K so this is a Long Post coming. I can't believe I haven't already shared all this. This is all about Florida and the Ranch down there!
A week after Jase and I got married we packed up everything we could into the back of his truck and drove across the country to Florida. Along the way we stopped in Chicago for a few days. Anyway, as we pulled out of the driveway and said farewell to our family and Zack and Jessica I bawled my eyes out. I had never lived away from home. I was so scared of leaving my family, my friends, my hometown, shopping and everything I had known, to go live on the RANCH. I was so excited for the beaches but that was it. I had never stepped foot on a Farm and I was as city girl as it gets.
The first sacrament meeting there a girl got up and bore her testimony and all i can remember is her saying in the most hick voice I had ever heard was "Im so thankful for this ranch" No joke I honestly laughed outloud. I thought this had to be some sort of joke. We were in the middle of nowhere, there was nothing to do. Not very many people lived on the ranch.
As time went on I got a job in the Orange Groves and met all the little girls that changed my life forever. I was known as the cute interns wife. (needless to say, i agreed!) I was now living the "ranch life" and working in the Orange groves. In these groves were not pleasant. HUGE snakes, HUGE spiders, tons of Gators, Hogs, Fire ants, Bugs and sweltering hot in long pants. Seriously I couldn't have done it without those little highschool and jr. high girls though.
Jase and I went to the beach all the time. We made lifelong friends who we consider family. We loved the temple there.
Our house was TINY! It was made out of cinderblock. Here is a quick story. On thanksgiving we were over at The Jacobsens and when we got home the Air conditioner wasn't on anymore. We looked at where it was plugged in at and there was black smoke stains on the wall. it had lit on fire and didn't even set the whole house on fire.
We went to the prettiest beach with the softest sand, Clearwater Beach. Seriously the sand felt like we were walking on powder.
While in Florida I honestly grew up so much. I learned to cook. Jase learned to never do laundry. I learned how to kill a wolf spider and think it was cool when it died. My testimony grew like wildfire. I learned how to work hard and what it was like to really work hard for my earnings. I learned true friendship, and true love. I missed my family and friends like crazy. I went from being a selfish teenager to really growing up. The spirit on the ranch is seriously unreal. I cannot describe it.
Life on Deseret Ranch is something I wish I could bottle up and send to everybody I know. I wish i could invite everybody down there and let them experience it themselves. When I left Utah I was crying because I didn't want to go, When I left, I was crying because I didn't want to come back to Utah. I gave a talk before I left and found myself saying: "Im so thankful for this ranch:
Below are just a few pics I took while I was there so you can get the sense of what we did!
The Orlando Florida Temple!
This is what orange trees did when they died!