Sunday, February 20, 2011
I love Homestead Revival.
When I saw the post about the Homestead Barn Hop I had to join in! I've been posting various pictures this last week from around the farm. Since we moved in just a few weeks ago, I am not doing much (!) except cleaning and trying to make it all a home for us.
I'd love to be writing about building our chicken coop, fixing fences, getting ready for goats and lambs, firing up the incubator in the basement we found, assembling and using the cream separator that was next to the incubator, etc. I can't. Because we're just not there yet.
I've been focusing as much as I can on here about the positives. I've posted some really neat pictures and have shared some of the beauty I've found. I've not posted about some of the really frustrating things.
Why? Because I'd rather vent to Sweetheart. Not really. Although I have been and he is tired of it. And not to just pretend it's all peachy, cause it isn't. But because I am trying really hard to stay positive simply because this is just this season. And this is the reality.
Reality: The three day drive just to get here was not fun. Having been sent the wrong keys was not fun. Waiting outside with the three kids while Sweetheart shoveled off the cellar doors and crawled in that way, thereby being able to let us in through the dining room window because the doors were padlocked shut wasn't much of a welcome.
Having the first person in town you meet be the only plumber in town who was nice enough to stop by on a Friday night because the pipes in the pump house burst when someone (not us) flipped the breaker and being without water for several hours didn't really start things off right.
Having to clean for a few hours just to be able to clear off a spot to sleep the first night- expected but yuck. Discovering that the movers didn't actually pack all the cushions with the couches or chairs and that they are mostly still in Colorado hasn't been that great either. Realizing that every rubber gasket from the washing machine to the sinks has shriveled up and died and that all the plumbing fixtures leak-has caused some unexpected work. Having to replaced the range the first because the mice had chewed up something important made things interesting as well.
Spending untold hours cleaning and cleaning and cleaning just to be able to function has been rather exhausting. We've moved out truckloads of stuff to be sold and to the dump with a lot more in the basement and outbuildings still to come. The endless killing of bugs and mice is well, gross.
Did I mention the normal work of just caring for the wee ones? They've expected to eat and be taken care of as well. :) And they don't like bugs. Major understatement for those of you that have met my kiddos.
Everything single thing I can think of is harder to do as I have to learn the way to do it here.
Any of you still reading? Because it gets better. It does.
All of this has felt totally overwhelming at times. More times than I'd like to admit. But it's not all there is.
We've gone a few towns over to see snow sculptures. I've shared a cup of tea and cake with a neighbor. We've been gifted baked goods and handmade soap. We had dinner at a neighbor's the other night and had another neighbor stay for a few meals as well as he's been helping us out.
Sweetheart has been working like a dog, but loves it and has really enjoyed everyone we've met. Shoot, that alone makes it all worth it.
The boys get to go sledding in the backyard. We have a barn. There are six mature apple trees, There will be roses. We have an original homestead house out back. We've found some really cool antiques around the place. I now have seven pie pans and I know how to use them! I can see the stars. Everyone has welcomed us. The mice situation appears to be taken care of and I kill fewer bugs each day.
The blessings do outweigh the hardships. I sometimes forget that in the moment when I feel so tied down and buried under the burdens. It is then that I remember and catch a glimpse of why my motto for the year is Fly Free.
See, here's the deal. These things are hard in the moment. They are. Shoot, the last year has been hard. If I took one of those stress tests where they give numbers for stressful events, I should likely be dead. But I'm not.
But hard doesn't mean bad, or wrong. Sometimes it's just hard. It wasn't wrong to move here. It's just hard right now. I don't think we made a mistake, or have done anything wrong. In fact, most of what we've had to take care of has had nothing to do with us. We're just fixing other peoples' mistakes and messes.
And eventually, it'll all be fixed and clean. And we'll have a couch to sit on. And we'll get to paint. And that will help a lot.
(Side Note: I chose "Edwardian Lace" for a color. Trying to convince myself it wasn't just for the name. It'll be beautiful against all the dark woods.)
And so we will get to move on with our plans and dreams. We are holding on tight to those things even as we work through the challenges. There are moments I think I'd like to go back to my old life, but reality brings me back: I had outgrown that life already. Here I have room to spread my wings and really fly.
As we sat at the big table yesterday enjoying our grilled cheese sandwiches on homemade bread, served with pickles I put up and tomato soup made from the tomatoes I grew and canned, I could smile and think about being ready to learn how to make the cheddar cheese myself. Soon. Because that's what part of all this is about: learning and growing and living the life we've dreamed.