A Fork in the Road

To blog or not to blog

I started this blog nearly three years ago on my 53rd birthday. My husband and I were beginning our transition into the empty nest and I had no idea what life held next. The blog was a way of sharing that transition with others, as well as working through it myself.

This month I’ll turn 56. My blog was recently hacked and it made me decide whether I wanted to pay up to get it fixed and continue it, or just turn it off. I haven’t been publishing as much lately because I’d gotten distracted by other things, but this situation made me realize that some of the posts I’d written meant a lot to me and I didn’t want to lose them.

Posts such as My Mother’s Garden. While visiting my parents this time last year, I had the sudden thought to write about my mom and share pictures of her yard, which was pretty much at its peak. Spending that time with her, talking about her plants, favorite tools, and taking pictures was a special mother/daughter and gardener/gardener bonding time. It turned out to be one of my most popular posts, and is incredibly sentimental to me. I inherited my love of gardening from her and in emptynesthood (yes, that’s a word) I’ve indulged that passion more than ever, so I have an appreciation for the time and energy that it involves. I also inherited my interest in writing from her and one of my most recent posts, The Doll Who Saw it All, was something she had written years ago when she was near my age.

Garden Tour ~ My Mother's Garden
My mother and I in front of my parents’ home.

Then there were my homeschooling posts where I shared some of my most treasured memories of our homeschooling years, and the wisdom that I’d gleaned from them. Included with that would be my #1 post, Homeschool Graduates in College. I wrote that when my daughter was just beginning her college journey and it was almost prophetic, in that it seemed like it was written about her. She fit the descriptions the professors gave, even though none of them knew her as a student. The first day after getting my blog restored, I got a notification from WordPress that my stats were booming, and it was because Homeschool Graduates in College had taken off again, in part because Dr. Wile reshared it on his website – what an honor! I have many homeschooling posts, and I love them all. You can find them by choosing that category on my website.


I also really enjoy sharing life on our little homestead. We’ve been here for 12 years now and over that time we’ve been crafting our own little piece of heaven on earth. Even as I sit here typing, the back door is ajar so that I can listen to the chirping of birds, the gobbling of Tom (our lone turkey), the honking of geese (who just alerted me to a herd of deer in the yard), and all the other beautiful sounds of country life.

Our little homestead

I stumbled onto a post that I wrote for someone else awhile back (Preparing for the Empty Nest) and it reminded me of another purpose of my blog. In this stage of life, I had hoped to follow Titus 2’s teaching and encourage younger women. My blog has provided a way to do that. Also, I know that God is asking other Christian families to homeschool, and it can be a confusing time. You want to obey, but don’t know how, or are afraid. So I’ve written a lot of posts aimed at helping parents in those shoes where I once stood. I was blessed in that I knew that God had called me to homeschool, so I trusted in Him to guide me even though I knew nothing about it. It also gave me conviction, and an unfaltering commitment to it. When I hear parents say things like “we’ll give it a year and see what happens…” it makes me doubt that they’ll continue. The commitment to homeschooling is vital. Consistency is also extremely important to children. Moving them in and out of school won’t be good for them, and homeschooling has a lot of hard days. If you don’t have an unwavering commitment then it’s too easy to give up.

Then there are a few other personal favorites such as Not Too Far From Here; City Girl, Country Woman; and To Train Up a Mom.

So where has life taken me lately? The biggest update is that our daughter, homeschooled all the way through, graduated from college. She did it in three years and graduated with honors. Her next plan is to get a Master’s degree at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland. I’m excited for her, but the thought of her being so far away for a year makes me anxious. She really will be on her own! She’s with us for the summer and I’m treasuring every moment.

Almost two years ago, Hurricane Harvey hit our business in Rockport, Texas. It took about a year and a half to get the settlement from the insurance company. We were finally able to make repairs to the buildings in February, and my husband is currently constructing a new building to enlarge the facility. It has meant us being apart a lot more than we’re used to, but we’re in the home stretch of that now.

New storage building being constructed

We’ve been wanting to remodel our house, so we started by replacing all of our doors and windows, putting on a new metal roof, and painting the house’s exterior. At the beginning of the year, we took in our attached garage to make a new laundry room and pantry. We managed to get that mostly completed before my husband had to turn his attention to the business. Once that is done, we hope to remodel the rest of our house, and I’d enjoy sharing that with you.

My new laundry room
My amazing new laundry room

A lot of my time is spent gardening. Not only do I enjoy digging in the dirt, but sharing photos and writing about it, too.

A fork in the road

To be honest, I had convinced myself that no one wanted to read my blog anyway, so why bother. But encouragement came from some unexpected sources, and even if only one person reads my writing, then that’s worth it to me.

Sometimes we come to a fork in the road and have to decide which way to go. Sometimes it’s hard, and at others, God makes it obvious, or provides the perfect photo. I still have plenty of ideas of things to write about and will try to get back to that more regularly. I appreciate you spending this time with me!

Comments

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  1. Jackie Hansen

    Love your blog! My homeschooler is getting ready to graduate and head off the college. He is stressed but excited, and I am getting ready to transition back into the work force. God will provide. God bless you as your words have been a comfort over the last several years. 🙂

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      Michelle Curren

      Congratulations to your son! and to you! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!

  2. MICHELE D YATES

    I am glad to know that you will still be blogging. Just take it in stride and post however frequently or infrequently you want to. I am just a few years older than you, an empty nester and still working full time. Chickens became my empty nest diversion and I have the goal to spend more time gardening (when the heat an humidity will allow). The ladies Wednesday night class at church has become a source of inspiration, friendship and immense knowledge. So much wisdom in the room. God is good! I look forward to your continued posts.

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      Michelle Curren

      It sounds like we have a lot in common. I appreciate you reading, and taking the time to jot and encouraging note! I’m glad you’re finding fulfillment in the empty nest phase.

  3. Brenda

    I’m glad you will continue to blog! You have a lot of wisdom to share and I enjoy reading about your homestead and the beautiful pictures! May God continue to bless you and your family as you rebuild after Harvey ( we’re rebuilding after Michael now) and enjoy the summer with your daughter. Congratulations to her and how very exciting!

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      Michelle Curren

      Thank you for all of that! I’ll do my best to balance everything and keep at it. Notes like this really help! I hope your rebuilding process isn’t too hard!

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