Having realized that we will be moving in roughly 6 weeks, we decided to kick it into high gear–official papers or not! 

Now, being military, we realize that things can change at any given moment.  To give you an idea, my husband once received the official “orders” paperwork to move him from California to Florida.  The military-contracted movers took all his belongings, except for a suitcase full of summer clothing and his guitar, to FL.  En route to Florida, S decided to swing by and pay a visit to his family in the midwest.  While visiting, he was given new orders–TWICE!  By the end of his brief vacation, he had new official papers that ordered him to Iceland!  Unfortunately, it was considered a “deployment,” which meant he had no access to his belongings, which, at that point, were stored away in FL.  Needless to say, he had to make new arrangements for everything from clothes to housing very rapidly!

That being said, we know things can change.  Someone out there is still sitting around not getting our paperwork filed properly.  We aren’t sure why, but we have at least found the culprit and a few higher-ups are working our case for us now.  Because our new assignment is supposedly official at this point, and because our time here is getting short, we have decided to prepare as though we did have the paperwork. It looks as though we are going to be doing another DITY (moving ourselves) due to a number of factors involved, which adds a bit of complexity to the situation. 

Since we didn’t get the papers, we missed our preferred house-hunting opportunity this week.  So we are tentatively planning a trip in early May.  To prepare for this, I have been talking with a realtor and diligently perusing MLS listings in the area.  We could rent, but we are seriously considering buying at this point for more flexibility.  This new location may well be our longest assignment, and will hopefully finish up S’s military career.  Also, for a while now, and for many reasons, we have strongly desired to take the next big step toward self-sufficiency.  We have planned to begin raising meat rabbits and chickens (small-scale for now, of course), perhaps have a dairy goat or two, and have a little garden.  I would also love to have a house that has a location where I can experiment with having a “family closet” instead of individual closets for all the kids. 

Which leads me to this post.  OH. MY. GOODNESS!  How frustrating can this search get?!  I have made a half-dozen calls and done hours of research to learn the city and county codes for critters and gardens.  I was excited to learn that the city we are moving allows laying hens anywhere in the city limits.  Unfortunately, individual neighborhood covenants and HOA’s can override that allowance and forbid them.  So we considered moving out of the city into the county.  Then I discovered the entire state is very tight on water useage laws.  Very tight!  Although a property may be zoned for livestock and grazing, the county can refuse to issue you the necessary permits (or void them) to water that livestock. 

I really don’t consider myself very picky.  As long as the location is safe for my kids, the kitchen large enough for me to perform my tasks, at least 3 bedrooms, and preferably more than 2/10’s of an acre for our critters, I don’t really care about the rest of the details.  Colors can be painted, stairs, basements, fireplaces, nice views, and extra rooms are all options I really am not concerned with.  I don’t care if it is built with brick, wood, logs, adobe, or a vinyl mobile home!  I don’t even care if it is a bit of a fixer-upper, so long as I can move in right away and the kids will be safe.  I just desire a place where we can stay safe, improve our health with natural foods, and learn a bit more about self-reliance.  Is that too much to ask?

As of now, I have no idea how this search is going to turn out.  It seems like the door is being slammed shut everywhere I look.  I submitted 6 of our favorite property listings to the realtor to get more info.  2 of them were already under contract, 2 were short-sales, meaning not doable for us due to time constraints, and at least 1 of the remaining 2 had covenants against animals.  Although he really wanted to be close enough to bike (as he has done his entire career), S has agreed to buy another car (albeit a klunker) instead of bike, which has allowed us to extend our search area significantly.  However, neither of us want him to spend a huge portion of his day commuting to work.  At this point, while the goat idea could be re-instated if the right place is found, we have put that idea aside.  Now, due to all the covenants, it is looking like we may have to put the chicken idea aside as well. 

I have been praying fervently, and will continue to do so, that God will guide us in this search.  I know His way is always the best, and I desire to be where He wants us.  I, personally, am also praying that I will willingly submit to any decision my husband makes in this process, as he is the one most greatly affected by commuting.  Since I am officially in charge of researching properties, though, it is just so difficult right now to know which direction to turn.  We have been promising the kids chickens and rabbits this summer, and I don’t look forward to telling them otherwise.  I know they will understand, but I know how disappointing it will be for them–just the idea of not going that route is disappointing even for me. 

I know it is wrong to live for the future and worry about tomorrow, when I should be enjoying today.  I would be lying though if I said anything other than how much I look forward to getting through June, finding our house, getting settled, taking our trip back to the farm, and getting back to some semblance of normal around here.