After the Storm, Getting Back on the Horse

| 2/5/2016 9:44:00 AM

Tags: homestead planning, storms, winter, weather, Jim Christie, Texas,

I started blogging about our journey from corporate life (at that time being lived out in Australia) to a rural homestead in Texas about four years ago.  We had acquired property near family and had developed the infrastructure - water well and electricity - while overseas and even started our home through the construction of a steel building in which our house was to be built.

Three years ago this month, I retired and came back to Texas to finish our house and make the property livable.  Julie followed in about three months and continues her corporate role working from home and traveling to work.

During 2013 and 2014, we made very good progress finishing the house, building out gardens and outdoor living areas, completing a large screened porch and gaining some level of control over the previously unmanaged property. We had big plans for 2015 and by April, our Summer garden (we are blessed with two gardening seasons a year in South Texas) was in full bloom and we were excited to have the biggest and best garden we've ever had.

Further, we had built a guest house and moved an aging parent into that house.  Also, another family member came to live with us while attending college so our entire family dynamic changed from "empty nesters" to care givers and helpers. We had even gotten to the point where we had bought a nice new travel trailer to make trips to the Gulf and elsewhere.


In April, 2015, we were struck by a really intense and damaging storm.  Tornadic winds and massive hail stones destroyed three cars and our new travel trailer. Our two houses sustained significant damage as did every outbuilding and outdoor living area and structure.  Worse, any animals, wild or domestic, living on our property were killed. In the early morning light, we could see that the 300+ trees (virtually all oak and hickory) on the property had been serious "pruned" and small limbs, leaves and debris were knee deep almost everywhere. We were in shock but quickly began the task of dealing with insurance companies, appraisers and getting some extra help to assist with the cleanup and repairs.

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