Over six years on the west coast.
Closing in on seven (seven!) years together.
Twenty-seven months in our 16×20 temporary home.
Two children instead of two babies.
Goats. Chickens. Ducks. Pigs. Beets. Tomatoes.
A fig tree. And the fig tree that replaced the first fig tree.
Cords upon cords of firewood.
Tears, laughter, memories to preserve and forget.
This adventure of ours – myself and that wonderful gentleman who so graciously operates as my partner in parenthood, livestock management, business and love – is ours. Unlike chapters in physical books that can so neatly be titled and assigned pages where you know exactly where you stand (at least functionally) in a story…life is not like that. Our “narrative” (barf) is not the same. We’re living, breathing, human beings who inevitably experience changes that both pop up out of nowhere and sneak up behind us.
Now that it’s been a year and a half since I waved a flag to confirm we are in fact still alive and well in our little tent…seemed like an appropriate time to check in again and say…well, something.
I’m not going to sugar coat it – this adventure has been taxing. Demoralizing. Completely humbling and sometimes troubling. We’ve had moments where it felt like it would be far easier to walk away than continue to push forward without a clear vision or deadline for when (or how) we would come to have more than canvas for walls. Amidst all of this, we are perpetually reminded how fortunate and utterly lucky we are to get to choose this path and continue to walk through it.
Yesterday I received a phone call from the notary that rather anti-climatically informed us…the sale is complete. It’s done. It’s ours.
Today, this 10.2 acres is ours.
I laughed and asked when the marching band would arrive and who was baking me a cake. Without keys to pick up or a front door to open for the first time…the feeling of ‘home’ hasn’t quite sunk in yet – no matter though, since the rather daunting list of things that need to get done before we can begin our migration just keeps growing. That right there is enough to distract from any disappointment in the lack of land purchase celebrations and party hats.
Three years ago, almost to the day, when we first moved out to the middle of nowhere, we were met with all kinds of reactions. For the most part, folks were supportive (if not a bit skeptical about our long term prospects) – some thought we were crazy and could never picture doing something similar or the same. But two conversations in particular stand out in my mind as lessons for how we’ve calibrated our own expectations over the months and years that have ensued.
Has it nearly been two months? Was my daughter really a baby not quite a toddler the last time I logged in? Oh dear.
Well, we missed March. And by that I mean the farm, the work, the celebrations of Isla turning one, the trip to Toronto, the trip to Salmon Arm, the…oh March was busy.
I don’t desire or miss this level of busy.
“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti*
This is just a quick note to mark the end of the year. The start of the next chapter. A commitment to be a better person, a stronger family and a much more consistent blogger in 2015.
We have so much that is unknown. Lots to consider, decide and act on in the coming months. Last year we had a vision and action plan for everything that needed to happen before the middle of March. Or rather, before the bean arrived. Then our worlds were turned upside down, inside out and made all the more hectic, incredible, tiring but ultimately…amazing.
You hope your kids can have role models. Good people, solid folks. Smart, savvy and the type of person you hope your child can admire and perhaps one day emulate.
We’re so fortunate to have people like Sheena in our life as both a wonderful friend and person we trust and love to help take care of this little bean as she grows into an enthusiastic explorer of a child – one who’s not impressed when we have deadlines to meet or a client calls to make during the day.
There are so many things to admire and respect about this woman – not the least of which is the way she’s able to make Isla break into conspiratorial giggles with just a look.
In addition to being new homesteaders and new parents, Scott and I both keep pretty consistent freelance work schedules.
Working from home with a baby rapidly learning how to move about the room, while there’s also animals to tend to (and during the summer months, a garden to care for)…can be daunting.
There are days like today where it’s too busy to find a minute for confirming that there’s flour in the house to make the biscuits to go with the lamb stew that’s been simmering all day. On these days, I fall victim to the old ways of trekking out to the store to load up on carbs (freshly made from our local bakery though) instead of maintaining my commitment to homegrown/homemade/homeways.
I used to think wanting more was about things. Commodities. Purses, shoes, vacations, dining room tables, the bigger apartment, the better job title.
More. And more, and more.
Stepping off the escalator of urban life, away from the corporate ladder and any Joneses to keep up with….I have more. Only with a lot less.