When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. — Genesis 8:11
I sat at the kitchen counter at my home in little ol’ Caldwell, TX and brainstormed with my mom. I wanted a name for the house that I was moving to in College Station that would stick so people could say, “Yeah, you know, the girls who live in the _________ house!” My roommate and my best friend from college, Priscilla, and I decided that we wanted it to be Biblical. We have some guy friends who call their all-guy house “The Lion’s Den” which refers to Daniel and the lions’ den. What MOGs (men of God).
We decided that we liked the Dove from Noah’s Ark since it symbolized so many things. Noah sent the dove out to see if the earth was ready to be occupied and when the dove brought back an olive branch which meant the storm and floods were officially over. A house known for being peaceful and a place where everyone is welcome is exactly what we wanted. Also, as cheesy as it sounds, I liked the imagery of a bird because we are a bunch of college kids “spreading our wings” as we live in this exciting chapter of our lives. Cringy, I know.
As we continued to brainstorm, we had many bird-related puns and words that described our little 1500 sq ft house, specifically the oversized back yard. Finally, we put two and two together and boom, The Back Perch was born.
I absolutely love the name. I made a sign out of a barrel, old wooden gate, and scrap tin as pictured above (thank you Mr. Hancock for high school ag mechanics). I’ve created a business plan with the name for a class. I’m even considering changing my little photography gig’s name to it. To top it off, when I think of a back porch, I think about watching sunsets in wooden chairs, being at the deer lease as a kid, and summertime. Not to mention my dream house includes a huge back porch facing West. It’s just the more I think about it, the more I like it and let me tell you why:
If you’ve been my friend on Facebook, you know that I’ve been traveling a lot within the last year. I won’t share too many details because I don’t think anyone cares that much and I just need to explain some so I get my point across by the end of this blog so don’t stop reading yet….
Last Christmas I went to a non-touristy town in Greece on a mission trip. It was the first time I’d been abroad and let me tell you, that trip changed my life. The culture shock was eye opening because there were so many people who were not interested in God since Greece is considered to be a Post-Christianity country. Statistically only 30 out of 100,000 are truly pursuing and believing Christians. I often think about the people in Greece and wonder how many other places are the same if not worse than they are, spiritually and economically. Besides the lack of believers, I also realized that there really is such thing as a season change. Greece was absolutely beautiful. The trees were different colors, the architecture was older than the United States, food was so different (but delicious) and it even snowed!! It blew my Texan mind that life could be so different. But all of this could be a story for another time.
Shortly after Christmas, me and three of my best friends all flew to New York for five days after I found a KILLER hotel+flight deal on Travelocity. Without sparing you the details, I actually fell in love with New York, even after my Dad told me how much I’d dislike it. Granted, he’d gone there for work so many times, he’d been there enough to see the bad parts. He didn’t go ice skating in Central Park, make it on Fox News, get caught in a blizzard, have a mini photoshoot on Times Square, watch a Broadway show on Broadway, eat the best food ever, and get hit on by Italian deli workers all within five days. But still, that was still the most fun I’ve ever had.
This last summer I traveled to Ireland for a study abroad then stayed an additional 2 weeks to explore England plus a spontaneous excursion to Barcelona, Spain. That one month in Europe broke my bank account, which three months later and I’m still eating ramen because of it, but it was a bajillion percent worth it. Ireland was breathtakingly beautiful, nothing like Texas. England was also pretty but I enjoyed the culture more than anything. And Spain had me severely regretting that I blew Spanish in high school off.
I tell you all of these things because I’ve caught it. I caught the travel bug or whatever it is that makes me want to spend every dime I have on plane tickets. I want to move across the planet and visit every continent. However, I can’t seem to break away from Texas, my small town, and my friends & family. Even a month in Europe had me a little homesick for my Mom’s cooking (when she cooks), sweet tea, late nights with friends at Harry’s, sunsets over the tank, bright stars, Texas football, trail riding with my family, Whataburger, and sleeping in my own bed. Yeah, I’m being a little dramatic but if I did leave for a long time, I’d really miss all of those things. Even my best friends all agreed that Caldwell was our home and when you leave, you realize you miss it.
I specifically remember a time my freshmen year of college when me and three of my other high school best friends all met up after a couple months gap of not seeing each other. The night ended with frozen yogurt at Spoons in College Station. As we sat around the table reminiscing about high school times and how we all missed each other, we gradually moved on to talking about our futures. The four of us all mutually agreed that going to college made us realize how special Caldwell was to us and how we eventually wanted to come back to raise a family. The small school, tight knit community, and rural environment was such a humble way to be raised. We used to want to leave and never look back but now things are different.
Now I’m a junior at Texas A&M University so naturally I’ve been really thinking about my future lately. Part of me is saying, “Go. You’re single (and probably will be for a long time) and the season of your life is perfect right now. One plane ticket, one mouth to feed, one small bed, go.” But the other part of me says, “Stay around here. Travel when you make bank with your boo thang and your kids are in college. Stay around family, grandparents, your town, and everything you’re already blessed with.”
Maybe the rest of my time at The Back Perch will help me decide. But I’m kind of hoping God will take me beyond the backyard.