It was the move of the decade, at least as far as I am concerned. You’d think that a month, to pack up your home and get it ready for moving, would be enough time to get the job done. Well, for us it really wasn’t. We were struggling at the end to get everything packed up and out of the house, before the developer took possession. Also, the weather wasn’t all that co-operative, as we were hoping to make it out to the homestead to assemble a couple of storage sheds, in which we were going to store most of our possessions until the new house was ready. But the opportunity to make it out to the property to do so just didn’t surface, the rains didn’t hold up long enough for us.
During the first week of June, I was able to make it out to the homestead for a couple of days to try to finish off the shed, which I started to build onto the camper trailer last October. I was barely able to close in the walls and the roof, before the rain started - and stayed for three weeks afterwards. I still had to fashion a door and shingle the roof, but it would have to wait until I could return.
For the next three weeks, Janice and I focused our attention on packing up the house. But one problem remained: where were we going to store our stuff? With no on-site storage ready at the homestead, we decided to rent a storage unit in Moose Jaw. We chose Moose Jaw because it was the half-way point between the acreage and Saskatoon. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything suitable closer to us - but by being in Moose Jaw, the U-Haul rental a little less expensive, as the mileage wouldn’t be as high. There was an unknown blessing to this solution, as well. We wound up filling the 20’ U-Haul truck twice with all of our stuff. And we completely filled our 14’ x 24’ storage unit, right up to the rafters - back to front.
If anything, this move has confirmed this fact very clearly in my mind: We have TOO MUCH STUFF! When we get a chance, we’re signing up at the next local flea market and hopefully getting rid of a lot of it - and maybe make a few extra bucks in the process.
Another slight complication was how we were going to get both the truck and the car out here, as Janice doesn’t drive. The solution was to rent a tow dolly and tow the car out here with the truck. I then left the truck here and drove the car back to Saskatoon to pick up Janice and the cat. We wanted to take the cat in the car, rather than the truck, as he’s not a very good traveling cat. And we thought that the car would be more comfortable for him than a stinky noisy truck.
Well, we think we were right about taking him in the car, but he still cried of three of the four hour car ride. It was a long drive.
We finally made it out here on June 29th, right before we got more rain that following evening. But I still had to make one more trip to Saskatoon, to pack up, in the back of the truck, what ever I could that was left. However, because of the rain from the previous evening, I got the truck stuck in the mud, just outside the drive-way to the homestead.
Thankfully, I called a neighbor and he gladly helped me tow the truck back onto the road. We left it there overnight, until the road dried up. Next morning, on July 1st, I was off to Saskatoon for the last load of stuff. Did I ever mention that I think we have too much stuff?
Since July 1st, it has been mostly sunny and warm - a little bit too warm - here in the camper, sitting on the open prairie. But, the limited rain has been a blessing, as we’ve been able to get the roof and door finished on the extension on the trailer and the roads have been dry, so we could get the supplies we needed to get started living out here.
Our lumber for the new cottage has been delivered and we picked ourselves up a 150 gallon water tank. Until we get a well dug, we’ll be hauling our water. But that’s okay. The nearby town, Limerick, has a facility to fill up these water tanks and their water isn’t too bad at all. I guess a lot of people out here haul water for their homesteads.
We’ve met a lot of our neighbors and everyone so far has been kind and supportive. If we ever need help, we’ve got several people whom we can call upon out here. In fact, just as example as to how hospitable people are out here, when our lumber was delivered from the Co-Op, they were short staffed, so they sent one of their new hires out to do the job. He was a young guy, about 18 years old. We had quite a bit of lumber to off load, so he and I spent the afternoon together unloading the truck.
We had a great conversation about our plans out here at the homestead and it turns out that he too just moved back into the area and was in the process of moving in to a property that was owned by his grandfather, who willed it to him. After we got the truck unloaded, he kindly invited us to a house warming barbecue he was having the next weekend. Talk about a nice “kid”. We really wish him well in his endeavors. But that’s typical with the people around here.
One thing became apparent very quickly out here, as well: expect things to take just a little longer to get things done. You just can’t rush things.
Even though it can take more time to do things and involve more work to get things (sometimes even simple things) done, life out here is all worth it. There’s just nothing like waking up in the morning and looking out to see nothing but the property you own surrounding you; to hear nothing but the breeze in the grass and the song birds out in the field; to look out your front window and watch a family of partridges making their way across the lawn, out beyond the fence line.
Places like this are sometimes referred to as “God’s country” and I can understand why. He’s so much easier to hear and understand when you have very little else to distract you.
Well, that’s about all the news I have to share at this time. I’ll check in again, when we have more news to share.