Just returned this past Monday from a week long trip to Nevada. Spent the first half in Laughlin, located across the Colorado River from Bullhead City, Arizona and then headed north to Las Vegas. We stayed at The Encore and enjoyed about as much craziness as we were able to prior to heading home. Had a fantastic time with some friends and were able to stay relatively tame during our adventure! As much as I enjoy Vegas, it’s always nice to get home. Willow was thrilled to have us back and we made it just in time for a polar vortex that is affecting the entire United States. We are currently at -20 degrees Fahrenheit and that’s BEFORE wind chill which is putting us in the neighborhood of -50 degrees! Normally I have a lot of pictures to share, but this time we seemed to have spent more time enjoying and less time taking pictures. Here are a few to share!
Had a great New Year’s eve spending the time with friends in Sheboygan. New Year’s Day was busy with a trip to Steinthal to plow out the drive and a birthday party celebration in town for a dear friend. Didn’t get home until late.
The scenic drive to Steinthal on January 1st.
Not sure I know which one is more excited about the sleeping arrangements on New Year’s Eve.
With 2018 coming to a close, I thought I would provide a link to some of my favorite pictures from the last year. Looking forward to new adventures in 2019!
Our second year of Christmas cards togather was a great success this year! I love creating them and already have plans for 2019!
It’s hard to believe that nearly 14 years have elapsed since I originally purchased the Steinthal property for my family. Having largely grown up in the city, it was a giant leap of faith for me to live a more isolated life in the country with five young children and no neighbors in sight. As soon as I bought the place, I ran out to the local Ford dealership and purchased a blue F-250 pickup and installed a plow. Bring on the harsh winters! I also bought a couple of chainsaws, a John Deere Gator and a nice riding lawnmower and over the years have spent much of my free time in the summer enjoying walks in the woods, working on landscape, mowing and spending time by the lake in the back yard.
When I bought the property, it was a “blast from the past”; built in the 70s, with all the décor and feel of the Brady Bunch home on TV. I spent years remodeling, upgrading and building onto the property to make it what it is today and feel that I know this place inside and out. I honestly find myself very attached to the place and have many mixed emotions about leaving it behind. Steinthal was the place where I really saw my children grow up and eventually leave and while I feel great joy experiencing the vastness and solitude the property offered myself and my family, I also am occasionally haunted by the heartaches and sorrow I experienced while here; dark memories that no one should ever have to experience. As I grow older and watch my five children enter into adulthood (my oldest turned 27 this month), enjoying their own individual lives away from home, I find it more challenging to justify expending all the physical and mental energy in a property that I feel will only become more cumbersome for me to manage as time passes by.
Over the last several years, my life has taken a dramatic change for the better and I am now finding myself desiring more freedom from the constant maintenance that comes with the Steinthal property. My daily work commute is at least 70 minutes round trip minimum when it isn’t snowing, and I often find myself doubling that with two trips back and forth in one day. Mowing takes at least four hours a week and the number and size of the maintenance list seems to grow exponentially. I also met a wonderful person who is willing to partner with me in this life adventure, making many of my decisions about future seem brighter and easier to formulate.
After much introspection and careful consideration, we have decided to pull the plug here at Steinthal and start living a simpler life, closer to work and all the things we enjoy. We will finally be close to old and new friends and will have more ability to spend our time living instead of commuting and maintaining the monstrosity of a property that I have created over the last decade. Natalie and I have many dreams and part of the fun for us is to fantasize about all the experiences we desire and then striving to achieve the end results. I have personally been very successful attaining most of my desired life experiences, but at this point I’m starting to feel a little worn out when dealing with certain aspects of life that are unnecessarily more complicated because of where I chose to live.
In order to start the process, we purchased a much smaller four-bedroom secondary home in downtown Sheboygan, very close to the marina and parks. It will be within walking distance of the many evening entertainment venues that we enjoy, and it has barely any yard to maintain! It is a 5-minute drive to work and a trip to any store will be a 10-minute trip instead of the obligatory 35-minute journey we endured while at Steinthal. For us, this is ideal!
Our future plans are still being discussed, organized and revised on a weekly basis, but we generally have a clear picture of where we ultimately want to be and what we want to be doing in about ten years. Living in a smaller home in the city of Sheboygan will allow us a better opportunity to quickly sell in the future once we are able to pack it all in and fulfill our lifelong passions and dreams upon entering into retirement. We are under no illusions that selling Steinthal may take several years and we feel that it is best for all involved to be situated in Sheboygan and off the Steinthal property while it is listed.
Steinthal will be missed for the everlasting memories and many of the wonderful attributes that it offered myself, family and friends. Peace, solitude, freedom and the sheer beauty of the lake, fields and forest will be sorely missed by me personally, but we are very hopeful that in the near future someone else will be able to see the value and greatness of this property for their families and we envision that many more everlasting memories will be realized by others going forward. Steinthal will always have much to offer anyone that is up for the challenge of owning such a wonderful dream!
Had a great camping weekend at Kohler Andrae State Park with trick or treating on Saturday night! Some very elaborate costumes and always fun watching people. We are officially done with camping for the season and starting to unpack and winterize for the upcoming freeze…