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.

Oops!

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.