Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Saying Goodbye

It’s bittersweet, saying goodbye to this little cabin tucked into the woods of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. And to my generous landlady friend and her three dogs. But I’ll be back for visits, as I move to another spot just a few miles away. The new house is bigger than I’m used to, so will be offered for sharing by a roommate with a green thumb. Acres of lush woodlands surround a sunny lawn just begging to be turned into a fruit and nut orchard, filled in with medicinal and native plants, and anchored by herb and vegetable gardens. Chickens, rabbits and honeybees to follow…

Just 5 lightening quick months ago, I had found my way to the cabin, dazed and confused. Life in the BIG city was definitely not my natural habitat, and I was failing to thrive. One wise friend there asked the all important question “Well, where DO you want to live?” There was little hesitation in my reply “In a little cabin in the middle of the woods.”

So one phone call and 24 hours later, I’d found this magical, healing place. And I’ve soaked up the magic in the moonlit nights, coyote howls, cricket song, and birds nests. Blessings from the Chuck-will’s-widow that sang through sultry summer nights, and Wood thrush that woke me most mornings. Healing found in making fast friends, slow food, and sustainable life choices. As difficult as life in the fast lane has been over the years, once I declared my intention there was quickness, ease, and grace in the transition to simpler living . So much so that this self-proclaimed gypsy is gratefully setting down roots where she’s landed.

A typical week finds me swapping plant cuttings and gardening knowledge with master gardeners and permaculture aficionados. Trading vegetables and hand-made crafts for artwork and ecologically friendly products. Caretaking of sweet-natured pets in return for spending money, furniture and the use of a pickup truck.  Teaching yoga stretches and philosophy, then getting to take sweaty, sassy Zumba classes.

Then there are the gifts that are free for the asking. Like Friday night music festivals and concerts – an amalgamation of guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, stand up and washtub bass, silver spoons, and Cajon drum box. Add twangy, sweet, and husky voices and it is heaven on earth.

Another treasure is the library, where books, DVD’s and other media are free for the asking and dearly appreciated. Public rooms are available for meetings, workshops and lectures. This lifelong learner is a proud supporter of literacy and public libraries, and hopes you are as well!

This weekend found me exploring new trails, wetlands, and pastures with birding and conservation groups. The fresh air, exquisite views and new friendships are priceless. The birds were pretty amazing, too! A Tennessee warbler made me homesick for TN. A Carolina chickadee reminded me of the Black-capped variety back in NY. And the Eastern wood pewee returned me to the present, within the verdant woodlands and age-old mountains that encompass both this cabin and my new home.

Stay tuned for future blogs on life transitions, permaculture, sustainability, creativity, connection, and joy. The Call of the Wild inspired the birth of this blog, and is my wish is that it continue to inspire and bless your life as well.


Think:  Are you living your best life? What brings you joy? Are you resisting or inviting positive change into your life?

Say:  Make a list of the qualities you’d like to embody. Then pick your top 3 and look around your home and yard. Are there any external representations of your internal ideals?

Do:  Create reminders for yourself of what you want more of, symbolic representations of what you’d like to manifest. For example, I found this small rock in a dear friend’s thrift store space for $1.00 that says “Welcome” and features a dragonfly (symbolic to me of powerful transformations). It has graced a sacred spot in my home for several weeks as I envisioned the home, garden, and relationships I want to grow. It remains in its spot amid the packing boxes as a reminder of all that I’m aiming for. And to bless the place where I have been. And to remind me to welcome change with grace.

Comments on: "Saying Goodbye" (6)

  1. I take it you’re moving? Why? Your cabin sounds perfect! Hope it’s a good move for you. Miss seeing you a lot!

  2. Chris said:

    Mighty fine example you set for others. The best on your new adventuire

    • Thank you, Chris. I’ve getting pretty excited & getting all my ducks in a row. Although I think I’ll stick to chickens!


  3. Mary Margaret Thomas said:

    We met when I moved here 2 months ago. We talked about herbs and mardi gras balls. I’m really enjoying it here. Because I like to gather wild flowers during my walks, I am more aware of the subtle changes of nature. Sometimes I take photos of inconsequential beauty – a leaf poised a special way, an unusually colored mushroom. It recalibrates my brain to seek out the exceptional. So often the tsunami of daily life drowns us in the mundane. We simply can’t let that happen. That’s why I use the good silver every day or remind people what I like about them. We also have to carve a little place for art and love every single day.
    Funny thing is, friends warned my husband that I, a city girl, would be miserable secluded like this. I’m not. Friday we took our Louisiana pirot boat on the fjords of Carter’s lake. The only thing my sore muscles told me was that I didn’t do this often enough. The truth is, like many people, I’m a dicotomy. That’s why my evening dress hangs next to my barn jacket and army boots.

    • Hi Mary Margaret,

      I love the picture you painted “…my evening dress hangs next to my barn jacket and army boots. And I love that our community is small enough that we may make friends at the Farmers Market, bump into each other at the bead store, and say hello in the supermarket. Sometimes all in the same day 🙂

      Thanks for the reminder to note the beauty in every day, in every person, wherever we may find ourselves.


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