The Hyslops Close Toad Hall

In 2012 the dream of Toad Hall became real. A home of our own, a place where our carefully curated tangible life of things and memories could take root and become a whole living entity unto itself.

Toad Hall 2017

In ten days the keys of Toad Hall and the echos of our life here will pass on to the next curator. I am learning, slowly, that there is nothing so thought provoking and fragile as the reconstruction of our identity outside of what we believe at one time to be the culmination of our plan.

Toad Hall 2012 (before the new paint)

It is quite possible that when we arrived at Toad Hall, we overshot, or under planned, or what ever the hell it is when you lay out all of your goals, attain them in unexpected ways, and then find yourself floundering because those same goals, those crafted series of achievements, bear little to no resemblance to who you are anymore.

So what now?  Well, here is where it gets exciting, or terrifying. Probably both. Cody and I are reinventing our particular wheel. I cannot tell our story without the inclusion of my amazing husband and partner (my adventure buddy). However, I have no intention of revealing personal details that would ever invade his privacy. Having said that, know that I am skipping some of the more personal details that culminated in our decision to reorient our life together.

Having said that, here is what is happening. We have left our long standing jobs with the University of Montana. We put our beloved Toad Hall up for sale. There were immediately good offers, and moved by a personal letter of one of the potential buyers, we accepted right away. Our home is just about sold.

We are now in the final stages of boxing and sorting. This time, this new beginning, has a different pace. There is a stronger and more driving indemnity in our chosen future. This next Adventure Buddy epoch begins with the question “Where?” instead of, as before, “What?.” To that end, we are boarding our cats Steve and Mortimer, carefully storing the items that thus far have made up the tangible story of us, and heading out for the Pacific Northwest.

Steve and Mortimer

In the spirit of John Jacob Astor and the intrepid settlers, trappers and miners of the late 18th and early 19th century we are forging west (more west – we are already in Montana). We are drawn to the sea. As we load our wagon, actually a Toyota Corolla, and begin to navigate our way through the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River Valley and on towards the edge of the continent we are looking for the place that is our home. Perhaps we’ll find our own Bag End, or Little House in the Big Wood, for all we know Manderlay or Blanding’s Castle may be out there waiting for the Hyslops to arrive.

As we navigate the landscape of our future we already know that we are at our best together. Along the way I’ll make note of our journey. I’ll share what we find, and what finds us. There is a lot a lot to learn in the great wide open and I hope that time to time you check in on our adventure.

It was nice to visit, thanks for stopping by.



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