Monday, August 31, 2009

Reminiscing -- It's Been Five Years

It was 5 years ago today that the Bartletts pulled up their roots in Fargo, ND and headed for the wilds of North Dakota's Turtle Mountains. We had no prior experience in living in a rural area, no house building experience, no outhouse experience, no experience with animals -- just a desire to get our family out of the city and into the country, where our boys could grow and learn many new things. This was the classified ad that Jim submitted to the Bottineau weekly newspaper, called the Courant.

We received two phone calls, and one turned out to be the owner of the land that we soon called our own.

We packed all of our earthly possessions into an old semi trailer that we purchased, borrowed our friends the Kenney's trailer, and got ready to move.

Our poor car was so packed that it barely made it out of the driveway ...

... And moved into a 1970's vintage pop-up camper, complete with bright orange sink and avocado and orange flowered upholstery. No electricity, water or sewer. We made good use of our state park permit, traveling to the state park every 3 to 4 days to replenish our jugs of water and take showers.

All we had was a thatched roof hut in the woods, with a wall on one side for protection, and a bucket enclosed by a box and toilet cover.

Our friends the Kenneys managed to come up for visits that fall, and helped to keep us encouraged in the Lord. My brother Mark also arrived, helping to enclose the basement walls and roof.

The concrete work was done by some time in October, and the rest was up to us. Talk about a crash course in housing construction! I think Jim worked with a manual in one hand and a hammer in the other.

David (5), Andrew (8), Peter (10) and Jonathan (12).


Marci said...

Look how far you have come!!! You are now seasoned homesteaders!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lynn,
I am soooooooo proud of you! I can remember meeting you at Prarie Days and you sharing that you were going to "Leave the comforts of the city" and face the great unknown together with God! WOW!!!
Can it really be 5 years already?
May the Lord continue blessing you for your faith and obedience no matter what.
PS. The raspberry muffins were WONDERFUL! Thanks for the recipie.

Andrea said...

My dad and I pass your old house every time we bike into campus, and as I go by, I think of you. I can't believe it's been 5 years already!

What's New with the Halls said...

I can't believe it has already been 5 years! time sure flies - you guys have done some great things in that short time, there on your property! Look how much the boys have grown too!! WOW

Love you guys, Katie

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Congrats on your 5 years of country living with our Lord. I wanted to let you know of a great resource for free crochet patterns:

So many patterns here. God bless!

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Lynn,

What a great adventure your family has been on!

I haven't visited your blog here in awhile and have enjoyed getting caught up with your entries.

Your entire family is such an inspiring example.

God bless you all,

Herrick Kimball

Diane N. said...

Hi Lynn,

I came to your blog after a few months' hiatus, by way of TNFarmgirl's blog.

My husband and I begin to dream of things that you are doing. Would you say that jumping into rural life as you did, completely including building the house, was the way you'd still do it if you knew what you know now?

I ask because it seems a long shot for us... and the amount of work in things neither of us knows much about is daunting!