A New Home

It has been two months since my last post here.


The day after that post I began making emergency calls to get my beloved horses out to stay safely in a boarding facility.  One week later I sat outside an emergency room and posted to Instagram about our sudden departure from home as our mother's tactics had sent my sister into a medical emergency.  ER staff warned us not to go back, especially not alone, as they felt the situation could easily spiral out of control, perhaps even become violent, so that was our unintended move-out date.  Over the next week, I arranged to get the rest of our stuff out and into storage.  We had agreed to delay our move-in date so the sellers could have more time to move out and clean things up, so we spent the intervening week in AirBnbs in lovely Tucson, AZ.  On the day after Christmas we finally got a first glimpse of the home we had purchased in Las Cruces - necessarily sight-unseen because of the family situation we were trying to escape - and found that, in essence, we had no home.  As it stood it was unlivable, nor was the neighborhood any better.  Two weeks ago we drove out of Las Cruces headed to the Midwest.  Three days ago we moved into our own little home, a clean, fresh, minuscule house on a few acres bounded only by some barbed wire and a road below.

fields across the road
Across the road

So it has been a two months full of trauma, to say the least.


It was not my intention to cease blogging altogether during relocation; but, as you may deduce from the above, there was so much turmoil and heartbreak and intensive rethinking to be done.  The upshot is a result I had by no means anticipated: a new home on a south-facing slope that looks across tree-studded fields.  No longer in the desert southwest as I had anticipated and believed I had arranged for, but in rural west-central Missouri, not so far from my home of many years in Kansas City.  (Some other time I will explain how it happens that the city is mostly in the state of Missouri, rather than the eponymous state of Kansas!)


I never intended to come back here.  But without jobs (our mother made certain we never, never had jobs), unable to restart our own business efforts while in limbo, and watching a bank balance drop despite our best efforts to keep costs down, well... the familiar began to look much better.  Housing prices are distinctly lower in this region.  And I had some time before begun to realize that perhaps it wasn't the city or the region that had so isolated me, but simply the woman who had controlled our lives all those years.  


We shall see...  The house price differential was enough to allow us to purchase a little home here immediately.  The place in Las Cruces is now under contract - at a loss, but not as much as I had anticipated, so hopefully we will be able to put all that fiasco behind us promptly.


Meantime my sister and I are trying to simultaneously readjust to our new/old location and deal with the bare beginnings of recovery from the long disaster we've dealt with.  And all too often, the two tasks intertwine and require thought and patience and rest to process them.  

In memory, the past two months are now a blur of intense emotional stress, with heightened moments of horror and gratitude.  A handful of people stand out in my mind for their human kindness through this time: nurse Sarah, who cared for my sister and, two days later, myself, at the emergency room in Surprise, AZ; a tow-truck driver in Tucson; Lorena and Ana in Las Cruces; and our kind-hearted buyer's agent here, who made it her mission to find us a pleasant, clean place to call home - and quickly!


Also our online friends, whose encouragement and understanding (sometimes I'm sure they understood better than we did ourselves) helped us keep everything somewhat in perspective.  Some, in particular, have gone through far more themselves, and we had the benefit of their thoughts and experiences, warnings and reassurance, and incredible support.  Thank you all!


And a very special note, as this whole disaster has brought me back in touch with two childhood friends.  I won't say much as I don't know how they would feel about it (though I do hope they will read this!), but reconnecting with them has meant so much to me and given me so much more assurance and confidence moving forward.  Thank you both! :)


Below are a few vignettes: our new house from the back, looking down the slope with our truck for scale; a glimpse through the living room window, and Betty doing some window-watching herself.  She is discovering that there are mole hills throughout the yard and a field of cattle across the street.  It all takes a little getting used to!

Now, this is a garden blog, after all!  And I am a gardener, so here is an initial gardening report.  There seems to be no garden whatever here, but the setting will make a lovely spot for one.  It will still be a small garden, and it will certainly be sunny, at least until the recently planted Liriodendron saplings grow up. 


My first garden was in this very region, so of course I already have a long list of plants - old friends and things I wished I had tried but didn't.  First things first though; I must get fencing and shelter up so my horses can come home, but I know there will be plants going in as soon as the weather is warm enough.  I can't really help that, can I?!?

seed fluff on a twig
Looking toward spring

Weather Diary: Cloudy; High: 57 F (14 C)/Low: 36 F (2 C); Humidity: 72%-100%

Write a comment

Comments: 18
  • #1

    Marcelo (Saturday, 02 February 2019 22:39)

    Amy, I'm sure things will get better now you have mover away from the past you need to leave behind, you are a brave woman and your new place looks very promising for gardening! I can envision a nice rose garden there! wish you all the best for 2019!

  • #2

    Libby (Sunday, 03 February 2019 09:22)

    Oh Amy, what a time. I'm so glad you now have a HOME and it is just for you and your sister. We can only imagine the new garden(s) and the joy they will bring you. Spring will be here soon enough. I look forward to following the new adventures.

  • #3

    Diana Studer (Sunday, 03 February 2019 11:32)

    Wow. Respect!
    Betty's view looks delightful - rolling hills and trees.

    It is a huge privilege and such fun, to create a garden on a blank canvas. So much better than trying to work around plants that are given, but, not really, welcome.

  • #4

    danger garden (Sunday, 03 February 2019 12:20)

    Wow. I am in awe of your strength. Welcome home, I can't wait to see you transform this place and yourself.

  • #5

    Kris P (Sunday, 03 February 2019 14:07)

    What a journey, Amy! I'm so sorry that you, your sister - and your horses - had to go through such a turbulent and emotionally wrenching experience. I'm impressed by the persistence and focus you demonstrated and I'm sure both will serve you well as you start your new life. I look forward to seeing your new garden - and the new you - emerge.

  • #6

    Jane (Sunday, 03 February 2019 14:48)

    What a relief it must be for you and your sister to finally be settled in something you can truly call home, Amy. After your horses are returned, you’ll be able to start putting down roots and starting that garden. The view from your living room window is going to be so pretty. You’ve been on a journey that most people couldn’t even imagine, and I’m sure you’re all the stronger for it. Best wishes to both you and your sister. Keep well.

  • #7

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Sunday, 03 February 2019 19:03)

    Marcelo - So many thanks for the kind words and good wishes, my friend! I have been dreaming of using more of the antique varieties here, the hardy ones. Fortunately there will be enough room for them! ;-)

  • #8

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Sunday, 03 February 2019 19:21)

    Libby - Thank you so much, Libby. I look forward to sharing the new adventure with you all too! :)

  • #9

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Sunday, 03 February 2019 19:26)

    Diana - That is so true! It will take longer to get structure, but one can design the whole in harmony. I am mystified what to do about those Liriodendrons in the front! They are in and healthy, so it seems a shame to remove them, but they will eventually change the whole character of that area with their deep shade and shallow root systems. Very much a gardener's dilemma... ;-)

  • #10

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Sunday, 03 February 2019 22:35)

    DG - Thanks so much, Loree. It's tough to leave all that wonderful sunlight, but hopefully the future will indeed be transformative!

  • #11

    rusty duck (Monday, 04 February 2019 15:05)

    So good to hear from you and know that you’re both OK. What a dreadful two months, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But now you can start afresh, a long way from your previous life. And what a lovely place you now have.
    Take care, good luck. And please let us follow the journey!

  • #12

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Tuesday, 05 February 2019 00:29)

    Kris - Thank you so much, and thanks for all your encouragement - it's greatly appreciated! I am so looking forward to finding my quiet space in a garden again...

  • #13

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Tuesday, 05 February 2019 00:34)

    Jane - I do love that view! Putting down roots is probably just what I need, as I feel very uprooted indeed! Thank you for the kind comments! :)

  • #14

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Tuesday, 05 February 2019 00:39)

    RD - To be honest, it's been a pretty ghastly two months - on top of the big issues there were automotive problems and bank troubles, as we find that local banks are often very local indeed! But yes, it's a lovely place and has great promise for growing prairie plants! ;-) I look forward to posting about it all...!

  • #15

    Cathy (Tuesday, 05 February 2019 06:50)

    Amy, I am so pleased that you and your sister have finally escaped the restrictions of your previous life and what wonderful gestures of caring and friendship you have experienced in the last couple of months Are you confident that you will be safe here or is it possible that your mother might try and disrupt your fresh start? Thank you for sharing some of your awful journey with us and I hope you can feel the outpouring of support that is being sent to you from blogging friends far and wide. Creating your new garden will be such an exciting time and the end result will be such a haven for you both, I am sure - well, even more of a haven than the freedom that comes with the existing empty space. .

  • #16

    Cathy (Tuesday, 05 February 2019 13:55)

    Oh Amy. You and your sister have gone through so much. I do hope this will be a happy and productive home for you both and wish you so much luck! I shall look forward to seeing this develop into a home with a small sunny garden! :)

  • #17

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Thursday, 07 February 2019 18:31)

    Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - We are so grateful for all that support; it has truly made all the difference in our being able to leave and move forward. We certainly hope we are safe here; this is one reason we did not stay in the Phoenix area. I am disappointed to have to begin again with my garden-making, but I do enjoy starting from scratch! ;-)

  • #18

    Amy@SmallSunnyGarden (Thursday, 07 February 2019 18:33)

    Cathy@Words and Herbs - Thank you kindly, Cathy! It leaves me with a bit of an identity crisis, but it will be so nice to work with a fresh, sweet place and garden on good, rich soil! ;-)