Ruth’s new parking spot 4.0

After lots of adventures all across the country, Ruth (our Land Rover Defender) is glad to be back in Leelanau County. But she’ll be even happier when she’s in good working order again and can get back on the road, cruising along M-22 and the many scenic seasonal roads she loves in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National lakeshore.

She’s been tucked into the pine trees since our return to Northern Michigan, at Coastal Storage in Cedar, MI. It seems lately our whole life is here at Coastal Storage. We have most of our belongings tucked away into two units, plus Madre and I also have been renting temporary studio space in the loft upstairs over the garage. Although our living situation has become quite transient, our businesses are thriving and we needed a reliable place to go get work done, no matter where we lay our heads at night. We’ve been more than pleased with studio work accommodations and are sad to see that coming to an end.

While working here, I often think that there could be a reality TV series based out of this storage unit property. Scotty, the owner and his dog Prince are friendly and welcoming – chatting with those who come through. You never know who you might run into here. From trust fund brats, famous actors who have a vacation home here, to retired GM execs with a place in the Hall of Fame.

Down in the garage below, Scotty is always putzing with a vehicle, whether it be his mother’s golf cart, his son’s tractor, one of his sports cars, or a “project” that a buddy has dropped off. After Jackson had a recent conversation with him, Scotty offered to take a look at the Rover and pull her into the garage.

“Any vehicle lucky enough to enter this garage always comes out better than it entered…”

Meanwhile, we’re still looking for temporary housing and long-term property, and now new studio space. Let us know if you know of anything!

Related stories:

• Ruth’s new parking spot 3.0

• Seized Defenders – Our Story

• The Defenders Return


#thelandrovers #livewellrockwell #storyofRuth #follow #thedefendersreturn #hedrickrover #nomads

Farmers without a Farm | Hay Season

Step 5.

Find a barn/pasture for animals that can be leased long-term/year round, to run our farm business out of.

After a long winter around the barn in the woods on “Hlavka Mountain” we needed to find grass four our three calves to feed on through this spring, summer and fall. Just a few miles down the road from where we resided, Jackson connected with a “good ol boy” Bill Olsen and his son-in-law Travis. Bill Olsen’s grandfather resided at Olsen Farm, what is now the “Friends of Sleeping Bear office in historic Port Oneida, a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Our calves are now on pasture with his heard, earmarked so we know ours are ours. Part of the trade is that Jackson will be “on call” throughout Hay Season to be the guy on the trailer pulling out and stacking the hay as they drive down the field.

“Farming without our own farm…continued…”

IMG_2831 - Haying with the Olsen's

KY to MI

KY was a great adventure, full of new terrain (literally and figuratively), plenty of character building (don’t think I was ever going to get use to no cell phone service for a radius of 10 miles or the poisonous snakes) and got a few more tools in the tool belt (literally). Kentucky launched us into the next chapter…back to Northern Michigan.

IMG_1220

Kentucky provided humbling experiences, living among history of our great country’s’ beginnings. There were rock walls on the property that were built by slaves, muck boots became a required piece of apparel, copperheads and rattlers could be lurking near by, seasonal swarms of lady beetles, and stepping in a cow pie on the way to your car door – were all commonplace. All of this provided perspective, acceptance, strength and growth.

IMG_6040 Jackson station at Gusty Branch

We had a great opportunity to work and live in the same place. Jackson got to work on a historic replica of a Toll House, located in central KY, about an hour and half south of Lexington, in the rocky, hilly hollars. A gorgeous home built down the creek, .5 mile up a nob and back into the woods. He acquired tools of the trade, on-site education and became quite the craftsman. He did everything from finish plumbing and electrical, to creating his own trim, bead board and solid wood doors.

IMG_8651 Jackson wood working; processing wood paneling

If the job itself didn’t keep him busy enough, he also started a farm. The job-site property was set on hundreds of acres, providing the chance to start what Jackson has been waiting to start for years. If not now, never? Right?! So it was. Farming, here we come! We raise hair sheep, goats, turkeys, cows and pigs. Fencing mishaps, runaway goats, disappearing turkeys, and plenty of births provided more than a few stories along the way.

IMG_1206 raising hair sheep

Oh, and we got pregnant and had a baby too!

One of our biggest life lessons Ky provided was “you can’t do it all.” It’s better to invest your time and resources into a few things and do it really well, rather than be eager to achieve, spreading yourself too thin. So, we downsized and re-prioritized.

While we built friendships, two church families, gained experience (and some farm animals), we decided at the end of the day what’s really important to us: investing in sustainability for our  future generation and being close to family/community – in a place we feel like home.

Leelanau County, here we come!

moving back to MI_truck gusty branch KY_IMG_1584

 

Ruth’s new parking spot 3.0

After having our Rover released from potential Government seizure, plus a planned trip to MI, we decided it would be a good time to welcome our Land Rover Defender (aka Ruth) to the Kentucky countryside we reside in. Kevin’s brother Andrew was excited to have his basketball court back (the driveway) and we’re glad Mom didn’t turn the Rover into a really expensive flower pot.

Since we started this blog, got the Rover, and made big life changes – paying off debt and being good stewards has been an ongoing goal and priority. Kentucky has provided a great opportunity for work that’s launching us into achieving some greater goals. We decided it was time to walk into the bank and payoff our remaining debt on the Rover – giving us freedom and an asset. (Cheers and Praise!)

“With God, all things are possible.”  ~Mark 10:27

“Much like Indiana Jones, we never know what’s going to be around the bend…”

And thus is life. Believe for the best and don’t get bent out of shape with challenges arise and things go less than smoothly. While we envisioned driving the Rover with no problems all the way to KY from MI, we also anticipated the possibility of, well, anything.

After a few breakdowns, phone calls with Safari H.P., some attempted repairs, an extra day in Ohio with family, we played it safe and had to tow Ruth into her new parking spot – at Gusty Branch, in the hills of Kentucky.

Some say we should just sell the Rover. Although this Defender is just an earthly object, it represents something deeper, something bigger. While the world would have us give up on Ruth and go another direction – their direction – we’re inclined to fight for her. It’s kind of like following Christ that comes down to one simple decision and conviction of the heart. The challenge is to be ok with uncertainty, what lies ahead, and choose to follow Him, no matter the resistance.

#proudparents #expecting #oneontheway #thelandrovers #livewellrockwell #storyofRuth #follow #thedefendersreturn #hedrickrover


Looking for genuine Rover parts? Need customized service and restoration? Please check out Safari Heritage Parts! They’ve been amazing to work with (even just over the phone) and are thankful we were referred to them! > Visit Safarihp.com | Like + Follow on Facebook


 Morals of the story…

• Abraham is always up for the adventure.

• Do what you gotta do, but make sure to slow down and intentionally enjoy the journey.

• 3 year olds are smarter and more capable than you think. Take everyday life moments (and challenges) as opportunities to teach them – they’re listening and watching!

• Surrender what’s out of your control. You don’t have as much control as you think.

• It’s good to have someone reliable and non-judgmental to call in an emergency – no matter your location.

• Be passionate and persistent.

• Instead of driving the quickest route possible, take your journey through small town America and off the interstate. You’ll see who America really is – and have a better perspective because of it.

• Road trips/Travel give you experience, perspective and education that can’t be found anywhere else. You’ll connect with people you never normally would – making friends for life.

• Drive a Defender – then you might understand 🙂

Related stories:

• Seized Defenders – Our Story

• The Defenders Return