In the past when people would ask me where I am from, I would temporarily go blank. A fragmented, unhappy childhood had left me like a blank slate. Like an orphan tossed on the seas of life, it seems that I had always yearrned for a place I could call Home. My official Home Town never felt like home, so, where did I come from? Where did I belong? I longed, deeply, to find a place to call my own.
Descendants of German immigrants, my adopted parents where
born and raised on farms in western Pennsylvania during The Great
married and moved to a small town in Central Florida as
a young couple in the early
1950's. Apparently, Mom could not bare children but I've
never learned why. After six years of being on the adoption list, they
found an underaged young lady "in trouble" and adopted yours truly. When
I was a wee tot, on the rare occasions
we traveled to their native Pennsylvania, they would take the time to
friends or family still living on farms. I fell in love with the
countryside right then and there. I felt a kinship with
the trees, the wildlife, the smells, the gentle sounds, the clean air
and most of all, the solitude. Even the small
town was already beginning to be too much for me. I wanted to enjoy the
light pollution. I yearned to hear the crickets singing and chase
fireflies from a back porch.
Psalms 27:10 "When my
father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take me
What I share next is not to illicit sympathy but to lay the ground
work for this story explaining the reason for my feeling so disconnected. Very rarely do I dwell on this small part of my life. These are only shadows and ghosts of the past.
I've given it to God and He has lovingly hidden the hurt away.
I think I was fairly happy as a small child before my mother died
in 1966, I don't remember. All I do remember is losing the only mother
I'd ever known
that sweltering August day. After the funeral Dad made it abundantly
clear he didn’t want me around anymore. It turned my already
fragile world upside down. My earliest memory is her funeral with Dad
telling me to “Shut up, what do you care?! You’re only adopted anyway.”
Yeah, he said that to a grieving 10 year old child. I felt like someone
had reached into my chest and stopped my heart from beating. Dad was
keen on yelling curse words, snapping belittling
remarks (his favorite were I was a bastard, and how stupid I was), open
hand slap any body
part too close to him, or glare at me for seemingly no reason. I
started running away. My grades where failing. I became a bit of a day
dreamer. The school psychiatrist was as much help as breasts on a boar
hog. Two step-mothers later, things where a little improved. At least
was a Christian and wasn't abusive. We had our differences, but still
she had a good heart. When I was 14 I gave my heart to Christ in a
little non-denominational church. Kneeling at the cross
(emotionally) I knew I was a sinner, unworthy of His forgiveness but
told Him I believed in Him and to do with me as He will. At least I knew
He would never leave me! He gave me the strength to go on. His guidance
gave me the fortitude to buckle down, get a good education and get the
of Dodge as soon as it was legal. When I turned 18 it was made clear I
was no longer welcome in that house. No home there! Frightened and with
in my abilities, I married the first man that asked and in
the infamous words of Jimmy Buffett “it cost me much more than a ring“.
My first husband wasn’t a bad guy but we where definitely mismatched. He
wasn't my 'home' either. Thankfully, we
parted on amicable terms without too much damage done.
all that, my current hubby and I met, then tied the knot. Thankfully, he shared my vision of living in the country. It was going to be a difficult task
since we where
living in the Big City, in a State where property was expensive and we
are not people of means. Thankfully, by now it was the '80s and times
where good. With
good jobs and lots of prospects for improvement we worked hard for 18 years. It was
exciting to dream and plan. However, even though there can be lots of
money to be
made in a metropolis, a city setting is emotionally crushing to me. I
felt stifled, fought a lot of airborn illnesses, and the stress of
living so close to others kept my nerves on edge. I fought the crushing
sadness that seemed to follow me like a black cloud.
1981, I was working for a gentleman who was also adopted. He urged me
to begin searching for my birth parents. Through his assistance, I
managed to learn who my birth-mother was. After many phones calls,
letters and false starts I had located her within a few weeks. (Again,
God's mercy!) Regrettably, though, I was about 18 months too late to
speak to my birth-mother as she had died in a traffic accident not far from where I
was then living. But I did manage to make contact with a half sister,
two half brothers, several aunts, an uncle and my grandfather. It was
a rich and rewarding experience. Trust me, like all things great and
small in our lives, this ties in.
years we continued the search for land. We wanted that perfect location
where it would be our forever home. On weekends when we weren’t
repairing our 1952 Florida home, or out in the woods, we where looking
at land. Dreaming about land. Praying for
land! I think I exhausted every place in Florida I could think of. Then,
the notion to start looking in southeast Georgia. One Saturday, after a,
what I thought, wasted trip to Reidsville, Georgia, to look at more
land for sale, we
passed a sign on Highway 121 for a local realtor in Blackshear. It was
late so I wrote the number down (this was pre-cell phones, after all)
and after driving home, made an appointment for the next weekend to look
at property. Short story long [smile], the nice young lady took us city
folks all around this postage stamp sized county. It seemed every place
I looked at it was
“still too close to town”. I guess she couldn't believe that we would
want to live so far out. Several available properties later, she finally
me, and took us out to this place.
Leviticus 25:23 "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me."
It’s no kidding, as soon as I stepped out of her car, and my foot
hit the property, with the towering oaks and pines, the inviting quiet, the
simple country road, I knew this was it! My heart sang with joy! Hubby and I prayed for success.
God mercifully opened the doors for the loan to go through without a hitch.
started down the long, curvy road of making this our permanent residence. It
would take almost 8 more years of scrimping and saving but we where
finally on the way Home.