Barbie Perkins-Cooper, Author

Living Life in the Country As A Writer, Photographer


Dearest Readers:

Early this morning, I stood by the windows of the dining room. I’ve developed this ‘habit’ since moving to the country, sometimes noticing deer on the side of the yard. As a child, I recall how I wanted to grow up in a metropolitan city, full of lights, people and charm. I imagined myself performing in Broadway, singing and dancing for a crowd. Yes. I’ve always had big dreams; however, some dreams do not come true. Never did I attempt to become a singer. Now, I sing and dance at karaoke — perhaps, I should say — before Corona came to town.

As a married couple, we’ve always lived in the suburbs. In the 1980s, the suburbs were popular. Full of children for our son to play with. Full of noise. We lived in the corner house, a ranch style home built in the 1950s. Never did we need burglar alarms. Our dogs barked whenever a neighbor or jogger rushed by. Yes. The suburbs were the place to live, although I was tired of living in suburbia. Our home was located in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant. A corner lot. Located by a road where people rushed by daily, especially during school hours. A realtor phoned my husband to discuss selling our home. Many of our suburb homes were being remodeled, renovated, or bulldozed for buyers to build monster homes. He said our home was a prime property and we could sell it for a nice profit. When we met with this realtor, I glanced at him, fearful of placing our home for sale. I did not want strangers coming to see our home, nor did I want to have to leave the house while they sifted throughout our home. I like my privacy! He suggested we might consider looking for another home to buy. I snickered. “I want to live in the country.”

Our home was listed in mid-September. Thus began our search for another home. This time, our search was a bit easier since I researched homes on Google and other internet sites. I must say, I learned a lot about real estate during September 2019 – December 2019.

We found a home in Hollywood, SC. A gorgeous brick home, meeting all of our needs, or so, I thought! We toured this home three times, checking it out. Located in the middle of a less-populated area, there were no homes next to it, or across from it. The home had spacious rooms, an ‘open concept’, and was on one acre of land. I walked all over the property, hoping to find water, a pond, or a creek. All I found were spider webs, then, I heard a gunshot. Oh No! I don’t want to live where people are shooting guns.

I asked the realtor about the gun shots. He reassured me it was deer season.

After a discussion, Phil and I decided to place an offer on this house. We did all the necessary steps to move forward with this gorgeous home, contacting our banker and we waited for our offer to be accepted. Because I have a tremendous amount of faith, I prayed and prayed that we would get this house while something within my mind said no. I asked God IF THIS IS THE HOME FOR US, PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN. I fully believe in listening to the words from God when He speaks to you, so we waited, and I researched. About a week later, we received a phone call from our realtor. Unfortunately, another couple outbid us.

It wasn’t meant to be.

Disappointed, I looked at Phil. You do know how I always ask God if something is meant to be to let it happen. Well, I believe this truly wasn’t what God wanted for us, so we have to continue searching so we will not be homeless when our home sells.

One morning, I logged into my computer, still researching country homes anticipating that it would be over our budget if I found something. I clicked onto a country home. A yellow farmhouse, located on five acres of land with a pond! The price was within our budget!

I phoned our realtor, excited to make an appointment to see the house. That afternoon, we drove to the country. Turning on to a gravel road, the driveway to the farmhouse was long and winding. The closer we got, the more excited I became. The pond was located in the front, so it was considered waterfront property. We parked our cars and three dogs rushed to greet me. One was a huge mastiff! He jumped on me. The owner of the home shouted at him to get down. She was surprised when I greeted him. She apologized. I love animals, I said. He’s fine. Dogs can always tell when they are welcomed!

Quickly, she got the dogs inside her car and drove off. We entered the house. I knew I wanted hardwood floors and no carpet, so every room I examined met that request. The kitchen was smaller than I wanted. I’ve always said if we ever sold our home in Mount Pleasant the next home would have a gigantic kitchen. This wasn’t the case. I did a pro-con list in my brain, checking off the features of the house. The master bedroom was spacious! The connecting master bath looked like a spa. A laundry room, with cabinets and a sink, were located by the back door mudroom. The kitchen is not so bad. It’s spacious.

I walked around the perimeter of the back yard. Fenced in with enough space for our dogs to play and chase each other. My pro list was getting longer, while the con list was shorter!

The home was located off of a busy highway, but since it had forest around, the home was not visible from the highway.

Meanwhile, our home in Mount Pleasant was still on the market with a few interested parties touring.

I suppose this story could continue, complete with the issues and pains of selling a home while finding another home. We placed an offer on the farmhouse, agreeing to be an active contingent. What is an active contingent? Glad you asked. We agreed to buy the farmhouse after our home sold.

Early December 23, 2019 — exactly two days before Christmas — while I packed a few things in the kitchen, I fell off the top step of a three-step-ladder, breaking my back. The pain was excruciating. I refused to go to the ER. I didn’t want anything to happen to jeopardize the sale of our home. Our realtor phoned in the afternoon, letting us know our home had sold, and we could sign the final contracts for the farmhouse.

That evening, after taking care of all the business related to selling and purchasing another home, we rushed to Walmart. Our furniture was in storage until the 26th of December. We had the keys to our new home and needed to purchase air mattresses to sleep on until our furniture arrived. We bought two queen size air mattresses. That evening my pain was almost unbearable. As I looked around our new home, I felt comfortable, even with the pain in my back.

On December 27, Phil took me to Doctors Care to see exactly what happened to me when I fell. The Physicians Assistant diagnosed a compressed fracture to the L-1 Lumbar. My back was broken.

To anyone who’s never had a back fracture, please consider yourself fortunate. Compression fractures are painful. I’ve tolerated this pain for ten months now. Hopefully soon the pain will ease and I will be feeling better, stronger and more able to do the things I’m accustomed to doing. Gardening. Walking a good distance without stopping. The little things in life that are taken for granted. At least now, I can go outside and sit on my porch while enjoying this peaceful, quiet, nurturing country life. I haven’t missed the suburbs at all. As for my former home in Mount Pleasant. Now, it is a vacant lot. The house was bulldozed in anticipation of someone buying it. That hasn’t happened – yet!

Country Life? I think I’m loving every moment of it. I can feed the fish and turtles in the pond. I walk around the property, stopping whenever I need to, and I breathe fresh air. Country life is the GREATEST!

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