A dream for my family

I have a dream of seeing my husband, with a big ol' beard, working outdoors with my children, on a piece of land we call ours and thriving because of the hard work we do each day... my children learning skills that are all but lost (and us learning along side them)...instilling in them that we are a team that must learn to work together, not as a nice idea, but as one of the truest necessities of life.  We were created to work.  But I hate working hard for no good reason, don't you?  I know my kids do.  But working hard for one another, for our mutual benefit and enjoyment? That, I adore, and I hope my children learn to adore it too.

Our goals

  • Renovate our house to be functional for our lifestyle.  Make our home one where guests feel welcomed and relaxed.
  • Build a food forest on part of our land that incorporates the philosophies of permaculture and Back to Eden gardening
  • Work our way toward caring for animals, namely chickens for eggs, guineas for pest control, and goats for milk
  • Homeschool in an authentic, outdoors-focused, semi-structured manner.  I call it "slow homeschooling"
  • Gain knowledge of traditional skills and nutrition using whole foods, natural remedies, and DIY projects
  • Learn how to do as much as we can for ourselves!

But why?

There's nothing wrong with the suburbs or the city, or anywhere people want to build their lives.  So why did we take a chance to buy and renovate a home with a few acres?

Being in the country, seeing the brilliant blue sky against all the warm colors in the trees calls me back to that fresh air I breathed as a young child.  I will never forget the feeling of just being, in the sun, sitting, listening, wandering.  The quiet.  I miss that quiet.  Even now as I sit in this apartment while we renovate our country house, I hear jets every two minutes instead of birds, air vents instead of breezes, highway noise instead of horses neighing, road construction instead of my children's voices playing outside.  It makes me a little bit, um, physically sick.

I remember going to my dad's office for Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.  I hated it.  The stagnant AC air, the quiet murmuring, the smell of old coffee... I just couldn't take it. I actually felt nauseous.  I told my dad that day I would never work in an office.  He laughed and said "we'll see".  And you know what, I've barely worked in an office setting.  I've spent about two years of my adult life working in an office.  And that was more than enough.

I know some people will think that's weird.  My husband is well suited for corporate work, and for that I am very thankful.  He is an incredibly hard worker and thrives in those challenges.  But, for all my strength, I cannot make myself a 9-5 office warrior.  Maybe I'm part lazy?  Maybe I'm part idealist? Maybe I just have it in my blood to be outside, working with my hands, exerting myself physically to work out the kinks emotionally and spiritually.  Maybe I think it's the way more of us are supposed to work.

By no means am I saying that everyone must move to the country to live this life and teach their children these same things in the same ways.  I'm not saying anything about anyone else.  But I know this about myself:  I have seen glimpses of my best self, the one I was created to be, when I know for Whom I am giving my all each day.  And to work our land, to care for our animals, to harvest and enjoy our own bounty, together...that is a vision for our family that I cannot deny.