Monday, July 30, 2007

Reflections on our new existence

It is strange how settled I feel here. It doesn't feel that peculiar to me to look outside and see barns and silos and corn. I find that fact to be very odd. After all, we've only been here a month! It might have to do with the fact that I lived with my parents in a semi-rural community for the last 5 years I was home; or perhaps it is because of all the reading and daydreaming I've done about living rurally throughout my existence; maybe it is because I spent many years visiting Squeeze's parents on their [former] 40 acres of woods in Wisconsin; or perhaps I am just unflappable. (I doubt it is that last option.)

Still: it feels, all in all, fairly normal. Sure, I've made trips to a farm to buy eggs and been appalled by the stench and filth of the way pigs really live. I also asked my neighbor today, who owns 50 ewes and 3 rams, "So you guys pretty much are Sheep Farmers, right?" Additionally, I can't identify the purpose of any of the differently-shaped barns or outbuildings. And I know I'll feel sorry for any kind of non-laying hen we may butcher in the near-distant future, no matter how good it may taste.

The point is, I like where I am. It amazes me. A month ago, when we were in the week-and-a-half limbo between closings, I wondered what on earth we were doing. Was I crazy? Did I really spend the last 6 months working towards this? Could I be happy? What were we thinking? For the record: even Squeeze, who has been scheming on this much longer and more seriously than I, felt similarly. It was the feeling of being uprooted, not being able to call anyplace home, that did it to us. We couldn't go back to Minneapolis, because someone was already living at "our" [their] house. We couldn't move into "our" farmstead, because someone was still living here in their home. It was a terrible feeling.

But now we are looking forward to the future with vigor; exciting plans unfold in our heads. Fruit trees, berrying bushes, and large vegetable gardens all dance in our heads. Squeeze recently discovered a cistern next to the nearest (and ugliest) barn. [15-20 years ago, our place was a fully operational hog farm -- the barn in discussion was specifically built as a farrowing barn. (The only reason why I know this term is because our neighbor told me.)] The barn itself is fully equipped with air movement, a heating system, and now, we've discovered, a cistern -- all key ingredients for a greenhouse. Furthermore, either of the dairy barns could be cleaned out and fixed up into retail barns; the chicken coop just needs to be aired out, cleaned out, and re-roofed; there are gooseberry and chokecherry bushes in the grove, waiting to be moved into a fully-lit location to burst forth with robust life; etc. etc. etc. We are very pleased with our new micro-environment. There is so much potential here; all it requires is a bit of scheming and a lot of work.

Gardens and gooseberries dance in our heads!


purple_kangaroo said...

Oh, it all sounds so wonderful . . . I daydream about moving somewhere like that.

a. borealis said...

I can hardly believe that our daydream has become a reality! Talk about WOW.