time to step away…

With the the weather finally getting warm, I hear our farm calling my name so it’s time for a windows down, head clearing road trip to enjoy some of what I’ve been hoping for. This long awaited trip is precisely what this winter worn writer needs to reinvigorate these weary eyes. The farm has always been a creatively fertile environment, my secret writer’s retreat…but seeds of a different sort will be sown this year.

Some of you may know I was a landscape designer for 10 years and with the 2 year renovation of the 100 year old house nearly complete, it’s time to turn my attention to the neglected landscape. The house sits on a 3 acre clearing amid 100 acres of crops, so it’s time now the entire property, the walkways, patio, foundation plantings and garden beds get a complete redesign. I’ve designed some very large properties in Chicago, but never one this size: 3 acre parcels don’t exist.

I’m very excited to get started, so my attention will be focused on this and other projects for at least the next few weeks. There is no internet service on the farm, a detail I sometimes complain about and vow to correct. But there are times like now, when I just need to step away from the digital world for a while and get my hands in the dirt again, wipe some real sweat from my brow, enjoy the sunset and stars and listen to the heartbeat of the soil.

ty as always for your creativity, friendship and support,
and I’ll catch up with everyone when I return.

until then…Happy Writing!


86 thoughts on “time to step away…

  1. Muddletation says:

    Enjoy the dirt W πŸ™‚ very happy for you…

  2. Oh my dear friend you shall be sorely missed. How wonderful to retreat to a place so special, though you have your work cut out for you. I am sure the lack of internet will be of no consequence, when you drag your weary bones into bed each night. At least there is pen and paper to rely on, should you get the call to write about the beauty that surrounds you..and how could you not. Take care and have an amazing break from this digital world. I look forward to your stories and your beautiful poetry on your return. Many hugs, take care. x

    • i’m such a creature of habit and superstition Jen, i lug my whole computer setup, my special lamp and fav pillows and set everything up on the dining room table.lol i write in Word, i just cannot write with pen and paper the way i can via keyboard. i have written some of my best work on the farm, it’s the place i call HOME despite where i live now. in fact, what i’m about to do, is laying the groundwork for an eventual move there over the next 4 years.

      when Cbear is ready for college, daddy definitely has a plan!
      ty for your well wishes and friendship Jen, i’ll miss you too!

      • Plans are good πŸ™‚ Alas, I am the same, word documents…meh lol
        I don’t have a special lamp though, that’s just a bit too weird πŸ™‚ x

      • oh, i’m quite cognizant of how weird that is Jen, lol, Scout can only shake her head at some of my antics! but lighting and the near prone position my body is in while i write is really crucial to me. i have a Swedish style ergonomically designed chair with a footstool, and lots of low watt, uplighting that cast no reflection. so i try and recreate that same environment when i take a trip.

        lol, like i said, Scout can only shake her head….

      • Well we all have our little idiosyncrasies lol, I shake my head too. Says me lying on the couch right now, but my back aches from cleaning .. Meh

      • so jen, i woke up wondering if you might consider a co write, maybe after i get through the 3 i’m working on now.?…in the meantime, we could bang our heads together for an inspirational subject.

      • I was just swallowing a drink and then gulped. Really? Oh Jack that is… I am so very honoured, I would love too, thank you so much for asking me. I have a big smile on my face right now. Hmm finding the subject is the killer. I am so thrilled!

      • well, it’s an honor to ask Jen…we’ve come a long way this year, you and i. kind of a parallel poetry journey so it seems like a good time.

        and yes, the subject is key. we can continue this part of the conversation via email, i’ll tell you what i’m working on so we don’t have any crossover.

      • I guess we have, though mine still falls down a grate now and then, but our journeys have taken us to new heights. Email – yes and advise how you would like this to work, appreciated ‘Jack’ hugs

  3. Have a wonderful time. Take pictures…lots of them.

  4. Enjoy your time communing with Mother Nature in your natural state of bliss. It is good to get back to that state now and again, as it reminds us what is real in this age of technology. I’m a little jealous! πŸ™‚ Blessings to you!

  5. ritaroberts says:

    You have earned a well needed break to do what is needed on Mother Earth, after all she looks after us. But remember, take it slowly slowly so as not to mess up the body which usually ends up as aches and pains after an absence of manual work. However ! I always feel well rewarded after a good days gardening regardless of the aches and pains. Take care.

    • ah, that’s a seasoned gardener’s advice well worth remembering Rita, ty for that.
      i am looking forward to the reward of the aches and pains of planting, there are
      few things more profoundly gratifying than working the soil, and enjoying the result!

  6. Lulu's back says:

    Sounds like a wonderful retreat. Enjoy!

    • hi Lulu, ty and very warm welcome to you! i guess we’ll get our timing down one of these days..lol
      you’re back and i’m leaving now, but you know how beneficial time away is for the soul.

  7. SirenaTales says:

    Listening to the heartbeat of the soil, to the dance of setting suns and igniting stars…sounds heavenly, MW. Enjoy the delicious and well-deserved refreshment of your soul, my friend. Love and hugs….

    • heh, i already feel better just writing that i’m leaving Chloe, i’m definitely tired and need a change of scenery! i’ll be working on our poem there, and we can talk via e mail if that’s ok. i’m dying to know how your performance went! Love and Hugs to you sweet dancer, ty for always being here.

  8. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    no I did not know your creativity extended deep into the soil – you’ve acres of talent! Hope you manage to turn over some more poetry with the tilth

    • ha, ‘acres of talent’, love that Laura, ty. it was the most rewarding job i ever had in so many ways, had the same 12 employees for 10 years, 6 trucks going out everyday. i learned the true meaning of ‘land-scaping’, soil was the medium, it was like creating living sculpture outside a studio.

      and yes, i believe i’ll dig up some poetry there..lol if i’ve learned anything this first year writing poetry, i at least know when my poetry voice is not there. and i’d rather not write it, ’till it is.

  9. Lulu's back says:

    The time away was exactly what I needed. It helps you focus and regroup and mostly to enjoy yourself, doing the things you love with the people that matter most. We’ll catchup when you return πŸ™‚ Enjoy!!!

  10. Mary says:

    Very exciting that you’ll be able to turn the 3 acres into a masterpiece, no doubt that’s what will happen. I hope for you that hard work not only yields sweat and a gorgeously designed landscape, but an open brilliance in writing and any other creative endeavor that you decide to tackle. Best for your time away ~

    • ty Mary…i’m quite excited about this project, and as someone who loves landscapes and gardens as much as you do you would understand. i’m leaning towards a semi-formal English cottage garden foundation, the house is very simple and white, a neutral but suitable backdrop for this design style. i’m also carving out a large area for a vegetable garden, the long term plan is to grow specialty vegetables and herbs….so lots and lots to do. i can’t wait to get started!

      • Mary says:

        It does sound fantastic and hope that at some point you are able to post some photographs for us to marvel at your work! Hope you and your family have a wonderful time.

      • oh this will be my first solo trip, Scout and Cbear have school. i’ll hopefully be
        meeting my in laws there for a few days, we have some planning and catching up to do.
        and yes, pics will definitely be taken to be shared with the class..lol

  11. Eva van Beek says:

    How wonderful, enjoy!!! Wish I had was landscape gardener, we do not have acres but the garden surely could use a skilled touch. Hope you come back with some wonderful stories.

    • Eva, i’m so sorry i missed your comment ’til now. yes, i think i will have some stories to tell, this is the first time i’ll be there alone for an extended period. i love taking road trips flying solo, it has adventure written all over it.

      living now in a 3rd floor condo with a very small years, this will be the first opportunity in many years to design a landscape, it’s very different when it’s a design for clients, in some ways a little more difficult when the choices are all yours but i’m up for the challenge. the before and after will be quite significant, i’ll chronicle the progress here on the blog. hopefully it will be a fun project for gardeners like yourself to see the progress. ty for your interest and well wishes eva, i really appreciate it!

  12. Miranda Stone says:

    I hope you have a wonderful time at the farm! I’m sure nature will provide you with an abundance of inspiration. As George Santayana said, “The earth has music for those who listen.” Take care, my friend.

    • heh, how right he is Miranda, that’s a perfect quote for this trip. i knew the moment
      i stepped foot on the farm 10 years ago, it was where i should be and i’m laying down
      plans now to make that happen. ty Miranda, seeya when i get back!

  13. stacilys says:

    Hey, good for you. It’s always good to get away, get unplugged and get refreshed. Have a wonderful time and see you when you get back.

    • i can hardly wait Stacylys, i’m like a kid looking forward to the amusement park.
      there are few places that make me feel that way, the farm always does. ty for
      your well wishes, and keep writing your poetry Stacylys. i’ll seeya when i get back!

  14. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Sounds absolutely fabulous. Be good. πŸ™‚

  15. You will be missed, but it sounds wonderful!! Enjoy to the fullest, Dear Friend. πŸ™‚ ❀

  16. emma1951.wordpress.com says:

    Well for you!… but I won’t be getting My hands dirty… πŸ™‚

  17. Have a nice time! I’m sure you will get back with wonderful poems on suitcase πŸ™‚

    • wow Eduardo, ty for being here and a very warm welcome to you!
      i don’t know how it always works out this way, but each time
      my poetry voice has been weary this year, a trip to the farm
      is looming on the calendar….waiting.

      heh, i’ll pack an empty suitcase…i love that image Eduardo, ty.

  18. Sounds divine! I love anything to do with home/land/house renovations. Landscape is very important. It frames the whole abode. Again, you are a man of many talents. Never ceases to surprise me in the most pleasant way!
    Wishing you a beautiful retreat. This “renovation” could very well be a therapy in itself. Have fun, stay creative and positive. Would love the see the before and after pics, if possible πŸ˜‰

    Much care,

    • hi Shirley, ‘a therapy in itself’ yes, you are absolutely right. when i designed for a living, i specialized in complete renovations of turn of the century homes with landscapes that had been neglected for decades. i have some architectural training and a great passion for older homes, so bringing these once noble properties back to life was profoundly rewarding. this project has so much meaning, it’s been in my wife’s family for generations, she grew up on this farm and now we been gifted the property. her parents who are now my defacto parents are getting older. i really want them to see the farm come back to life, they deserve that.

      so yeah, this project is a big deal for a lot of folks i love. i can’t wait to get started. with all the interest expressed here about seeing progress pics, i think i will do that.

      ty for your well wishes Shirley, you are treasured here!

  19. Hey you! Doing a happy dance for you. A trip to the farm should do the trick to fully shake off the last of winter’s dust. Play in the dirt, get it under your fingernails and squish it ibetween your toes! Acres to play with πŸ™‚ Have a fabulous time. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place sounds like a lot of work to be done but a labour of love makes it all worthwhile. Do save some room for veggies…nothing in the world better than veggies fresh from the garden. πŸ™‚ One of the only things i miss about my early years πŸ˜‰

    Oh and do email me when you are back online. I have worked on our cowrite bit more but want to “talk” before i send it back your way..

    Big Hugs to you!

    • ‘Do save some room for veggies’ this was actually the genesis for the entire project. in the next 4 years, until Cbear goes to college, i will be transitioning to living on the farm. i have a plan to grow specialty vegetables and maybe herbs, with an eye towards selling them. Scout’s cousin is a longtime member of the Indiannapolis Farmer’s Market, and Indy is only 2 hours from the farm. we grow corn and soybeans which pay all the bills now, and if this plan is successful i can just grab extra acres when i need them, we have 100.

      so that’s the long term plan, living there is my dream. eating our own veggies, is another! and having a reinvigorated, flowering landscape is just icing on the cake!..lol

      i have email on my smartphone Melanie, so you can write anytime. we just don’t have internet service in the house to connect to a computer.

  20. I wish you joy with a much needed disconnect from the trappings of the modern world. Getting our hands in dirt is a rare thing, a needed thing, and a simple necessity that is so essential for some of us to clear our heads and recharge.

    I grew up on a farm, in the country in Oregon, so I know that feeling. I miss that. I envy your time there, and I am so thankful that you are able to commune in quiet solitude with the earth for a time-even if projects call your attention away.

    I have been somewhat absent from many of my friends blogs of late, including yours, as I have not strayed far from my own, when I am actually here, lately. I am sorry that I have not be present for you, but I always have in my mind, love for you, and all of my little community here, even if you don’t see my words, on your blog.

    Many blessings and happiness in your hiatus, Dear One.

    Blessed Be,


    • oh i’m so happy to see you here Holly, ty. even though this farm is my wife’s family farm, the first moment i stepped into the clearing after the 200 yard drive down the gravel road through the sentry corn…it spoke HOME to me. that was over 10 years ago, my in-laws spent the next 8 years negotiating with the rest of the family on a fair buyout, none of them were really interested in keeping the farm but us. 2 years ago, i was the first person my in-laws called after they finished signing the paperwork, the farm was gifted to my wife and i and her brother.

      they are as excited as i am about the plans to renew the landscape, bring the farm back to glory again. we spent the last 2 years renovating the entire house. i truly love this place, it’s in my bones!. Love and Hugs to you Holly, seeya when i get back in a few weeks!

  21. Dianette says:

    Ahh… U are a …LUCKY one… enjoy!! πŸ˜‰

  22. Dianette says:

    Yes, you do…

  23. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    ahh I have been redesigning my gardens πŸ™‚
    I create faerie gardens and Natural habitats…did it many years for a living, and still do every once in awhile…my project for the cottage garden is a Faerie Treehouse…
    so much weeding this year, pruning is almost done, I needed my hands in soil, I guess I will never have those manicured hands one sees in commercials LOLs..
    I know you will be reaching new vibrations with your garden work…I wish you much fun within the peace I think you will find…I will miss you and your writings…I am in catch up mode between gardening and quilting…so I will be around …. πŸ™‚
    Take Care…You Matter…

    • hi maryrose, ‘I create faerie gardens and Natural habitats’ why am i not surprised? i remember when you posted the work of that metal sculptor who created figurines of fairies and such, i thought then you were either an avid gardner or a professional so ty for sharing that.

      geez, a fairie greenhouse, well you know what they say….’if you build it, they will come” lol and i understand about the unmanicured hands, My partner is a violin teacher and hers show her vocation as well! honestly, i miss the callouses and dirt under my fingernails, my hands have become too soft for my liking theses days! enjoy your time in the garden, after such a long winter every minute is precious!

      Love and Hugs to you maryrose, ty for being here!

  24. That sounds beautiful! I wish I was out of the city away in the British countryside lol. Though your farm sounds way better!

    Have a lovely time, look forward to hearing the poems your break inspires.

    • hi Ophelia, the only thing the farm is missing is some change in terrain, Indiana is incredibly flat. the English countryside is so beautiful because of it’s hills, it’s something i’d like add into our landscape in some way.

      ty for being here Ophelia and i’ll seeya when i get back!

      • Ah yes I see, it’s nice to have a hill or two. Have you been to England?

        Sounds great though being able to get away to your own bit of land and to have the skills and knowledge to landscape it etc: sounds like heaven, very inspirational.

        No problem, Thank you for everything! Get hammocks for the fam!!!! πŸ˜€

      • yes , i was there many years ago, mostly London but I did take few day train trip through the countryside.
        i had an amazing experience in London though, i got deathly sick and the hotel manager called a cabbie to take to hospital. he waited for me to be released, took me to the pharmacy for my prescriptions and brought me back to the small hotel. i was really out of it, i handed him a whole bunch of cash but he just took the fare, he wouldn’t accept a tip. i was living on NY at the time, cabbies there would never do that.

  25. I’m sure the time in the dirt and sun will inspire you with the words. =)

    • yes, it always does Holistic Wayfarer, i’ve written some of my favorite poems on the farm.
      i struggle mightily living in a big city like Chicago, the farm is instant serenity for me.
      ty very much for your well wishes, i appreciate you being here!

  26. Liana says:

    we miss you out there in the natural world from this unnatural space of friends…actual friends πŸ™‚

  27. Twig says:

    We miss you dearly, but cannot wait to see what has been stirring while you’ve been away… Hope you are fully enjoying yourself and playing in the dirt. πŸ™‚

    • hi there Twig, sorry for the delay in responding but i just stopped in Louisville for a Father’s day celebration for my father in law and am using their computer to answer your wonderful and appreciated well wishes. ty, i am having a grand time being away from it all, in fact i’ve traded in a few weeks of off time later in the year to stay a while longer. if i were king, i’d never leave! lol

  28. just popped round to see if you are back …not yet….enjoy the heartbeat of the earth so πŸ™‚ E

    • ty so much echo for thinking of me, sorry for the delay in responding but i just stopped in Louisville for a Father’s day celebration for my father in law and am using their computer to answer some comments. i really appreciate the kindness!

  29. Just popped by to leave a hug. Hope you are enjoying your time away πŸ™‚

    • ahh, hug received Melanie. ty so much. sorry for the delay in responding but i just stopped in Louisville for a Father’s day celebration for my father in law and am using their computer to answer some comments. i know i owe you an e mail, so let’s just put our co write on the back burner for a while longer. i have plans to stay at the farm for at least another few weeks and honestly i’m so obsessed with the landscaping plan and other work that needs to be done, i haven’t even thought about writing. honestly, it’s kind of liberating!

  30. Happy Lifeaholic says:

    I hope you’re enjoying your time on the farm! I look forward to reading new posts sometime soon. πŸ™‚

    • ty Happy Lifeaholic, i really appreciate the kind sentiments. i’ve been knee deep in landscaping work and other chores here,
      honestly i’m not even sure when i’ll be home again and posting. if i had my way, i’d never leave!

  31. Sky Vani says:

    You just crossed my mind so I came here. I hope you are enjoying the time on the farm. Greetings… πŸ™‚

  32. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    certain energies are drawing me back today and yesterday…you are one of them…I hope all is well on your farm and you are in a memonet of being
    Take Care….You Matter…

  33. It’s been a while since I’ve had acreage to work with. You’re certain to have a grand time.

  34. C.C. says:

    I’m glad to hear that you are drawing such satisfaction from the landscaping work you are doing and from the opportunity to be out of the city (so amazing for the soul, isn’t it?). Hoping your writing will be back on the blogosphere sometime, though, as I miss reading your posts. All the best to you πŸ™‚

  35. AnnIsikArts says:

    You are back, since you visited my blog. I went away … fell down part of a cliff, smashed up my shoulder. Oh well. Writing possible only with wrist resting below keyboard. But I am writing.

  36. Miss you brother. A lot.:(

  37. Dianette says:

    Come back…!!!

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