House Becoming Home

I don’t know if you have these moments, but I get them from time to time – where everything seems just right in the world – even when so much isn’t right.  I had one of those moments last night as I rode Vulcan on his first turn to mow around the new farm.

Our Outdoor Cats on Our Indoor Bed

Jelly Roll and Sabeen are supposed to be outdoor cats. When they snuck in last night, they quietly settled on our bed. Not dumb kitties, these.

He and I were mowing in our orchard – oh, how I love that we have an orchard – and I thought how remarkable that I am now living in this place, calling it home.  How did I ever get so blessed?

***

Yesterday afternoon, friends came by.  People who were dear friends of my mom’s, people who I have known for many years. . . and as we told them about the sale of our old farm, about how it sold in 8 days for more than asking, about how it was bought by a farmer who would use all the work we had done. . . “it all works out.”  That’s what I said.  And it does. Every time.

***

Last night, Philip and I stayed up quite late, doing our best to put those most difficult of things away – pictures on the walls, memorious objects on the shelves. (I don’t really like to call them knick-knacks because they carry more memory than kitsch.)  I stood long and stared at walls, listening to what story of our lives we wanted to tell just here.  Over our coach, we hung a picture of two dogs in a canoe, a print of a mausoleum against paint-blue sky that I bought in New Orleans on a trip with Mom, and the printer’s box that I fill with tiny objects, each wrapped in memory.

On the mantel in the Reading Room, we have candlesticks that Philip’s grandfather made, a plaque that says “You are living your story” that my dear friend gave me, and two pieces of copper that I remind me of Mom (she loved copper) and Dad, who brought me one of them.  Between them all, a painting of an abandoned rowboat hangs – a painting by Philip’s grandmother.

It does not take a great deal of time to make a house a home it seems.

***

Just over a year ago, when Philip and I headed north for our honeymoon in Maine, we drove up through this part of the world, and the whole while I thought, “This might just be the most beautiful place on earth.” Farmsteads scattered over rolling hills that lead to the bluest of the Ridge.  Long quiet roads where you can see for miles but not around the next curve.  The way that roadlines trace stories and houses carry the families that have lived long before them.

Now, here we are – in a house we saw once and knew was ours, the house my father suggested we consider, the house where Berrys, Yowells, Tuckers, and Rudds before us have lived soft and steady.

It is amazing, really, how “it all works out.” But then, well, when you are loved who all of who you are by One who knows all the history behind and before, how could it not?

Come visit, all.  Be a part of this story in this place with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Photo Gallery

This morning, I tried to snap a few shots around the house for all of you. I hope you’ll excuse the poor lighting, clutter, and unpacked boxes.  But I wanted you to see the beautiful house we now call home.

God's Whisper Farm Living Room

The front of the living room with Mom’s chair

IMG_2148

The guest room. Mom made the quilt, and Sarah painted the walls.

Guest Room/Office at God's whisper Farm

My temporary office in the second guest room.

God's Whisper Farm Dining Room

Our Dining Room

God's Whisper Farm Kitchen

Our Kitchen

Reading Room at God's Whisper Farm

The reading room, looking toward the front of the house.

Reading Room/Library

Reading room, looking toward the kitchen and living room.

God's Whisper Farm Living Room

Our living room. You can’t really see it, but there’s a fireplace. ;)

First Days

To be honest, I’m not sure what to write here today.  There’s too much to share and too little I’ve processed fully, so I’ll just give you some highlights, if that’s okay.  Boone, the Great Pyrenees

1. All the animals and humans are here on the new farm.  It took a miraculous effort on Philip’s part, but by 1am on Thursday night, we were all tucked in, safe and sound.  Philip had to do his best Cirque du Soleil moves to get behind the water heater under our staircase at the old house to get Charlotte, who then promptly climbed into the wall by using her claws on a cinderblock chimney.  Eventually, we caught her, and Philip hand-carried all the chickens from the coop to the carriers and then the reverse so get everyone settled.  Add to that the need to lift a 100-lb Great Pyrenees into the Subaru and carry 6 goats to their house on the truck . . . Plus, he rode with a pooping and screaming Emily the cat for the full 90 minute drive.  We can safely say that Philip did more than his share of animal transport.

For the record, I did do a dive in mud and poop to catch Acorn and load her up.  That pretty much is all my part.

2. We have unpacked about 3/5 of our belongings, and we have the living room, bedroom, and half of the reading room set up.  It’s kind of amazing how much stuff we had crammed into a 757 square foot house, but now that we’re here – in almost 1900 square feet – we are S P R E A D I N G out.

I have especially reveled in the fact that I can put all the food in the pantry without having to stack it, but I will admit just a tad bit of stress at having to decide where things go.  I don’t own a lot of shoes because the choices stress me out, and apparently, the same can be said for cabinetry.

Also, we have a dishwasher. :)

3. We met the postmaster at our post office. Her name is Kay, and she’s adorable.  The post office is about the size of our master bathroom, so I’ve considered inviting her over to stretch at lunch. We’ve waved at the neighbor who has his cows on our land, and we hope to meet everyone in town sometime soon.  (Note – “town” consists of 183 people.)

At this exact moment, Philip is working on the reading room – moving crafting supplies up to my temporary office, which will become our craft/guest room in time.  Soon, we’ll get the bookshelves situated and begin unloading the bulk of our boxes – filled, of course, with my books.

And by Wednesday, when our first houseguest arrives – Sarah!!! – we’ll have the guest room ready with our new split boxspring – necessary because the regular one wouldn’t go up the 200-year-old stair case – and her very own, brand-new towels.

It’s coming together, and already, beyond anything we have done, it is home.

Do come visit soon.

 

 

Holy and Hard – The Moving Begins

This morning, we had our first near frost, and the Great Pyr puppies were frisky – as if the cold dances in their blood. . . I completely understand.  (Meander, however, is tucked under a blanket on the couch snoring.)

Packing Tape and Wine - Moving Tools

Moving Tools. (See the name on the bottle?)

In about an hour, dear friends will arrive to help us make the first of many trips from here to the new farm, and I am both eager and sad.  It will be as hard to leave this place as it will be joyous to move to the new one.

I have poured myself into this land – with raised garden beds and a chicken coop and a shop, with trails cleared and land brought back from wilderness.  I have healed here, and I have married here.  Forever, this place will be sacred to me.

Yet, I go to the new farm with deep eagerness – for it will be the place both Philip and I build.  Much of this farm was mine – my dreams, especially – but in this new place, we will dream together. And for that – more than anything – I am excited.

But I am also eager to take what we have learned here and use it there.  I want to spread the goat feeders out more so there’s less butting and be sure to get shelter over their mineral feeder.  I want to use wood chips from day one on our chicken poop boards, and be sure to get great straw for the laying boxes.  I want to get cover crop on the garden asap to help keep weeds down and feed the soil . . . and so much more.

In very real ways, this new place is a continuation of this old place.  Even as it is a new beginning . . . a new beginning that will have new adventures and maybe new animals. Mom’s dearest friend pointed out that we really need a pig since our town is called Radiant –  you know so that the pig can bear witness as Wilbur did for Charlotte’s web. And I still dream of alpacas and learning to spin.  (Maybe I’ll get a spinning wheel and start practicing.)  Plus, we want to grow sweet corn, something we haven’t tried here and get our asparagus hill in the ground.

Plus, there are new stories there. When we arrive at the farm on Monday night to check out the house before coming back here to care for the animals, I will talk to the hill and pour out a libation of memory for the people enslaved there – a way of honoring and telling them that I will know as much as I can about their lives in time.  It feels like a way to carry the sacred to this new place.

So today, I load wheelbarrows and post-hole diggers with a mix of joy and grief.  And I remember that this is life – holy and hard and beautiful beyond measure.

 

 

Our First Anniversary

Our First AnniversaryToday, Philip and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  We have a bit of our ice cream cake to choke down for the sake of tradition, and this afternoon, we’re going to see The Maze Runner in IMAX and then dine at Pasture, our favorite farm to table restaurant.  (I’m hoping they still have the cocktail that includes strawberry jam.)

So I’m excited about this anniversary, but mostly – and I say this at the risk of being overly sentimental – I look forward to spending the rest of my life living our dreams with this man.

For so long I searched for someone who would “get” me but also be his own person, someone who would walk this farming, artistic, community-oriented path with me but who would take the dream to hand and shape it with his own person.  And now I have found him.

So today, my hope for each of you is that you have this person – dear friend, partner, child, companion – who will walk your life with you as they explore their dreams with passion. 

Happy rest of your lives, Everyone.

 

Oh, Autumn

This morning, on my writing blog, I tried to craft an ode to this, my favorite season.  I don’t know how well I did, but it was – is? – a sort of way of saying thank you to this land and a gratefulness that we move in my favorite season – when I can see the beauty here and look forward to a different form of it on the new farm.

Here’s what I wrote:

Out the kitchen window, I can see the golden hue beneath the lingering green of the grass.  It’s set off by the burgandy gift of dogwood leaves.  The light this morning – after a long night’s rain – is blue and soft, slanted just enough to bring all these colors into full show – the lighting designer of nature doing Her best work.

Stop by Andilit and read the rest if you’d like. :)

And do tell me what you love about autumn?

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Holding My Inner Tasmanian Devil At Bay

17 days.  Whew!!  Now that came up quick.  17 days until we close on our new house.  Holy Moly!

Meander reclines

Meander knows no stress.

We’re still trying to figure out how to house the chickens at the new place – makeshift one of the standing outbuildings or build a mobile coop before we go.  Plus, we need to finish up packing and planning for the temporary goat paddock beside the house.  (We’re quietly optimistic that the present owners will leave the children’s swing set so that we can see Olive and Acorn go down the slide.)

Plus, then, there’s the turning off of things like electricity and the turning on of things there.  And then packing, have I mentioned packing?

It’s kind of easy for me to get spiraled up into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety.  (Picture the tasmanian devil with a book in one hand and a pen in the other.) Right now, we’re both running at the tipping point between sane planning and nutty packing, and if we have one wrench come in – a problem with a well at either house, an unexpected animal emergency – you may just witness some sheer panic on my part.

Tomorrow, we take the puppies for their “fixing” time, hoping to get them ready for the trip and also not add to the stress of a new place.  The kittens will follow on Thursday.  We have a well inspection at the new place tomorrow, and I’m setting up the closing proceedings with the lawyer for this farm tomorrow afternoon.  Oh, and Philip and I still have our full-time jobs to do, too.

If you have good energy or prayers or just really encouraging words to throw up for us, please do. We could use them. . .

I’m trying to take a couple of notes from Meander’s book and let what needs to be done come as it will AND when the time for crazy running comes, give yourself over to it and drop your tail for less wind resistance if necessary.

We’ll keep you posted.

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