On our very first date I told Handsome Hippie Hubby about a dream I had.
“I would love to have a ranch,” I told him. We lived in Arizona then. “I’m not exactly sure what it would look like but there would be a few animals and a big garden… like… an acre or more.” I can’t remember all the details of my fantasy ranch but, whatever they were, they must have intrigued my guy because he came back for date #2 and never left after that. He began to adopt my dream as his dream, too.
Life happened. We worked and moved around. There were babies and college classes and happy times and hard times and the dream was kept far in the background but it never really went away.
We have changed it a little. As we’ve lived life and explored the world we’ve come to the agreement that we need to live somewhere very green with 4 seasons. Our priorities have changed. We are both much more aware of our carbon footprint than we were a decade ago. But it’s still a lovely dream.
Shall I tell you about our little homestead?
There is a sweet little house with a great big chimney and lots of wood and windows. When you come in you can practically feel the love of the families that lived there before us. You can see their mark in the well-worn stair treads and the banisters polished from hundreds of little hands. There are always fresh cut wildflowers in a vase on the table (except in winter, of course, when fresh cut greens fill the house with the smell of pine), hot coffee in the pot and something fabulous simmering on the stove top. The pantry is full of jars of home-canned fruits and veggies and there are herbs drying on racks.
There are a couple of big lovey dogs and maybe a cat or two roaming around, inside and out.
There are thousands of books on the shelves and a room just for music stuff.
Not too far from the house there’s a barn with a corner set aside as work space for my random building projects.
There’s a dozen or so chickens in an especially fun coop, maybe a few goats and possibly a sheep. Sweet Hippie Daughter is lobbying for a pig and a horse but the dream-building jury is still out on that. There may be a family of ducks or some wild turkeys.
A vintage pickup sits in the drive and a spiffy modern Kubota is parked next to the barn.
Around the edges of the property there are lots of trees, maybe even a full-blown “woods” and there is definitely some kind of water nearby. If you listen closely you can hear the fish and frogs splashing.
A massive garden made of circles and spirals with tiered beds and hidden resting spots sprawls over an acre or two. There’s no rectangles with rows on this farm. It just isn’t our style. It’s filled with heirloom veggies and fragrant herbs and there are gorgeous edible and medicinal flowers dotted here and there throughout. Look carefully and you’ll find tiny fairy houses and colorful, whimsical decorations hidden between the plants.
People will be coming and going, because this place can’t be all about us. We’re not sure yet what shape it will take, but this place is a place of peace and healing and service to our fellow man. The gates will never be locked against anyone in need.
Our homestead will be as green as we can possibly make it with solar and wind energy, strategic rain water drainage, proper compost bins and so forth.
Isn’t it a lovely dream?
If you were to examine our finances, peek at our credit and plan things out it’s really quite unattainable. On the other hand, Handsome Hippie Hubby and I have never put much stock in the words, “that’s just not realistic.” Things that are meant to be have a way of coming to pass.
In the meantime, while we wait, we are practicing our gardening skills. We’re learning about organic pest control and canning. We’re learning which wild plants are helpful and which can be overly invasive. We’re preparing in the ways we can, with the tools we have so that when the time comes we’ll be ready to live our dream.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!