Thursday, April 3, 2008

A new Beginning

I've always had a romantic view of farm life. In my fantasy it involves gentle breezes blowing through curtained windows into a kitchen full of Fiesta ware and vintage melamine dishes. Children in simple, but colorful handmade clothes with pink cheeks recite their lessons with smiles on their faces while Mother in her apron brings in the white sheets from the laundry line. The chickens lay beautiful speckled or colorful eggs and cluck contentedly around the neat, flower lined garden. The eldest boy milks a cow in denim overalls and grows tall and strong and resourceful from his education as a gentleman farmer. Stone and board fences line verdant pastures with cows lowing while they live a life of peaceful rumination. Red barns and big trees and men with broad shoulders are all in the background of my romantic vision.

During my early adolescence I lived on a farm that looked like this. I walked down gravel roads and felt the beauty soak into my soul of ferns and moss and ancient apple orchards, cows and ponds and bicentennial saw mills. I wandered in old barns imagining them full of milk cows. I've always wanted to live a life like that, but never had the chance, being the wife of a middle class military man. We, in the last year have found ourselves settling into a civilian life, and have the opportunity, for the first time, to live in such a place again. We have contracted to rent a house on an ancient farm full of beautiful buildings and stone foundations and gravel roads and red barns and content cows and chickens and black board fences.

I have, of course, envisioned myself in many of the aforementioned fantasies, apron clad, making cookies, sweeping board floors in a house that is part one room schoolhouse, part sanctuary, and part Martha Stewart photo shoot. I want to blog this experience because it's cheaper and easier than scrap booking it! I want to use this blog to remember every triumph and mistake to chronicle every aspect of handmade beauty that I create, to record my family's emotional and mental reaction to this life that I hope to make a reality. So, enjoy if you care to, feel free to comment and offer advice, I'll need all the help I can get!

When I first drove up to the farm, I felt this overwhelming joy at the beauty of the place. It really takes your breath away! I was hesitant to see the house, feeling that it's age might portend small, dark rooms, ancient appliances, and a leaky roof! What I found surprised me, although it may indeed have a leaky roof! It was roomy, full of light, and obviously built for a large family, for there is storage tucked into every nook and cranny. I began to imagine the home I could make in such a place, the soft colors, the cheerful, durable, easy to clean furnishings, the children cheerfully putting away their belongings (this is imaginary, remember), my husband coming home to a homey meal of garden fresh produce and our home grown meat and eggs. I got a little giddy. My kids started saying... "Pleeeeeaase can we live here?" The landlord gave us recommendations about chickens, where we could pasture our milk cow, a good site for our large garden..... I'm starting to get really excited now! This is everything that I ever envisioned, but could never afford! I turn to my husband, right in front of the landlord and say, "Pleeeease can I live here?" He laughs, and indulgently says, "Let's think about it."

Well, as you can probably tell, it's now almost a done deal... the contract is signed by us, but not by the landlord, we'll do that next week. At the same time I'll measure the rooms and plan where to put furniture and get rid of excess and purchase necessaries. I'm sooo excited.


  1. I have also imagined such a farm life but we have more in common than just that and bias tape! I am an army brat and went to 9 different schools in 11 years in 3 different countries. Not a lot of continuity. 3 of those years were in Virginia at Fort Lee. I love Virginia. Now I'll be able to keep track of your progress here at the farm!

  2. I'm glad you'll be coming along! I sooo enjoyed your blog, your pictures and tutorials are WONDERFUL!

    I traveled a lot, too. I went to five high schools alone and I've moved 13 times in the last 12 years!