Grit Blogs > As My Garden Grows

Life Changes: Country Style

By Debbie Nowicki

Tags: garden, pond, Illinois, farm,

Slowing down in a fast paced world is not easy for those of us who have been programmed all their lives to achieve and become successful.  You become wrapped so tight, you forget how to loosen up and enjoy.  Nature’s beauty goes unnoticed and you can easily become a robot in a make believe world.

Country Home

But then … you reach milestones in your life and they scream for your attention.  Ours came when we prepared to send our first child to college and we realized that the status of becoming empty nesters was only a few years down the road.  Our second child leaves for college next year; we have taken notice.

As we prepare our children for independence, we are also preparing ourselves for the same.  How ironic that as the next generation heads into the high-pressure world, we are preparing to leave it all behind.

Our children face many challenges as they enter this new phase of their lives; so do we.  The children will have many trained teachers to show them the path. We will have one – a piece of land, in the country.

We purchased our country home last year and we are slowly learning to adjust.  Although Stan has already proven that the pond is full of healthy fish! The pond has also taught us a tough lesson: ponds don’t maintain themselves! This fact was recently proven over the course of a weekend when we pulled 3,000 lbs. of algae and weeds from the pond – Stan in the canoe with me on land, rake in hand.  We prevented our pond from becoming a swamp, and have since purchased an aerator to oxygenate and circulate the water (not yet installed).  Our country property consists of 18 acres, 8 of which a local farmer plants for us – this year soybeans. 

Stan And Catfish

As an Illinois native (47 years) I feel most comfortable here; however, traveling back and forth between our current home in St. Charles and our place in the country (a 5 hour trip one way) gives us plenty of time to reflect on the diverse beauty along the way.  Even though the two locations are in the same state, the differences (soil, weather, towns, people and lifestyle) are profound. Click here to see my farm-diversity slideshow.

I am focusing my passion for gardening on our new property.  As I learn, I will share my experiences and I hope others will join me with their knowledge and own experiences!