Seven Oaks is the name of our 17 acre timber farm in south central Virginia. In 2005, tired of the rat race and dreaming of one day owning a small farm, my husband and I purchased a small wooded property in southern Virginia. We wanted peace and quiet, but we didn't want to be too far from civilization. The property we bought had been planted with loblolly pine - a timber farm. We didn't know anything about timber or farming. We just knew it was time to leave Long Island.
My Heart Was in the Country
I grew up on Long Island, in a small town on the border with Queens, New York. Like many of my friends, our teenage rite of passage was taking the Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan by ourselves for the first time and then navigating the New York City subway system. I felt very at home in the upper west side of Manhattan where I worked in the education textbook industry for many years as a marketing manager. I loved my work, loved Manhattan, and was fairly happy.
But part of me had always yearned to live in the country. Every vacation we took, my husband I went to the mountains to hike, fish, horseback ride and camp. I dreamed of a garden that wasn't surrounded by big trees and buildings that blocked the sunshine. I'd always ridden horses on Long Island, but I wanted more than a commute to the barn, a quick ride around an indoor arena, and back home to the concrete jungle of the city.
The Turning Point Was So Subtle, I Could Have Missed It
My turning point was so subtle I almost missed it. I remember standing among the cubicles in the office building where I worked in Manhattan. The windows looked out onto yet another drab gray Manhattan day. Fire engines blasted their horns outside. The copier hummed behind me. Lunch smells wafted from the kitchenette. Neon signs blinked on the brick building next door. And I thought, "What am I doing here?"
I loved to write. I also loved to work on marketing plans, but my primary goal in life had always been to write. I wanted a garden, trees, a house. Instead, I lived in an 800 square foot apartment, grew a few vegetables in pots on the deck, and hung pictures of gardens on my cubicle at work.
Something had to change. And it did.
Leaving Long Island and Growing a Life
July, 2007 marked my first leap of faith. I quit my job. Not only did I quit my job...I quit the whole 9 to 5, career suit and high heels lifestyle. I packed away my briefcase, threw out the travel mug and kept my LIRR train pass for old times' sake. We moved later that year, I hung up my shingle as a consultant and writer, and over time demand for my writing outpaced demand for my marketing services. I still provide marketing services, but mostly to educational companies and start ups.
Today, I grow both a garden and a life. I share my interests with readers around the world through this blog and website - my love of gardening of course, but of what I call "home and hearth" - decorating, homemaking, entertaining, antiques. I am what I call a "late blooming homemaker" and love to explore cooking, crafts and more.
I invite you to follow me through the pages of this website, on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Life is good. Choose to be happy!
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Copyright: Website Copyright (C) 2007 - 2013 by Grunert Family Holdings, Inc. DBA Seven Oaks Consulting. (My company). I take 90% or more of the photos used on this website and am the copyright holder of most of the images. The remaining images are either those shared with the permission of the copyright holder or are from royalty-free stock websites. If you believe anything was cited incorrectly are used incorrectly, please contact me immediately at email@example.com. I am the author of all of the text on this website unless otherwise stated. You may not copy anything from this site without advance permission. That includes text, graphics or portions of text.
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How to Reach Me
Questions? Comments? Here's how to reach me:
Work website: Writing and Marketing Services: Seven Oaks Consulting
Office telephone number: (434) 574-6253
My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org