slow progress

Posted on Updated on

The G.O. drove. It was quiet and my thoughts roamed. I was thinking about numbers. Heading back to the city three days after we’d driven up to Taylors Arm for a quick busy Queen’s Birthday long weekend, my mind calculated we’re coming up to owning our house for a decade and we’d been driving this highway public holiday weekends and then some, so my very ordinary maths estimated we’d spent about 140 six-hour days in the car doing just that. Given I have a zero annual leave balance, to consider I’ve spent a good part of them in the car pains me slightly.

In contrast to this contemplation of distance between our city and country habitats is the realisation we’re making progress. We veer from a quiet home-life busy work-centric city existence to hyper-gardening home handymen on long weekends and holidays. In between we have plans and measurements and lists and reminders scrawled across numerous convenient yellow post-it notes.

But also we manage to get things done remotely. So far this year we’ve had a gas stove installed and a shed built without us being on site. Both items have been on the patiently waiting list while we figured out what we really wanted. Ditto for the new fridge/freezer purchased via phone & internet but which we managed to be around for delivery. No wastage there either, both the old electric stove and fridge found a good home with a neighbour.

Taking our time has enabled us to rethink our energy consumption needs towards a lighter footprint. Originally, back in the crazy days of cheap electricity when climate change seemed to be a catchphrase rather than reality we were aiming for pigeon pair fridges, chest freezer and a bar fridge! However, the days of thoughtless energy consumption are gone. The clothes dryer purchased because of my penchant for warm towels in winter is too good to get rid of but now rarely used, so has gone to a corner of the shed. The bar fridge is alongside it waiting for a new owner.

An upside to slow progress is better options come along, and it gives things time to find us. It took us years to source the right kitchen sink unit and longer to find the kitchen sink tap still in its box waiting for the G.O. to get time to install it, so much more functional than the current tap with a bit of rubber hose clipped to the end. Two big old cupboards, shelves and a pot stand have come our way in the last couple of months. And when he couldn’t fulfil my wish for a side burner addition to his barbeque, the G.O. bought me my very own barbeque with side burner & hood on sale at a ridiculously low price. He of course isn’t parting with his old-faithful.

In turn, while wishing for his own the G.O. got by borrowing box trailers to move things, which twice involved doing running repairs on someone else’s trailer. The new barbeque and a cupboard bought in Sydney finally necessitated the G.O. parting with cash for his own. Delayed gratification sweetened his delight in a shiny new black trailer.

Then there’s the opportunity for serendipity that slow progress affords. As the shed build progressed, RHS neighbour put us in contact with an old friend of the G.O.  Sixty years ago the G.O.’s family share-farmed on their property just down the road. This lovely, now older lady was cleaning out her late husband’s shed and offered the G.O., who’d spent much time in the farm sheds with him and his father before him, pick of the contents. Once again the G.O.’s trailer, plus RHS neighbour’s carted benches and tools home; the big timber bench coming back to Taylors Arm just up the street from the house where it originated.

Slow progress also requires flexibility, compromise, sharing and caring. We wouldn’t make quite so much progress without the kindness of neighbours and friends who are there for us when we’re in situ, and when we’re not. They mow our lawn, keep an eye on the house, help us move things, keep a spare house key and share a cat.

The G.O. and I although both cat lovers never considered our lifestyle suitable for a cat but Soossie Cat decided otherwise and shares herself between LHS neighbour and us. Soossie brought her kitten over for a visit last weekend. LHS neighbour wanted a litter of kittens, got two litters, and found other homes for them except Soossie’s grey and white daughter who will be staying. LHS neighbour now has our cat carrier so Soossie is off to the vet for her op, as will be daughter when she’s a little older.

We’ve still a little way to go, and inevitably more trips up and down the highway but steady-as-she-goes suits us just fine.

Some quit due to slow progress.
Never grasping the fact that slow progress…
… is progress. Anonymous

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “slow progress

    katechiconi said:
    June 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I so enjoy hearing about the slow evolution of TA. And after all, even a step taken backwards is still a step, rather than stasis. But it sounds as if you’re slowly gaining momentum!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 12, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you. We’re aiming for no steps backwards just baby steps creating our own style of infrastructure for the next steps in life 🙂

      Like

    Francesca said:
    June 12, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Slow food, slow travel and slow everything else is a good way to go. I love the look of your bits and pieces- very rustic.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      June 12, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      I even have a “SLOW” traffic sign… maybe I should hang it on the gate!

      Liked by 2 people

        Francesca said:
        June 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

        An excellent idea- lovely touch.

        Like

    Glenda said:
    June 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Ella, I hope all your dreams come true.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thank you. We’re working on it!

      Like

    acflory said:
    June 12, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I wonder if it’s even possible to ‘enjoy the moment’ when all our moments come rushing at us at once? I like your style. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Thank you. Some people seem to enjoy busying their lives but it just frazzles me… I’ve become an advocate of the Slow Movement in all aspects, that way the scenery of life isn’t a blur.

      Like

        acflory said:
        June 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

        -nods- Living each day to the fullest has never meant rushing from one thing to the next. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    Cecile said:
    June 12, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    We moved lots and lots of times – and each time we did a little at a time…. until we finally had pretty much everything done we had wanted/wished for. And then… we often had to move again. We’ve been in this old farmhouse in Massachusetts (the States) for 10 years and that’s, by far, the longest we’d ever been able to stay in one place. (One of the benefits of retirement!!)

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:26 am

      I’ve had a few moves too, and this isn’t the first experience of dividing my time, although it’s the furthest distance. I’m hoping semi-retirement will see us living in the one place… that’s the plan anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

    davidprosser said:
    June 13, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Things really seem to be coming together and the progress doesn’t seem anything like slow any more.It feels to me that TA is becoming much more of a reality and much less a dream.I wish you and the GO nothing but luck in achieving the dream sooner rather than later.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:29 am

      It might seem to be speeding up because the scales are tipping with things done, and it does seem more real as those dreams manifest 🙂

      Like

    memoirsofahusk said:
    June 13, 2015 at 2:53 am

    I like your tea pots – and the tea cosy. If ever I visit I’ll bring one (crocheted) so you can have a dash of Britishcosy occasionally, for a change, with your cuppas 😉

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:32 am

      I bought the stand, intending it for elsewhere but that corner has needed something since we put the sink unit in. I hadn’t realized I had so many teapots, it seems like they just arrive! And funny you say that, I’d been thinking another cosy would be nice. After I took the pic, I realized one teapot was missing, draining on the sink, there’s yet another here in Sydney, and I gave one to my MIL!

      Like

        memoirsofahusk said:
        June 13, 2015 at 11:35 pm

        It’s good to have a variety of teapots – they suit different teas – or so I like to tell myself as perhaps an excuse for having several too. You may just get that tea cosy anyway … 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    Gerlinde said:
    June 13, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Slow is good and this way you can enjoy the journey. I remember when we sold our fridge in our mountain cabin. It was an old Philco and I loved it but was not practical at all. Now we have an energy efficient new one.
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Ten years ago I hadn’t realized it would be such a journey, that not only would we be fixing up a house but building a life 🙂
      In the shed we moved the benches from was a beautiful old old pale green fridge which once upon a time would have come home with me but they’re no longer practical. I do however love the space & efficiency of our new fridge.

      Like

    Gerlinde said:
    June 13, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Oops, I mean I loved it but it was not practical at all.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 13, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Got it! 🙂

      Like

    sara said:
    June 13, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Oh Dale. I so agree with you in theory about the benefit of slow progress, I really do. Universal timing, going with the flow – I love all of it. Except I have this frisky Aries rising which makes me want to charge ahead and make everything happen in my own time rather than the Universe’s. Learning I am :). Also, gorgeous photos!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Thank you. A little show and tell this week 🙂 It’s taken me a few years to become a fan of Slow, and in hindsight my younger years & choices would have benefitted had I been better at it. We’re all learning!

      Liked by 1 person

        sara said:
        June 14, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        Yes we are 🙂 I loved that sneaky peek into your home – I’m looking forward to having a cuppa in your kitchen with you one day!

        Liked by 1 person

    diannegray said:
    June 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

    ‘Slow and steady’ as they say 😀 I love the pics and recycling furniture is one of my favourite things to do. When the day finally comes, TA will welcome you with open arms and living in the city will just become a distant memory 😉

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

      My appreciation of slow has been a long time coming, hard work and giving into the inevitable realization that I’m not the one in control of timing!
      Whenever we bring in old furniture RHS neighbour suggests that it would look nice with paint/varnish/oil… inevitably (sometimes eventually) it gets a wipe over and that’s it! And looks like it’s been in the house forever, which it could have been, the wardrobe has a manufacture date of 1931 on the back.

      Liked by 1 person

    ardysez said:
    June 14, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Your Taylor’s Arm place is looking very homely and well considered. Slowly is good with most things. When we bought our current home 16 years ago, it needed everything done to it. One by one we achieved them all and I think we appreciate it all the more for the time taken over it. We love our home and it suits us perfectly, as I’m sure will your Taylor’s Arm home. I enjoyed this update and the reminder that slowly is good. xx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Thank you. “They” say you should live in a house for a year before making any changes. And it’s true, many of the things we’ve done are different from our early ideas. Plus it’s allowed things to find us, and given us stories we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Our house has become part of our lives, and ours its; we’re simply caretakers.

      Liked by 1 person

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    June 15, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Not rushing to have everything at once is good – you appreciate each little thing and each little thing gets its’ time on the stage. How lovely your neighbor let G.O. go through the shed for items. Most people like to see things go to a good home and get used. I know it’s difficult to drive back and forth, but well worth it!
    Enjoy seeing your progress.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you. Currently on centre stage is the G.O.’s shed – he is VERY happy with it! Everyone was pleased to see the shed items go on being appreciated by someone they know, and the G.O.’s old friend can visit whenever she likes. As for the driving, the upside is we never have to worry about deciding WHERE to go!

      Liked by 1 person

    Bill said:
    June 15, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    We spent YEARS preparing our place like that–cramming in long work days on the weekends when we could have been resting. It often seemed like we weren’t making any real progress and that we’d never reach the finish line. But you’re right–slow progress is progress. And fast forward many years… And here we are.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      June 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

      I’m not sure it’s a bad thing we can’t get there more, having previously shared weekday vs weekend time between residences… the weekends sound like an escape but they’re not, just compartmentalised life crammed into less days!

      Like

Comments are closed.