Back to the future

| 1/7/2012 3:00:13 PM

Tags: Shuddering Squirrel Acres, Ric Bohy, leaving Detroit, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee homestead, damn Yankees, natural gardener, woodland path, keeping chickens, barbecue pit, wood chipper, honey bees, beekeeping, John Deere, tractor, backhoe, front loader, hardwood trees, Ric Bohy,

Some scene-setting will be helpful as we start getting up to speed on how Vicki and I decided to leave Detroit for a five-acre homestead in the hills of Middle Tennessee, and what we’ve done since.

It wasn’t a snap decision, but it was an easy one.BohyOurGardens 

Choose. Urban blight, thick traffic on salt-pocked roads, the stink of despair, pervasive animus, crime and black snow. Or sunshine,woodlands, hills, mountains, serenity and a simpler life. Complete with flowers, butterflies and hummingbirds. But – being who we are and our stage of life – no rose-colored specs.

Our last home in metro Detroit was a cramped condo with a patch of grass in front and a view of a never-completed asphalt parking lot out back. We tried to grow a few plants on the tiny balcony that overlooked the lot, but there was never enough sun. The walls on either side of the condo were sufficiently thick to dampen neighboring sounds, but the ceiling seemed as thin as a congressman's skin.

Up there lived a man-child who kept a large farm dog. He and his tweenie son made games of romping and stomping with the dog on the hardwood floors and generally making as much noise as possible because we had complained. It was just one act in an extensive repertoire. To look for more livable quarters in or around Detroit seemed a fool’s errand. As times got tougher, people turned meaner, and they were everywhere.

It took some doing, but we found a new home in the hills of Middle Tennessee. The house is roomy with a large kitchen, an extra bedroom that I’m refitting as a library, and a long front porch with plenty of space for an old desanctified church pew, a couple of rockers, and a red swing that I’ve built but not hung. White pickets surround the porch.

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