Nine years ago my husband and I decided it was time to move. We had just had a house fire, which after it was completely rebuilt, newly furnished, and looking just like we had always dreamed it would when we were remodeling, we realized it was no longer ours. It was someone else’s creation. It was what we pictured, it had the dark natural wood hardwood floors, two big bedrooms, an office downstairs, an amazing kitchen, open floor plan, and a third bedroom downstairs. It also had central air.
So, what was wrong, you may ask? We had been working for the past four years at remodeling and creating our dream home. It was no longer our creation.
We went on a house hunt. We found over twenty houses to go through. There were carpenter’s dreams, which meant that the walls weren’t all there. There were some that were advertised as having a riverside view, meaning they had been through at least one flood. There were the quaint, or short for really small, and those that were ‘you’ve got to believe it to see it’.
After almost six months, we decided to make one last attempt. My daughter called about a house that a friend of hers told her that a friend of hers said it was going to be going on the market on Saturday. I called the real estate agency and inquired about the house. We went to look at it on Saturday.
My husband was heading up over the mountain and sounding more like a little kid with every minute going by. Almost two miles up over the mountain on a very dusty road, we found another smaller dirt road to the right. We went up the road which turned out to be a quarter mile private drive. At the top sat a three bedroom two bath A-frame with a finished loft and basement. Even before we got out of the car, John turned to me and said, “This is our new home.”
Six months later, we made settlement and started moving in. Had someone told us six months earlier, that in town, which was almost four miles away, was going to be forty five degrees and raining, but up on this mountain, it would be snowing, we would have laughed. They didn’t. But spring did come to us, eventually.
By mid May we were planning our truck patch out on our little slice of heaven, ten acre farmette. We bought fruit trees to cover the bare patch of property that was a yard.
Three years later our trees were still twigs and our truck patch was only good for trucks and pumpkins. Let me tell you, my husband was able to grow four hundred pound pumpkins, but we couldn’t grow a tomato.
After extensive research, we found out that you need male and female trees to be able to get fruit. Now, I have no problem telling you the difference between males and females in any living species, but a tree? After figuring out that we would probably need several of each kind to get fruit, we planted more trees. But still no fruit.
Now we find out we need bees. I spent several hundred dollars buying bees and hives that were safe for John to be around without dying on me within two minutes of being stung, just to have our neighbors get amazing looking vegetables. Apparently, the bees liked them better.
We then decided to try chickens. After taking care of these sweet little chirpers, and finally getting them big enough to lay eggs, we thought we had gotten to a point where we were going to have a farm.
I went outside one morning, and yelled to John. There was an owl circling our chickens. As I waited for John to come out, I watched one particularly big owl swoop down and gracefully fly off with one of our chickens in his mouth. Over the next week, in spite of fencing, coops and the purchase of field cameras, animal in distress calls, and driveway alarms to alert us of anything going on outside, (and let me tell you, it was usually at 3 in the morning) we had gone from twelve chickens to one.
At that point we both decided we weren’t farmers, but we still loved our new home.
We’ve learned that the birds and the bees really do have a lot to do with everything and not just sex. We’ve learned that pumpkins will grow, and grow, and grow, and grow, and once they have grown, you still have to move it to get it to market, the fair, or just into your yard for Halloween. And…we learned, that you really do have to be happy with what you’ve been given and not try to make it what it isn’t. And that’s my husband being a farmer.