Thursday, July 20, 2006

Before Bluebird Cove 1: The Beginning Of Our Journey

I've been talking about Bluebird Cove in the newsletters that I create and have had such a large amount of feedback from subscribers that I have been convinced to do a blog so my virtual visitors can spend more time here at Bluebird Cove.

Many of you landing on this blog will know nothing about me or Bluebird Cove, and even those virtual friends I call subscribers, only know the story from whichever point you entered in. Therefore, I thought it best to begin at the beginning, especially since I feel strongly led to call this blog Bluebird Cove Chronicles.

To understand more about Bluebird Cove, you might want to know a bit of background on our lives and previous homes, so I'll briefly fill you in on how we evolved to this place.

When we lived in suburbia we never named our homes. We always had a lot of people coming and going for meetings, food coops, herbal classes, etc. but our place was only known as The Watkins House.

In the mid-80's I felt this intense longing for a place in the woods. Having vitiligo since 1976, I was "banned" from the sunshine of Alabama where we lived, so trees were fast becoming very close friends, and there wasn't a tree on our lot at the time. After years of prayer, we found a 1-1/2 acre lot in Prattville, Alabama, and built a home. I named it "The Refuge" and so it was for all of us.

It didn't take long to fall in love with birds, wildflowers, wildlife, butterflies and eventually insects, of which I had been terrified all my life. We found out about the National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program and got certified. A simple process of providing the four (4) necessary things wildlife needs: food, water, cover and a place to nest and reproduce.

Life seemed to have it all. In the midst of many personal, family, health and business issues that occurred the eleven (11) years we lived there, it was truly "the refuge" God had provided for me to know He was there beside us no matter what the circumstances of the days and years seemed to say.

We lived in Montgomery, Alabama, because of a job transfer from Albany, Georgia. I was raised in Pennsylvania and Randal was raised in Oklahoma. We met in Atlanta while we both worked for IBM. Me, the girl who would never marry, and Randal the guy who had been praying for whoever his wife might be since his teen years. Our first date was in November 1976 and we were married in Pennsylvania on April 9, 1977. After our honeymoon in Quebec City, we lived in Oklahoma City for four (4) years until we made a requested medical transfer to Albany, Georgia, hoping that the asthma and environmental illness (now called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) would improve since that's where I lived before we were married.

I didn't know back then that stress and emotions have more to do with health than most of us realize, but we had found some relief from herbs and supplements in the health issues we had and decided to stick with "natural" after the doctors had given up on me. Little did I know that choice would not only allow me to be an at-home mom, but would provide the ability for both of us to make our living at something we had a passion about, and allow us to design our work around our current lifestyle needs.

Helping others to learn more about natural health choices in the 80's was not at all common as it is today. In a world that provided little information on herbs and how to use them, we felt like pioneers.

Living in the woods and working to improve my health while improving our habitat was a delight and held the reward of knowing more about God by seeing Him in His Creation day to day. The incredible wonders of each and every bird, plant, insect and animal, told us that God is very much into details and that things that seem to look bad on the surface, may not be so in reality.

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