On the farm. Sandy had often said, "I'd like to live on a big old farm...on a gravel road off of a gravel road." We found a place...a big old farmhouse on a 200 acre farm a few miles outside of Capac, Michigan. We've rented here for almost 9 years. The house has "ambiance"...meaning it's kind of junky and drafty, and I've had to fix a lot of stuff...very often at our own expense, (that I couldn't get the stupid landlord to do) but we had lots of room. I had use of a couple of the outbuildings to work on my cars and store parts in, and Sandy enjoyed the scenery and seclusion. The area behind the house was pretty bare when we moved here. There was nothing much more than a couple of big trees. With everything being so open, and big farm implements and trucks often driving through and kicking up dust from the driveway, and the breeze blowing from across the open plow field, there wasn't much privacy, but there was sometimes plenty of wind and dust. So with permission from the landlord, first we planted a bunch of pine trees and other things along the driveway...and that helped. It still wasn’t quite enough, so we continued until it was pretty much all filled in along the driveway. Then we planted a lot of flowering bushes and small trees around the yard. I built a patio with large paver stones that wrapped around two sides of the house...sunny and hot on the south side, and shady and cooler on the east side. I tilled up some curvy flowerbeds, and we added wrought iron arches, a small pond with a fountain and fish and stuff, and last year, I built a big gate at the end of the sidewalk that leads from the driveway to the back door, made of 150 year old barn wood that a local farmer gave to me…and that filled in the last open spot along the driveway. I mostly did whatever Sandy wanted. And Sandy planted flowers. We'd often enjoy sitting on the patio and discussing what we might do next We’d add a little more each year, and filled the place in. Sandy placed lots of wind-chimes, bird feeders and bird baths around the place, and always kept the birds and critters fed well. She’d even spread peanut butter on the bark of the trees. We had birds galore...and squirrels...and possum...and raccoons...and rabbits...and deer...and skunks, etc. Sandy loved it. I liked it too. We had no reason to go anywhere else to be entertained. Unfortunately, due to financial problems in recent times, we fell behind on rent, and were finally given notice to leave. I begged the landlord to give me a little more time. But he'd had enough. We were very sad that we had to leave. With having to move and Sandy's passing, this era of my life is over. Sandy and I had talked about it more than once...and we both agreed that neither of us would enjoy the farm without the other. Even if I could, I don't wanna stay here. I'm missing her terribly. Sandy loved the farm. Front Back The view from the upstairs back room, looking to the southwest. We started out planting a few trees and bushes along the driveway. And just kept adding to it. Took some time. Notice the trees are quite a bit bigger now. Springtime. At one point, we had multiple purple hibiscus bushes at the end of the sidewalk. But ended up putting those out in the yard and planted evergreens alongside the gate. Sandy said the evergreens block better...all year long. But those purple bushes sure looked pretty in the summer. Autumn. Sandy liked spring best.