Land Ho

I missed blogging last week for a (in my opinion) very good reason: I was in Tennessee, looking at land. Our first scouting trip for our anticipated move sometime in the next few years. My husband was out of town on another trip, so I went with a friend who lived in the area for many years.

We looked at ten properties, and most were quite beautiful. I also learned a lot.

Too steep

Our car is at the bottom of that hill – and I’m only halfway up!

My husband has this fantasy of being able to go hunting on his own land, for which he needs (preferably) at least 40 acres. That means living out in the country, which I’m fine with to an extent, so that’s where I focused my efforts in looking at land. Closer in to Knoxville means out of our budget on something that size (and very few options to begin with).

But the main thing I learned is you can’t get a feel for distance, as in drive time, from maps. Not even Google Earth and Street View. You can see that the roads are curvy, but you can’t really see how curvy–or how narrow. Some of them were downright scary, going up into the mountains.

Too Steep

Pretty, isn’t it? But what’s not in the picture is the litter from neighbors who made this their 4-wheelin’ playground.

The other thing maps don’t do justice is the grade. Some of these places were up in the mountains, and although I could see that on Google, I couldn’t get a sense of how steep some of them were. Definitely not something to drive a Camaro up! So those properties are out.

But the biggest thing I learned is that I just don’t want to live out that far. A half-hour drive or more to restaurants, shopping, and health care is a big no–I’m talking it was a twenty-minute drive to the nearest carryout from most of these properties. So we’re going to have to re-evaluate what we want–perhaps a much smaller, closer-in lot that still has a country-like setting, and a separate property for him to hunt on. I have already found some very promising lots online, so I see another trip in the near future. The best part about this one? I had a great time with my friend, and some fun times with her friends in the area. So it was also a much-needed vacation!

I returned home to more excitement: we’re getting ready to begin work on our kitchen remodel! So I have tons of packing to do. Luckily, we have a good friend who works at a restaurant, and has supplied us with a plethora of boxes. I have about half packed up now, and DH is going to start demolition in a few days, so I need to hurry and get it done.

What I’ve been reading: I’m only halfway through the novel I’m currently reading, so I’ll discuss it next week, along with how our kitchen remodel is coming along!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Last week, I knew I would be traveling and wouldn’t have much chance to write, so I set my goals low: 2 scenes edited. I made that goal, and set a higher goal for editing this week. But between packing and headaches (literal), not as much got accomplished. Part of the problem is this editing stuff just isn’t much fun–I want to get back to new writing. But I need to get through it first. So this week’s goal is one scene per day, for a total of seven.

What about you–ever find something to be much different than you expected? Do you have any big distractions going on in your life? (Hoping they’re good ones!) How are you doing on whatever goals you may have, whether writing or not? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

8 Responses to \

  1. Awesome about making your goal, and hugs on the headaches.

    My goals have been going okay, but our vacation last week sort of put them on hold. I will be hitting them hard this week for sure.

  2. One of Mary’s friends says she doesn’t want to be more than half an hour from aspirin. Makes perfect sense to me. That’s a nice part of Tennessee, but mountainous.

  3. Glad you had a good time in Tennessee and I hope you find that perfect spot. At least you know you have time, right?

    I’m still going slow in revisions, but trudging along. A busy month is coming up (August), so it would be nice if I finished by then, but I’m not holding my breath. As soon as I think all is good, I hit a snag. Never fails.

  4. First, I thoroughly enjoyed Time’s Dilemma. It did not disappoint. I love your Saturn Society series so much that I started reading Time’s Enemy again. Just short on spare time with all the studying I’m doing.

    Your plans to move to Tennessee are exciting. I hear it’s beautiful there. Good thing you’re checking it out in person. It would be scary if you had to drive up and down a narrow mountain road all the time. Finding a separate property for your hubby to hunt on sounds like a good solution.

    Good luck with the chaos during the kitchen remodel. I hope the contractor works fast. Hope your headaches subside and don’t come back. You have a lot of things you’re juggling.

    I have huge distractions. Crunch time for my last four weeks of my class. Daughter and family are moving to North Carolina in September and I’m broken hearted that they’re moving to the other side of the country. The grandkids I’ve helped raise since birth (now almost five and three) are like my own children. I had no idea they were even thinking of making a move. It will be a hard adjustment. And there are some other “Life rolls” as you call them. I like that term. I think I’ll steal it from you.

    Am basically overwhelmed with everything. When I finish my course mid-August, things will be much better as far as the stress level. I love what I’m learning. It’s all amazing and awesome, so I’m super excited, too!

    Have a great week, Jennette!

  5. Erin, thanks! And good luck getting back onto your goals.

    John, exactly!

    Stacy, thanks! I’m glad we are doing this on our schedule, not someone else’s. Keep going on those revisions, I want to read that book!

    Lynn! Thanks so much!! Your post really made me smile! That’s what makes all the writing worth it, isn’t it?? Bummer about the kids – we worked into it slowly with my parents to get them used to the idea. It’s only a 5 hour drive though. Good luck on your class, and working through the life rolls! (Which I can’t take credit for, I got the term from Kristine Kathryn Rusch).

  6. Goodness, how exciting! Being out in the sticks has its challenges that’s for sure. That’s the environment I came from in California; 30 minutes to the closest anything. No “convenience” stores, no gas stations, no take-out. When you went to town you stocked up on everything. You made darn sure you had gasoline and milk before you headed for home, especially during the winter when a storm was a brewin’.

    Things are so much different or me here in Vicksburg. I live 2 minutes from everything. The irony? In California gasoline was almost $5.00 a gallon and I had to fill up about every 4 days. In Vicksburg? Gasoline is less than $2.00 a gallon and I have to fill up about every month.

    I think you’re going to love Tennessee. You’ll find the right compromise I’m sure. Just keep looking.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  7. My hubby has big dreams of buying a house in the country. We both grew up in rural areas, so we’re used to big yards, woods to hike, and sprawling spaces suitable for large gardens. The house we currently live in is a townhouse, and it’s not intended to be our forever home, although we both love it. Our yard borders a park and we’re close to a bus line, so those are both a plus. But there’s no gardening space, and hubby wants acreage to take care of, so I know we won’t be here forever. Like you, I want a place that’s still convenient to town. I don’t want to have to drive 30 minutes just to pick up a few groceries. But a house in the country is many years down the road.

    Good luck with your search! It sounds like you’re having fun with it and getting a sense of what’s out there in the process.

  8. If it’s not good enough for the Camaro, then it’s no good. Hey, a girl has to have her priorities, right? You know, my brother-in-law lives in that area. He’s lived there for at least 15 years and he loves it. He planted roots in Maryville, which according to him since I am not familiar with the area, is more affordable and not a huge distance from Knoxville. And for some reason, I think more to do with the Smoky Mountains, the weather is agreeable too. So hey, I think you may have a winner. Meanwhile, may the force be with you during your Kitchen remodel. It does take a bit of patience, but you are going to love the results! 🙂