Yes! My husband’s lifelong dream of farming has become a reality. My lifelong dream of writing high humor about chickens is on the verge of happening. We just purchased the prettiest farm you can imagine!
The excitement has nearly killed us. We can’t sleep for our anticipation. We wake up every day, look at each other and giggle, like we are seven and boarding a plane for the first time. It reminds me of when I met my husband. So I guess I’ve fallen in love!
Which might explain why my mother and father are worried about our decision. “What are you two thinking?” they ask with shocking regularity.
“If we were buying a condo in Florida, you wouldn’t bat an eye,” is my response. “Wouldn’t you like to be put out to pasture on my farm?”
Maybe they remember the last fixer-upper we bought, in 1994, and how they spent their weekends helping us paint and drywall. Maybe they think we are too old.
We are old. But last summer in France, we met several couples in their fifties and sixties who were making big changes in their lives, taking risks, doing crazy-sounding things like buying a vineyard or a caviar farm in Russia. It convinced us that once again, the French understand something about how to live that perhaps we Americans miss.
I wish I could tell you where the farm is, what it is like, etc., but the previous owners will continue to operate it for the next nine months, so we have agreed to keep the details on the down low until 2019.
However, I can say that it is not terribly far from where we live now. It is ridiculously charming and picturesque. It has unusual elements that will be so fun to photograph. It has chickens.
There is another reason why we took the plunge. I haven’t written about this before but eighteen months ago, I found out I have a liver disease. I feel very good right now, and am happy with my doctors, but my longterm goals need to become more immediate. This peek at the end of the road has been a blessing. I am saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with purpose. ‘Yes’ to a new job styling. ‘No’ to my online shop, which will be closing in 2019. ‘Yes’ to more writing. ‘No’ to a stringent blog routine. ‘Yes’ to believing the best about people and ‘no’ to the friend whom I’m pretty sure never liked me to begin with.
And ‘yes’ to a farm!
Can you blame me for wanting to buy the farm before I “buy the farm?”
Longtime readers will remember how we almost bought a farm a couple summers ago. It just didn’t work out, and we were disappointed. But I’m so glad it didn’t because this place is special.
We don’t know what we will do with it, but that’s the best part. Will we grow crops? Raise sheep for feta? Turn it into a writer’s retreat? Art gallery? My cautious mother, who is herself a farm girl, will bring experience to this process. And she’ll work like a mule once we have figured out a direction. (She’s just taken a big gulp of coffee as she reads this, can you hear her?!)
Now for the really fun part. What shall we call it? Cold Comfort Farm? Folly’s Field? Brave Acres? Sweaty Betty’s Back Forty? Bugtussle Orchards? I welcome your suggestions.
Like decorating a nursery, selecting picture books, and taking a strong stand against disposable diapers, we are starry-eyed and naive, imagining only the best outcomes.
Of course our giddiness will eventually transform into trepidation, bewilderment, and exhaustion. We will have to tell ourselves the same thing we did when the children got tattoos, fell off buildings, or turned vegan. What my mother asks. What were we thinking? Whose idea was it to have four kids?
Oops, no I meant to type, It’s all going to be okay.
And it will! Just you wait. My husband and I, the chickens and good ole Betty the Truck, are going to be clucking with contentment for as long as the sun shines and the coyotes remain at bay.
Photos by Leo Tseng.