We moved to the acreage before my fifth grade year, previously living in town. It was a big adjustment, to say the least. I was used to living in a neighborhood and having friends I could easily play with at any given time. Now, plans had to be made, a car ride was involved, and it was more isolated.
I remember years of weekends being spent hauling sticks, if you've never lived in a wooded area, you probably can't relate, but this job was never-ending. With multiple acres pretty heavily wooded and past owners who didn't maintain the fallen limbs we hauled limb after limb to the burn pile for years. Literally years.
I spent most of my high school career picturing myself driving down the driveway to bigger and better things, never looking back, and I gave my mom the hardest time.
The funny thing is though, that while I was there I didn't really appreciate all this acreage and my family had provided me.
The years together, without the constant interactions with friends helped me to appreciate spending time as a family-something that is still true today.
All of the hauling of limbs helped me to understand that being a part of a family means pulling your own weight and contributing....even if you don't want to. It helped me realize what "real work" is like too.
I also learned what unconditional love feels like. My mom loved me when I truly didn't deserve it and was there for me no matter what.
Now, I don't live on an acreage or have a tree-lined lane, but I realize one day Grant and Hannah will probably feel the same way I did, and I hope Brian and I will have taught them the same lessons along the way that I was taught: to work hard, appreciate each other, and to love each other, not matter what.