Thursday, November 19


It is dark outside but as I sit here on the lanai, I hear the crickets chirping and the pool pump churning up the water in the hot tub, which will be a welcome reprieve after a hard days work cleaning and unpacking. Inside the sounds of dinner clearing and children playing reach out to where I sit.

As we settle into this tropical life in a quiet neighborhood (well, quiet until we moved in) I am again struck by how God orchestrated this all so well.  Moving a family of ten a distance of over a thousand miles, emptying out a home and witling down all of life's stuff into a sixteen foot trailer, all while showing the house was more than I would have imagined I could handle.  It brought me to tears many times. But His grace was there. Our NY home gets handed over to the new owners on Monday and that large season of life living in the northern part of our country closes.

These days, I mostly just monitor comments on this blog, most of them on old how-to posts on butchering and homesteading.  I've been asked if we're still homesteading and we are, albeit totally differently.  Now we have less than a half acre, but it is ours debt free and the year round growing season will allow us to putter in the gardens we'll build to our heart's content.  There are fruit trees here too among the old pines and palm trees, grapefruit, sour orange, clementine, lemon, and fig off the top of my head.  My rhubarb plant which I tenderly brought south felt the warmth and poked its head out of the soil. It thinks it is spring and I'm looking forward to trying to nurse it along here, giving it a "winter" inside the air conditioning when it is done bearing.

Life has changed a lot and I have changed a lot since I began blogging.  Besides the obvious things like growth in family size, I see that God has taught me a lot about grace, forgiveness, hope, and the preciousness of life along the years.  Life is less formula driven than it once was. I would like to continue blogging, since writing is sweet to me but I can promise this blog will veer off course from where it began.  I don't forsee much animal processing here in the south but my passion for marriage and family still are as strong.  Studying the Bible has become so sweet to me and I'd like to share some of that here too. A few years ago I began writing a children's novel for a gift for our children, which will be their Christmas gift this year.  More of my free time now, like these moments after dinner or early in the day, is spent giving time to this new door God has opened.  I never imagined I would enjoy writing fiction as much as I have.  I do have the best nine cheerleaders cheering me on, which no doubt helps.

Below are some photos, just off my phone, from the move and our week and a half in the tropics.  Where ever you are, may God catch you aware of His love tonight,
The Hampton Inn has been fabulous. This morning half the staff stood around while we ate breakfast, asking questions about our family, asking if we've been contacted by #TLC (hahahaha!), talking to the kids and handing out Toblerone. Later, I introduced t There is no way to inconspicuously walk 2.6 miles down a highway to a hotel when you number ten. The server tonight at the restaurant said, "Hey, I saw you all out walking earlier!" then proceeded to lean back, count us in Spanish, and watch us greedily c Washing off the grime of travel this morning. I think the sunshine will stay a novelty for a while. #Florida #thehagartysdoflorida Florida in November. The struggle is real. @katiesgrasso Addie wants Lyla to see the flounder she caught with her new pink fishing pole. One day of laundry and Big Ben. #largefamilylogistics Pretty cool field trip this morning to a privately owned air transport company and the Sherrif's office helicopter unit.


Momma Bug said...

Ah Hannah my friend... Congratulations on all your sweet change!
I have missed your blogging, but I love all the things that make you who you are, and that have shaped your life to be what it is today. Thank you Lord, for grace and hope and growing.
In your words I feel my own hearts echo and this life, it is good. It is hard, and sweet, and generally makes me long for the real home we belong to and must wait a little longer for.

I'm grateful for your sunny winter ahead - what a nice change that will be I bet :-)

All my heart and love and hugs,

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

Change can be a huge blessing! My life also is changing immeasurably and I am enjoying the ride . . a lot of prayer has gone into these changes and I see so many blessings coming from it all . .
With year-round gardening you should be able to feed your family well from your own land. Such a huge blessing for you!! Will your children each have their own garden beds and individual veggie stands at the curb? How fun would that be??!!! 🏡 😊😏

The Wheelers said...

I just saw your post about fruit trees...
Consider satsumas! We live in South Texas (similar climate) and satsuma trees do great. They are a very loose-skinned, seedless (once mature) citrus and my crew eats them straight from the tree all season! Of all the things we've planted, Meyer's Lemon and Satsuma are our favorites!
Best of luck on your new adventure!

Jennifer Hoots said...

I have always enjoyed what you share here, and will continue to do so no matter your location or occupation. I am happy for your tropical adventure. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the update. I have followed your blog for quite awhile and really enjoy your writing. I wish you all the best in your new chapter down south.

tanyakoenig said...

My parents followed a similar path. We moved from upstate NY when I was young to the west coast of FL..My parents were charmed with the tropical lifestyle, esp. After living in such harsh winters. Many good wishes to you and your family during this transition.

Anonymous said...

Having quietly followed your blog for many, many years, I'm delighted that you are continuing in this new phase of life. I hope you will write about all the things you mention above and continue to encourage all of us, your readers, in our own faith and lives. I am always inspired by your stories and your family. Please keep posting about your schooling and cooking too!