Last weekend and the week before, I had my best friend visiting from out of town. Andrea, was my old roommate, my best friend, and my 'real life' mannequin when I was deep into fashion design and repurposing and revamping vintage pieces.... She (as well as many other friends) has visited a few times since we bought this farm, however I hadn't ever taken time off work to actually be here twenty-four-seven like I did when she was here .... This, my friends, is where different perspectives are noticed....
Here in Winterville, the rain has been aplenty, and I have been forced by nature to have my 'down time'. I learned a little bit about how farm life is perceived by others, and how no matter how close you are to someone, it doesn't necessarily mean they are gonna get why you do what you do....
So, backtracking here, the entire first few weeks of February were drenching rain days. I mean flooding rains. Rain every day for days on end, and when it wasn't raining, it was super muddy and wet. Those are the many days I stayed inside with my nose buried in good reads, took naps daily, binge watched bad tv, and did a fair amount of baking. I never really thought about how the weather divvies up my days to ensure I get plenty of rest, but looking back, it sure seems that way!
While Andrea was here, it had been dry for about a week, so finally the land was drying out a bit - good enough to work on it - which in all reality IS NOT ACTUAL WORK for me, it is sooooooo enjoyable, gratifying, and therapeutic.... I don't think that most short term visitors get to the actual picture of what goes on out here, mostly because I guess I downplay the 'work' aspect of it since it is more therapeutic for me. In hindsight, I saw that to Andrea, who was on vacation, probably thought that I had a habit of maybe overdoing it... You, know, work all day, then come home and work all evening, or in this case, take a week off work and 'work' the entire time.... but... for me, all of this is what feeds my soul. I realized at those moments that she didn't get it... and that most people who don't spend a fair amount of time on the farm with me, probably don't get it.
A typical weekday has me completely still for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. Still. Sitting at a desk with little to no movement, and the skinniest sliver of outside views of concrete. Yeah. Fluorescent lighting, stationary filled days. So the minute I hop in the car to leave, I already have plans for MOVEMENT. I am either on the way to the rescue to walk dogs, or I have a big evening planned of farm fun because inside, this hours on end of 'stillness' makes me almost go crazy...
It is totally fine that other people don't get it, because it takes a special desire to pursue this kind of life... Most people want to have vacations, but in all honesty, I would rather use my time off to spend on my farm. I LOVE it here. I mean I really LOVE IT... I started this farm on someone else land back in 2010. Then moved it to someone else's land again, and then finally in 2014, we were able to plant all my animals in their very own pastures at OUR very own farm!
The feeling I get when I bring up the limbs on one more tree, so that maintaining the area around it is possible, I cannot even explain the feeling.... I am guessing if I could replicate and bottle that feeling, I would be a millionaire .... If I had to explain it, it would be something like the gratification of knowing that you created or brought back to life an old homestead, and the overgrown piece of land that had no fencing, coops, or walkable paths, now not only has all those things, but this place also is capable now of feeding, healing, and allowing for even more growth - I mean if I could bottle that feeling, I'd actually give it away to make the world a better place. I know, I bet some of you don't even understand what you just read, like I said it is a feeling that is hard to put into words, but some Sundays, I get sad because I know it is back to the grind of the regular work week sitting in one chair at the office for eight hours a day, so the mortgage can be paid.
So, moral of this post is, maybe I make it seem really easy to live this way. To build or resurrect a homestead, I guess isn't as easy as I think it is... probably because most of the coverage on homesteading, hobby-farming, and having chickens gloss over all the actual 'work' involved to make it more appealing - or maybe it is like how when I inherited Rose, everyone told me how expensive it was to keep a horse.... which it isn't I have found... probably because I do all of the actual work myself. I imagine like keeping horses, hobby-farming can be expensive if you just hire people to do most of the unappealing dirty work, but if you are in it because you are actually interested in the processes, the dirty work pays in knowledge and gratification of knowing you are capable of doing it.
So yeah, don't get into homesteading, farming, or horses unless you are committed to the dirty work, or can hire someone to do it for you, in which case it would seem that you aren't really that into it anyway... ;)
This, my friends, is what makes up my happy place. Happy Wednesday, y'all! Only two more days until we have another beautiful weekend of lots more farm fun!