Saturday, October 19, 2019

Life After Cows...Home Again...

No, we haven't moved to Chicago!  :)

Apparently there is a little confusion as to whether or not we've actually arrived home, and I wonder why??!  Life happens, and I haven't gotten around to wrapping it up, I guess.  :)  So here goes...

We left Chicago on Saturday morning after breakfast, and once again headed east.  It took us a while to get out of Chicago, as expected.  Our only planned stop for the day was at the Indiana Dunes...

We didn't stay there very long, and were soon back in the car and on I-80.  As we traveled east through Indiana and Ohio, we tried to think of something interesting that we could do, just for fun.  Jim thought of one of his friends whose family lives just off of the Ohio turnpike near Archbold, and I just happened to have his number in my phone.  What were the chances that he would #1, see my text in time, and that #2 it would be feasible to stop in to see his family farm?

Lucky us, Kevin answered almost immediately, and enthusiastically encouraged us to stop in at the farm where his brothers and family were gathering for a birthday party!  The Nofzigers were very gracious to welcome two virtual strangers on the spur of the moment, and we thoroughly enjoyed our short visit with them. 

Kevin's brother gave us a ride through the fields in his sprayer...

We didn't stay long, but it was so much fun to make connections.  We were sent on our way with sandwiches and  cake pops from the little guy's birthday party.  The world feels a little bit smaller when things like this happen!

We spend the night an hour or so down the road, and headed for home on Sunday morning.  I have come to conclusion that Ohio is the flattest state that we drove through on our trip...

For example...

Before long, we knew we were entering somewhat familiar territory.  We could also feel it in the roads.  Any of you who have ever driven on Pennsylvania roads will know what I'm talking about...

Our final stop, just around supper time, was Messiah College to visit Eric who was finishing up his senior year.  We took a stroll around the campus, crossing the Little Breeches Creek...

With a selfie on the swinging bridge...

...and headed for home.  Our final 55 miles on the road.

The final mileage on the odometer reads 51,004.

That's 4311 miles accidents, no flat tires, no getting lost, 10 nights with family or friends, 5 nights in motels, 13 states, countless things crossed of the bucket list...and precious time away! 

We are so grateful for the opportunity to take this trip, and we will never regret taking the time to make it happen.

What now?

We are still feeling good about our decision to sell the cows.  We are both settled in at our jobs...Jim is driving truck (and more) for a neighbor who owns a fertilizer business and I'm working at a local feed mill, in the office doing customer service.  It's still hard to be away from home as much as we are, but we're adjusting!  Lots of things have happened over the past few months in our family.  Eric graduated from college and is working as an engineer, Jenna is serving in Nicaragua with Mennonite Central Committee for a year after graduating from Hesston, my dad passed away a few weeks ago after declining rapidly from a brief illness, summer has come...and gone...and much much more.

We'll see how much blogging I do from here on out.  I might post occasionally, as I hate to give it up completely.  But regular posting is the best way to blog, and now that we aren't farming I'm not sure how exciting my everyday life would be in print!  I've made lots of blogger friends along the way over the past nine years, and I don't want to disappear completely, so all I'll say is "we'll see"!

Thanks for following along!


  1. I'm very sorry for the loss of your dad and I'm glad that you were close by when it happened. You really did some travelling. My husband and I haven't been on a trip together. Every trip we have taken have been solo. Meeting friends along the way is the icing on the cake. Farmers are usually welcoming people.

    Take care and try to stay in touch.
    Hugs, Julia

  2. So sorry to hear about your father. Thanks for taking us on your trip with you - it must have been such a wonderful experience after so many years of having to stay close to home because of milking. Enjoy the new changes in your life! I do hope you keep blogging from time to time. -Jenn

  3. It's always good to hear from you via your blog. I, too, am sorry for your loss and hope your mom and you are adjusting to life without him. I'm sure it's tough to have Jenna so far away, but I hope she is finding it a fulfilling experience. Is a trip to Nicaragua in your future?

    1. Kim...yes, we are hoping to visit her sometime after Christmas! She was able to come home for the funeral, which was very nice!

  4. Alica, I didn't read this until November 16. First, I'm so sorry for your dad's death, I don't remember if I knew that. I am glad the kids are finished with school and on their ways to productive lives. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip... and Alica, I thought I would stop blogging when we moved from Calamity Acres as Keith grew ill.... but I held on... let us know what you are doing once in a while! :-)

  5. I hope all is well with you. It was good to hear from you. I wonder how your life change has been going. I wish you the best for the new year.


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