Living Unexpectedly

Ten years ago, if you’d asked me where I expected to be when my 60th birthday approached, I’d have said, “Right here.” In the North Carolina townhouse my husband and I bought, filled with things we had selected together, happily “farming” our 1/100th of an acre, working at whatever job I found and preparing to travel in retirement.

Life has a way of shattering our expectations. Starting last Christmas Day, I recognized that #livingunexpectedly was going to be the theme of my year.

ATV on CHristmas

My car wouldn’t make it up my friend’s icy driveway on Christmas, so she sent her son to bring me on an ATV. Unexpected!

Superbowl at Smittys

I watched the Superbowl with friends at Smittys. For me, this is an unexpected activity, and it was certainly an unexpected, astonishing win for the home team!

Red Scooter

I learned to ride a little red “knee scooter” after my foot was broken at work. Unexpected injury (first broken bone of my life) and an unexpected month in a chair.

Cat at Toilet

My little cat decided the water was fresher here. Unexpected!

This spring, I learned that hostas are not just for deer! Unexpected!

runners for charity

My new job put me in touch with a whole new community of people who like to run and who regularly choose to race for charities like ours. Unexpected!

land trust trail

I discovered beautiful walking trails almost across the street from my new office. They remind me of my favorite trails in North Carolina, the ones I’d walk while cell-phone chatting with my Mom, who has now passed.

So my “third act” is apparently and unexpectedly in Maine. I’m living in the home where my late parents raised the five of us, sharing with my sibs the real farm we inherited. I activily cultivate Mom’s Concord grapes and blackberries, not to mention more perennials than I can imagine, here on the half-acre that is my current plot.

I could not have expected this. I’m glad God has eyes on the big picture.

Thanks to Five Minute Friday for the writing prompt: Expect.

About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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5 Responses to Living Unexpectedly

  1. Lesley says:

    I enjoyed your post and all the pictures! It’s exciting to look back and see how God has blessed us in ways we would never have expected. Visiting from FMF#41.

  2. emilyannhupe says:

    I love all the pictures:). I too did not see myself at 47 where I am…in a wheelchair. I like a quote I saw on Pinterest: “Well that didn’t go as planned”. I found it to be SO true. I hope you are loving your farm:)

  3. Loved the post and the pictures, Carlene…and cats will ALWAYS do the unexpected. We have 20-something dogs and two cats, and the cats feel they should be walked on leashes…like their canine friends.

    #1 at FMF this week.

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