Tuck Away Home

It’s a beautiful day on the farm.

Each time we venture out to walk around the property we see something amazing.  Turkeys, deer, whistling ducks, and even a mama alligator with her 30 some babies!  The air is cooler than I’d expected—perhaps low 60’s at the peak of the day.  Jeans, and a light long sleeved shirt weather.  But I hear after this “cold snap” temperatures will shoot up to the high 70’s.  Can’t wait for that!

There are no bugs here.  Where are the clouds of no-see-ums?  Where are the swarms of mosquitos and the fleas and the dreaded fire ant mounds?  This place seems to be void of all the truly annoying creature attacks I’d experienced in Florida the past years.  How refreshing!

Today is the day we move my Toy Hauler into its “permanent” location for the season.   As I survey the general area where it will go, my mind lands on one single thought;

“It’s a jungle in there!”

The vines and palmetto and prickly stickly plants and moss and more vines dominate the woods.  I cannot imagine my trailer is going back into all that.  Then Jeff arrives with a tractor.  Jeff is the facility maintenance contractor.  He is a true blue man of the earth rancher; a wealth of information about living the country life in “Old” Florida.  We are introduced, and begin our discussion on where to move my toy hauler.

“Well Miss Patty, I can clear this area over here, and back you in right here at this angle here.”

Never has anyone ever called me ‘Miss Patty’.  I shoot him a quick look to try to see if he is kidding with me.  OMG, he isn’t.  Taken off guard, I can’t seem to reply to his suggestion.

“Or what about over there?  We just want to stay on this side of the ridge, as that’s the edge of the swamp.”

Swamp? An alligator swamp?  I’m still back on ‘Miss Patty’….

“Umm, but how will I be able to get out when it’s time to leave?  It’s awfully thick in there.  I can’t make that corner or back in.  Can you do it?”

“Yes ma’am, I can put this trailer where ever it needs to go.”  Jeff says with conviction. Homestead

I understand the idea for me being back in the woods is to minimize the visual impact of my big Toy Hauler in this pristine pioneer landscape, so we should get me back as far as possible.  But looking at how far back “back” is….is very daunting.  We walk and talk and evaluate further, finally coming to agreement on a relatively level area that is back far enough to not be conspicuous to visitors.

“I’ll get to clearing the space then.” Jeff says, and hops on the tractor.

Jeff is a family man.  He is a hard working rugged man, and an expert land manager.  He knows everything there is to know about how things grow Florida, and how to get rid of them.  And he wears some really cool camo, too.

Wow, talk about clearing a space!  Ripping up the brush and palmettos, grabbing 30 foot long snarled tendrils of vines dangling from high branches or wrapped around trees and brush, Jeff basically stripped the area bare in less than an hour.  I step in to help with nipping the vines off and tossing piles of sharp, prickly foliage into the thick woods.

“Before we get too far along, we should check to make sure “the boss” is in agreement with our direction .” I advise.

“Yes, Miss Patty, we’ll have Miss Laney take a look.”  He responds.

Homestead3Sure enough, we were on track but not quite there with our vision.  The remainder of the day is spent fine tuning where to place the Toy Hauler.  Back and forth, back and forth, inching along to try to position the 28 foot dwelling in just the right spot so it’s hidden, and the porch can also be utilized.  The ideal location caused the back end to be perched precariously over a giant crevasse in the dirt.  I envisioned sitting on the porch some evening, only to have it suddenly drop down into the pit.   Jeff worked diligently to try to fill that hole so we could set the trailer in front of it without risk of the weight of the trailer sinking into the ground.  Last thing I need is my trailer to collapse into a giant hole.

Next we tried to back the trailer up on boards.  Back and forth, back and forth, trying to center the tires onto the 2 x 4 planks, but my boards were too short and narrow and immediately sunk into the soft ground.  One even snapped off as he got the 2nd wheel onto it.  Laney stepped in to help thrust 2 and 3 foot long boards under wheels as Jeff inched the trailer along with the tractor, but we quickly ran out of boards and couldn’t get the Toy Hauler close to leveled.

“I can bring a load of mulch tomorrow to fill the area and help with leveling, Miss Patty, but you may want to get you some 2 x 6 x 10’s and we can cut them down to pull those wheels up on.”

Sounds good.  Jeff hops on the tractor and drives away from our hard work.  I stand and watch him slowly disappear around the palmettos.  I turn and admire the hard work of the day.  What a day.  I walk over to the event parking area, back away and off to the left, then to the far right, realizing that no matter what position you look from, Homestead1you can barely see my “tuck away home” in the woods.  We are well hidden, indeed.  I find myself wondering where the heck all the “Minnesota Jeff’s” have been hiding all my life.  Wow, what a guy!

So after a long day of carving out a space for my home on wheels, “Miss Patty” is one day away from being ready to settle in.

How I love this place already!

Life is an adventure!  Are you waiting for an invitation to experience an amazing life full of adventure, or do you just go make your own?  There are lots of inspirational stories under my blog category, “PRs Amazing Outdoor Adventure Update”.  If you find yourself not doing what you love, I invite you to contact me for help to create your own, amazing adventure.  Please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in exploring the possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures.

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Comments

  1. It sounds like you’ve found a wonderful space to spend the winter! How nice the people seem to be there as well. I had no idea that an alligator could have so many babies 🙂

    • Oh the stories are endless! I have not been able to get to a computer in so long—too much going on here on a day to day basis! All sooooooooo amazing!

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