Life Out Here {Enjoying the Pleasures of a Simple Country Life}

For many years, I dreamed of living in Manhattan. I felt such a pull inside of me to be there after I visited it the first time, and every time thereafter. I looked into going to NYU for a Master's degree in Art Therapy. I have a BA in Psychology and always wanted to work with children in a therapeutic setting. 

It's such a cliché, I know, but I imagined my tiny apartment, a cool job, riding on the subway, walks in central park, and being surrounded by an energy that can be found nowhere else on earth. 

That was my dream. I imagined having kids there. Moving to a brownstone in Greenwich Village (sigh) and living an amazing life. I even cried at times when I thought this dream might not come true.

But then, life happens, and dreams change. I started an art therapy program at a local college, but found that wasn't for me and left during the first year. I began working from home selling my art, graphic design work and home decor online. My husband and I lived in an affordable townhouse and felt a longing to own our own home. 

When looking for locations (Manhattan was obviously out because we couldn't afford it), we found the perfect little home for us in a small (and I mean small) town, about 25 minutes away from our current place. The price was right and the taxes were low (which is hard to find in New York State).

And then we had our first child, who now loves to run and play in our spacious backyard. She would do it all day every day if she could. This girl needs wide open spaces.
If someone were to offer me a brownstone in Manhattan, I probably wouldn't pass up the offer, but for now, I am more than content to live my simple country life out here.
We have a small, older home. It's a modest house without any frills, but a charm all its own. It is a far cry from a Greenwich Village brownstone, but I have found peace here.
I can't wait to give it my own curb appeal by painting the siding gray, adding cottage style white shutters and window boxes with billowing flowers. We will also be landscaping the yard and replacing the roof at some point. Our hope is to work on some of those projects next spring and summer. The kitchen is what we will be tackling this summer.
For now, it is a very functional kitchen with lots of counter space for cooking and baking.
And I love the beautiful views of nature outside the windows.
I especially love how cozy our home feels on a rainy day. The grass and trees turn vibrant shades of green, and I almost feel as if I am living in the English countryside.
Throughout the summer, beautiful flowers bloom all around us.
We love to take walks around our town. The library and a quaint antique shop are right at the end of our own road. A very old stone church is as well, along with some charming little homes throughout the neighborhood with lots of friendly people. When we first met with our realtor, she told us people refer to this town as Mayberry and she was right. When I go to the post office to get our mail (we don't have mailboxes in this town), the postal workers run to get any packages for us immediately. They know everyone. It is a lovely community to be a part of. It is like living in another era.

A stream travels alongside our road where you can almost always find ducks swimming.
They are very friendly and will certainly come out to greet you if you stop by.
And there are always animal friends right outside our own door. Like the chipmunks that like to visit our porch.
And one day, I glanced out the backdoor and saw this guy pecking away at a tree...
The deer are regular visitors. It is pretty magical when they fill our backyard.
While it is quiet and simple, we have made a life here. And I love watching my children run and play and enjoy our humble house that is all they know of home.
It might be a thrill to live that big city life. And I would probably enjoy it immensely and have some amazing experiences. But the truth is, we can be content anywhere, so long as we choose peace and joy daily. And always remember that the most important thing we can have, no matter where we are, is love.
For more country inspired beauty check out my Pinterest board life out here. And I hope you will consider following along with me through email or other social media, if you want to stay up to date on my current posts. As always, thank you for visiting!

Possible link-ups this week:

Till next time...
~Alice W.

Comments

  1. It looks like you have chosen a good life. xoxo

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  2. Oh my my. Beautiful. Run baby girl run, nap, play in the sun and rain. Smell the flowers and green grass. Sometimes our circumstance provide a life better than we could have imagined for ourselves.

    xxxooo e

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  3. You are very very lucky to live such a country life with so much wildlife and nature to experience in your own backyard. It really is ideal for children to grow up in and to grow old together after they are gone. I live on the very edge of our city where they have signs that say 'rural' but continue to build on pushing all the wildlife away from us. The coyotes in the field behind us are beginning to come into the neighborhood looking for water and food because on the other side of the 'wetlands' there is construction...more growth. It is very disheartening. But we choose to be thankful for our home because in this day and age it is a gift just to have one. Beautiful beautiful post. I enjoyed it so much Alice. xxo

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  4. Oh Alice, it's just so peaceful looking, what a beautiful country life for a family. Thank you for sharing more of you life and country tots :)

    Xoxo
    Dore

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  5. Hi Alice, having lived in the city (not NYC), I can tell you there is no life like country life! The absence of such insane business helps to keep you focused and centered on what really matters. Still moments are priceless! I grew up in the country and wouldn't trade those memories for anything. You are giving your little girl a wonderful gift. This is a beautiful post. My favorite picture is of the leaves with your home in the background.
    Wishing you God's best - Elaine

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  6. Oh, I forgot... Love your Heart Rocks!! ;-)
    Elaine @ heartrocksinmypocket.blogspot.com

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  7. I love living the country life and have lived here for over 32 years. There are times that are very frustrating and times that are great, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Your place is so special. :)
    Blessings~
    PS Although I still dream of living in Paris where one can ride a bicycle to the market...:)

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  8. As a fellow small town dweller, I understand. There are trade offs, of course. If I was wealthy, I'd have a little flat in Manhattan and my house in the country. But if I had to choose, it would be the country. Deer were in the yard this morning. I also posted a photo of our resident chipmunk. I love seeing all of this - every day.

    xo
    Claudia

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  9. I love it! I know exactly how you feel about NY, my dream is a cottage/farm/castle (any of these would be fine) in the French country side to restore and live my french country garden life. For now it is a dream but a dream is a wish your heart makes and I am wishing one day... :)

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  10. Alice, You are such a beautiful writer!! Love the story of your 'dream'! Guess we all have one of those...pictures are just perfectly breathtaking. What memories you are making for your children in "Mayberry"! just precious.
    Susanne

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  11. I am intrigued! Where oh where is this idyllic place?! I live in upstate NY so I am quite curious! I had a taste of the country life in Williamson NY on Lake Ontario. I now live in a village with houses on top of each other. I am looking forward to country living again someday!

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  12. First...I love your new profile picture...so pretty! Secondly, the photos you've posted are just about your best work (if that can be said!). Okay, just wanted to get that out of the way in case I forgot! Ha!

    I am a true believer that sometimes our dreams actually happen before we know them as our dreams. And there are times in our lives where we want certain things that in the long run, don't mesh with what we really want in our souls. I think you have found your little slice of heaven. It's the perfect place to raise your children and I think you have an affinity for recreating a home that may have existed decades ago but is so perfect for you and your family right now...your own personality and loves.

    I am very blessed to have a home in the city...thankfully a bit away from the craziness, but not a space of quiet or tranquility. But my sweet husband had the foresight to invest in a home on a lake in the country 24 years ago so we could enjoy country life with our children and have a little left over for retirement! lol! So we have that as well and I just love my life. That's the important thing. Neither home is out of a magazine and sometimes it's almost too hard to manage, but then again, I learned a long time ago as I'm sure you have...nothing is perfect. In fact, it's a few notches down and even better! :)

    XO,
    Jane

    Please stop by for a visit, my friend!

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  13. What a beautiful post, Alice. It's funny how God can steer us in a direction we never imagined and suddenly we find contentment in something we never wanted :) You are giving your children such a gift. Even if you don't stay there forever, they will have that sweet foundation of living close to nature's beauty and a simpler way of life. My kids would think they were in heaven in that yard! Thanks for sharing your beautiful corner of the world with us.

    Jeanette

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  14. ~I find your home and the beauty you have shown us around it utterly charming, your children will carry these memories in their heart wherever you live in the future. You will find many of us who live in suburbia would happily trade with you! You capture it so beautifully in your photos.
    Tracey

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  15. Hi Alice, You found a gorgeous place to raise your children. They have lots of space to play, can enjoy nature and learn about it. I can't stand the noise, smell and hectic of big cities. We visited NY once and had a hotel reservation for 3 days. We left after a few hours instead and drove to a small village in PA. What a relieve. There are other big cities that I like better than NY but I'm always happy when I leave. I'm just a real country girl :).

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  16. You are living MY dream Alice! We moved from my dream home in Iowa almost 20 years ago, my husband got transferred here to Ohio. We left an charming old home on 3 acres of land, I miss it everyday. You have a beautiful setting there, so lucky:)

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  17. What a beautiful post! It is amazing how little ones can help change those dreams into so much more.

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  18. Love this post, Alice. And love your quaint, cottage home. You are so talented, and have such a way with your decor. Anywhere you live will surely have that special Alice touch added to it, and will be "home". Such a joy to live in small town America. What a delightful place to raise your children! Our town is quite small, though we aren't too far from the bustle of Orlando. We love it here, but I would love to be a little further out from the center of town, and have some chickens and a garden. Maybe one day!

    Thanks for sharing, sweetie!
    Hugs,
    Becky

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  19. I enjoy reading your blog and looking at the lovely photos of your life, kids and surroundings. You have such a unique perspective in your photography. Keep the photos coming! Love them!

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  20. I love your simple country life. My kind of life too! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  21. Alice, this is such a lovely, lovely post! Love every word of it. I know how you feel. I thought I wanted the excitement of the big city - we lived in London for a few years before kids which was fun, but I'm LOVING our life now and love that my boys are growing up in a small seaside town. At a very early age John was imitating the calls of gulls. x

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  22. Beautiful post and pics. Please come share at the Anything Goes linky tomorrow. We live in deer country too, although I sometimes dislike them in our backyard. They can be a bit dangerous.

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  23. Your home and town sound just wonderful. I know what you mean about the rain, somehow it creates a soft light in our house that makes it very cozy. The picture of all the deer is amazing too!

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  24. You have such a beautiful home and yard Alice! This country girl would kill to have a yard! (This will be the first summer I spend without one...and I'm scared.) The nature in NY really reminds me of WI...so beautiful. So glad to hear you are content with the country life for now :)

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  25. Alice, I love this post! A little piece of heaven if you ask me. A cottage in the country is a blessed place to call home. Your little one is a doll and what memories you are making together! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  26. Hi Alice, just hopping back to let you know that I am featuring you at SYC this week.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  27. I think you're where you're supposed to be. I love the country, but I know my life is too busy right now to add a big yard to take care of. Perhaps a small cottage someday, where I have similar views to yours and life is just a little slower. Ahhhhh...

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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! ~Alice W.

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