Monday, May 5, 2014

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.