Country Living

Ryan and I both are exhausted with the city and yearn for country living-the birds chirping outside our window, rather than a low rider rattling our window as it goes over the speed bump with rap music blaring. We want to walk the soggy pastures of Louisiana, not the paved streets of the old and rich of Baton Rouge. We have decided to move, then, to a barn in Saint Gabriel.

I can’t lie, I have a lot of fun saying that. Our lease at our current complex is up at the end of March. We needed a place to live from April until August when, Lord willing, Ryan will start a teaching job. Since the possibility that Ryan will start teaching outside of Baton Rouge is very strong, we didn’t want to have to sign another lease with another large complex, or continue at the complex we are in and be locked in for 6 or 12 months in Baton Rouge. We were in a bit of a pickle, but that’s where great friends come in. I was lamenting my woes to Selene when she suggested, ” you should live in Shelly’s barn!”

Selene’s older sister and brother-in-law bought land off of Bayou Paul Road in Saint Gabriel a few years back. They renovated the barn to have an apartment and lived there while they built their dream home. They have lived in their new home for a few years now and rent out the apartment in the barn. They decided to build another apartment on a second story of the barn to eventually use as a guest suite. They are willing to rent it to us for the summer, what a blessing!

We went and looked at it yesterday afternoon and it is fine, absolutely gorgeous. They still have a few final touches to finish up–finish installing the real wood floors through-out, put in the counters on the custom, wood cabinets, bring up the brand new appliances including a gas stove. Gas stove! GAS STOVE! and the bathroom fixtures etc. Square foot wise it is bigger than our townhouse. The bedroom is kind of small, but the kitchen, bathroom and living room are very spacious.  We should have room for all of our furniture, they are asking for less rent than what we’re paying now. Out the bedroom window we can see their back yard, then a pond beyond that and a pasture to the left. From the living room window we can see their house, and half an acre away, their neighbors. It is wonderfully quiet and I suspect gloriously dark at night!!

The only downfall is that our beloved Jackie will not be welcome at the barn apartment. Understandably so, they do not want a dog in their band new wood floored apartment. Again, this is were great friends come in. Our friends The Broussards have graciously agreed to foster Jackie for the summer. Hopefully it won’t be long and we’ll have a more long-term address and can house our animals and all of our belongings. One day…one day.

But for now, we are properly prepared to embark on this next, hopefully interim stage of life. Ryan will find out this week if he is accepted into the Teach for America program. I’m not sure how long he’ll have to decide to accept the offer or not. He has been submitting applications and sending resumes to the diocese of Lafayette and of Baton Rouge. Later this month, he’ll also attend the LSU Teacher’s Fair where schools from around the local area will come to recruit graduating seniors. By the time we’re in the new apartment, we should at least know if Ryan is going the Teach for America route or not. A month after that, Ryan will graduate LSU with honors and we can all breathe easier!

Note to family: I’ve been trying to find out what time and date his graduation will actually be, but in typical LSU fashion, information is not easily accessable. I know it will be the weekend of May 21, I am thinking it will be that Friday, but I can’t say for sure. But just for the head’s up that’s the weekend. We want to do a reception of some kind as well, but…planning for that hasn’t happened yet. More info to come.


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