure you don't want all of them, you are more than welcome to sit and peruse for a few hours if you'd like. As we told you Sunday, Ell and I really struggle getting rid of books. Throwing them away is almost unthinkable. So if our cast-offs can be your treasure, especially if your bookstore idea takes shape, you are welcome to any and all books you'd like. Just let us know.

Amy, great thought. We are doing some eBay-ing already but not as much as we'd like. We talked about trying to put something on every day until Ell goes back to school, but that plan hasn't taken off yet. We need to get that going.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Dave and Betsy's Blog said...

Hey Sam,
I know getting rid of stuff can be scary for some and energizing for others. Usually both feelings happen at various stages. But you guys seem to have been thinking about this for a long time, so I'm glad to see you doing it. Welcome to the world of having nothing.

12:33 PM  
Blogger 3rd string's finest said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any good DVDs?

9:57 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Hey Evan, no. We got rid of all the DVD's. Every last one of them. And we found these two random cases filled with, like, a hundred DVD's in each. Don't know where they came from so we threw them away too.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, Sam, that I'm one of the ones who has always thought you were just a little nuts- in the nicest possible way of course. But then again, that would be the whole kettle and pot thing since I raised you around dreams of solar power generators, wind turbines and such. I applaude your dreams and all you and Laura have done to try to accomplish them. (as for me, a life without power tools just isn't a life at all!!!) Funny, though, how 'stuff' can take over and you find yourself doing nothing but figuring out what to do with it or protect it from the guy who wants to take it from you. A whole lot less sounds almost romantic.
What will Laura be doing? Cafe? Nursing? ATing with you? Trying to maintain her sanity being married to my son?
Go for it. Time does pass and dreams are forced to die because of things beyond our control so live while you can.
My one large concern: I did not hear much in this post about God's dreams for you. Please keep Him first.
Love, Dad

8:28 AM  
Blogger Laura G. Young said...

I didn't see this post until just now; great minds really DO think alike -- I've also been paring down possessions.


1:54 AM  

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