#3 Early Conflicts

#3 Early Conflicts

#3 Early Conflicts

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

Check out the map that explains the comings and goings of the Home Again family.

Below you’ll find a list of shows, stores, and services mentioned in the Early Conflicts podcast.

Anne’s been watching Strong Women on Korean Drama

Jolene’s been watching
Parks & Recreation and Madame Secretary. Both are on Netflix, at least they were when this podcast went live. 

Tad’s been watching You Tube train videos.

Anne and Jolene’s favorite grocery store chain is Fareway Stores found in Iowa and across the border in surroundings states. 

Anne and Jolene’s book coaching services are explained in full at Literary Midwives.

#2 Establishing Boundaries

#2 Establishing Boundaries

#2 Establishing Boundaries

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

To the right is a first look at the white board calendar mentioned during this podcast. We use it to keep schedules straight, which is a big part of establishing healthy boundaries. Check back next week, when an entire podcast is devoted to explaining how we use it and how to make your own.

Click here for the link to the Mom’s Special Calendar that was the springboard for our whiteboard scheduler.

#1 Welcome to Home Again

#1 Welcome to Home Again

#1 Welcome to Home Again

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

To kick off the first Home Again podcast, Jolene and Anne pulled out a few pictures to give you an idea what we and the places we’re talking about look like. We hope you enjoy the photo album we put together below.

Top Row:

L: The old farmhouse (some parts date back to 1845) where Hiram and Jolene lived from 1985-2016, and where Anne and her brother grew up.

R: House our families moved into in January of 2017.

Middle Row:

L: Hiram and Jolene yucking it up at Kailen and Anne’s wedding.

R: Anne and Kailen at the dinner table.

Bottom Row:

L: Tad watching Papoo (Hiram) operate large machinery at the old house before the move.

R: Appa the wonder dog.

From Gravel Road to Home Again

From Gravel Road to Home Again

From Gravel Road to Home Again

Jolene Philo and Anne Fleck

September 22, 2017

Good news, readers–The Gravel Road is back!

Well, sort of anyway.

Here’s what happened. In January of 2017, we moved from our big, roomy farmhouse along a quaint, gravel road on the edge of town. The house we moved to came with 4.5 acres of land smack dab in the middle of a different town. Once the moving dust settled and the urge to blog again returned, the old blog title didn’t feel right. Because we now live on a paved road, though as the picture shows, our driveway is gravel.

Our new intergenerational home, which still has a gravel driveway

The old farmhouse down the gravel road

More than that, the old title doesn’t reflect the intentional, inter-generational living adventure happening where we now live. In 1 house, we have 2 boomers, 2 millennial, 2 kids, 1 dog, and as our tagline says, nobody’s dead yet.

In case you’re wondering if you read that right, you did. Our daughter Anne, her husband Kailen, their toddler Tad, a new baby scheduled to arrive in February of 2018, and their dog moved home again in May of 2016. On purpose. And we’ll be living this way, God willing, until the Man of Steel and I are carried out of here after we die.

Which won’t be any time soon.

We hope.

People who hear about this living arrangement are polite at first. But they can’t wipe the skeptical look off their faces, and we can almost hear them thinking, They must be crazy. Pretty soon, their skepticism is replaced by curiosity and the questions begin:

How does it work?
How do you handle expenses?
How do you keep from killing each other?
How do you…?
How do you…?
How do you…?

In June, after fielding 2 days’ worth of questions at a writers’ conference, I said to Anne, “Maybe we should start a blog about your family coming home again.”

“Not a blog,” the hipper, more tech-savvy member of our duo said, “a podcast.”

“I don’t know anything about podcasts,” I responded.

“Well, I do,” she said. “And we can record in Kailen’s audio studio. Plus, he can edit them for us.”

“We could rename the Down the Gravel Road website.” I was warming up to the idea. “But what should we call it?”

Anne shrugged. “Home Again.”

Bingo! I thought.

“And you can still have a blog page,” she added magnanimously. “Just don’t ask me to blog. Please?”

And that, dear Gravel Road readers, is how Home Again came to be.

Of course it took a couple months to get things rolling. My wonderful virtual assistant and tech wizard, Sarah Broady, revamped the website to house the podcast, show notes, and blog. (She also created an archive to house all the Gravel Road blog posts so you can still find them.) She also created our new Home Again Facebook group and set up our Twitter account. Graphic designer Amanda Grout created the Home Again logo. Anne created Home Again accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, and Patreon, and at Apple podcasts, while I set up our Google + page.

Anne and I also spent hours meeting about topics and recording the first four, so they would be ready when the podcast goes live. We were extremely proud of ourselves afterwards. Until our editor discovered we hadn’t turned on the second microphone (that would be mine) so we had to record them all again. As soon as they’re edited, they’ll be loaded onto the podcast page and the show notes will go live, too.

Until then, thanks for stopping to visit Gravel Road.


What I meant to say was, welcome to Home Again!

P.S. From Anne:  The above dialogue has been shortened by about two weeks of name-batting-around for dramatic effect.  I am not some naming wizard.  And I might blog, if I feel like it, but not on any sort of schedule.  I had a blog.  I did not enjoy it.  But I’m really happy to talk about our unique living situation, at length, once a week, and I hope you all tune in.

Ready for Change

Ready for Change

autumn GR

The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Psalm 33:11

On the last Wednesday of October, I took Mom for a little drive. The trees, dressed in fabulous fall colors, put on quite a show. Every so often Mom would point and say, “There’s a pretty one,” or “Look at the color on that one.” The day was lovely and our time together was a delight, but the autumn colors were a reminder that winter, my least favorite season, is coming, and I can’t do a thing about it.

The weather isn’t the only thing changing this fall. Our country will soon have a new president and new members of Congress. State and local governments will welcome new faces, too. Our family faces changes, too, as we prepare to move to a new home in a new town. And our church is preparing for the changes that will accompany the arrival of a new associate pastor.

We all respond differently to change. I dread the arrival of winter’s cold and snow. Hiram looks forward to putting in cross country ski trails after each big snow. Voters who vote for this year’s winning candidates will be pleased on November 9, while those whose candidates lose will be disconcerted. And even though God has made it clear that our upcoming move is part of his plan for our family, Hiram and I vacillate daily between the excitement of watching God’s plan unfold and panic about the downsizing, packing, paperwork, and the million little details that are part of our adventure.

As a church body, we are eager to welcome a new associate pastor. We are ready for the guidance of a godly man who will be a support to Pastor Tim by providing vision and leadership as our church grows. But how will we respond when the changes he recommends are different from the way things have always been done? When we are pushed beyond our comfort zones and complacency? When change is welcomed by some and painful for others?

How can we respond to change in ways that honor God and draw onlookers closer to him? That is a question God wants us to ponder. It’s the question he brings to mind each day while I sort through old family treasures and photographs. When I think of leaving the house where my children grew up, where we made 25 years of family history.

“Your memories are enough, and I am enough,” he whispers gently and insistently. “I will not change, and I will never leave you,” he promises. “I am still good. My ways are good, and I will accomplish my good purposes within you wherever I take you.”

His words give me the power to part with material things and a home I hols dear. His words will be our nation’s source of hope the day after the 2016 election. His words can fill us with grace and confidence to welcome the changes God has planned for our church body through the work of a new associate pastor. His words are the unchanging beacon of truth that allow us to respond to changes, good and bad, in ways that honor God and make him irresistible to a watching world.

His words are enough.
He is enough.