Eight years ago I stumbled across a small ‘for sale’ sign for this little 30’x30’ 100 year old house down a quiet dirt road, with old towering pecan and walnut trees in the front yard, a gigantic 200+ year old oak in the back, and a hip-roof with the kind of impressive pitch that old houses used to be built with to ensure the house would last through generations..…
This little place was honestly what my dreams had been made of. Sleepy front porch. Wood stove just like the one in the small house I lived in as a child. An old peach orchard. Simple, no dishwasher, no room for luxuries like that, but oh-so-beautiful and practical. The one feature that sealed the deal? The attic fan. That is when I actually cried. I frantically looked for the switch to see if it worked. My realtor/friend was also trying to help me locate it. Tucked away deep within a kitchen cabinet, was the switch. Did it work? Flip….. and that very distinct hum had me signing the contract then and there.
The land was pretty, but had been neglected for a long time and there was no fencing, but with a little love, sweat, and muscle, I’d have it right in no time to bring my animals to OUR farm. You see until now, Christian and I lived in downtown Athens, and I kept my animals at a small farm about 15 minutes away. So at least twice per day, I’d go out to the farm. Once in the morning before work, sometimes just after work, and/or just before dark. It was a lot of driving, but I’ve always thought dreams can come true if you put in the work, never say never, and push through any opposition that tries to come between you and your dreams.
Fast forward to 39 days later, and we closed on this place. Keys in hand.
One of the catches for us getting this place and moving far away from the little in -town blocks with cute manicured lawns (which our landlord paid for) was that I promised Christian if we could PALEEEEZE get this place, I’d be the one to take on the land maintenance. I offered to clear, cut, and maintain all 8.5 acres because Christian would have never picked a place to take on so much work. I knew it would be SO worth it. I could already see what this place could become…..
For starters, I cleaned up all the burn piles. Yes, out in the boonies, people tend to burn whatever they can get away with. Furniture, trash, etc. Knowing I was going to have animals out here, I deep cleaned these burn piles and made sure to get all nails, screws, and wire that could possibly cause harm to my animals.
Then, I started building the chicken coop with the help of a friend, then built the goat shed all by myself, then the fencing…..
By August, it was time to move the chickens & goats to their new home. Having no proper livestock trailer, I borrowed my stepdads trailer and put everyone in large kennel crates to finally complete the dream and bring them here … the home I’d dreamed of for years.
One where I could sit on the porch, drink my coffee, and look out at my animals. Where I could wake in the middle of the night, shine a light out in the field and see that everyone was ok…
I was literally living the dream. Except there was more to the dream and it was still developing…
Over the years I’ve carved trails, cleared parts that were completely inaccessible, built out and remodeled a complete mess of a concrete building, and turned it into a very nice work space/ studio/ vintage clothing storage for resales (one day).
I’ve planted a very large garden and sold produce to the local diner, and then decided it was too much work for one person, without my own tractor, so let the garden grow back into brush…
I’ve toyed with outdoor bootcamp style workouts here, had dog training classes here, invited trainers to come out and train me and my friends, thought about yoga in the horse pasture….
I’ve hosted a couple of campers, and let a skoolie park here briefly.
For Christmas Santa brought me a trampoline that I’ve yet to really take full advantage of because of a torn meniscus that happened less than a month after I got my trampoline…
Not being able to jump and bounce to my heart’s content, I dove into my creative side and decided to start making small affordable art pieces from prints of the farm, it’s residents, and creatures. With a lot of really positive feedback and support I will be launching my site June 1st.
This little place has brewed lots of really cool ideas and personal experiences over the years and this summer and fall I’ll be getting back to exploring more with gardening again…. I have the time and mental space now to really give more than I could in the past. I know it may sound weird but the farm chores are truly sacred things for me and honestly that’s why I prefer to do most of them alone… the hardest part about any of the farm chores is getting out there. Whether it’s picking up limbs and sticks, mending a fence, repairing a shed, moving animals, or weeding a garden, I commit to only good thoughts about myself and try to change any negative thoughts to those that are positive and uplifting.
For the past week, I have been procrastinating on giving my favorite tree on the property the care she deserves… the last big wind storm took down small branches and limbs and I walk by her daily making plans to ‘come back in a bit’ to clean up around her base. Today I even soaked in a two hour epsom bath to avoid this task…. but (!!!)
I got a good start on it, and gave some love to that tree, and piled up the fallen branches for a few nice little fires this eve...
So, I’m off now to walk the dogs and feed the goats and horses who live here at this beautiful place that I still cannot believe is ours. Eight years since I first laid eyes on her while out on a country back road drive with Baby, and I knew in my heart she was what I’d dreamed of, before even bringing Christian out to see it. The rest, is history….
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