Happy Birthday to Us!
Notes from Maggie's Farm
Approaching our first birthday, this blog, we are, and we've been giving thought to how, with the encouragement and support of our readers, we've come pretty darned far. We're thinking of ways to throw a little blog party next week. We welcome your ideas. But first, for the all but two of you who weren't here in the beginning, one of our first blog posts.........how we got here.
life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.... john lennon
I thought I had it all mapped out. The white picket fence. The craftsman-style cottage in the middle of the city. Then is was the historical victorian handyman's project on the idyllic street of that perfect small town. And a few dreams later, there was the little art deco house in another small town. I'd picked out the new tile. The wallpaper. Designed the landscaping. Preapproved, ready for signing. Then BAM. The proverbial 'other shoe' dropped. The curveball was thrown. The cog, in the works. Because we chose the very first day of the mortgage industry crisis to sign on the dotted line. And there it all began to crumble. Fall through. Crushed. Hopes dashed. Again. My usually unflappable and very patient partner was out of patience, flapped, indeed, ready to throw in the towel and sign another lease, (on another home, of course, because the one we were in had already been leased in the 30 days since we'd given notice). Try again in a year, maybe. I said I was ready to give in, too.
Although, clearly I was not, because late, late at night, when I said I wasn't really looking, I was looking. And I found a place that was just about the farthest thing from what I had been planning all these years. About which I had dreamed. What I had always been sure I wanted. It was none of that. It was a farm.
Or that's what I saw, anyway. Because it wasn't a farm. It was just a spot of land with a fixer-upper in the middle of nowhere. The only reason I even looked twice was the location. Only a few miles from our very favorite state park, it was situatated in the beautiful Hill Country. And the price was right. Less than we'd planned, in fact. I bookmarked the ad, (Who finds a home on Craigslist?!?), and hit the hay. I'd been up for hours, and I was exhausted. Ready for sleep.
Except sleep did not come. The wheels were turning, speeding along, really, and it was in those early morning hours, needing to sleep but wide awake with possibility, that a farm was born.
Being a certified 'foodie' (no, really, had to pass a test and everything.), I had always been interested in growing our own organic food, living a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle, reducing our carbon footprint..you know, all that. I mean I composted, forevermore. I had all those vintage homekeeping books. I was up to this. I would start sewing again. I'd can our foods like that one batch of jam I'd put up, oh, say 20 years prior. I'd bake bread. We'd have some animals of some sort. If the Walton's could do it, I could do it!
All of this developed before 5am. And before I'd even seen the property. And before I'd mentioned it to my partner. I'm kinda like that.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
My partner, well he thought maybe we should take a look. And we did. The place didn't quite look like it had in all of the fantasies I'd entertained that fateful night. And it was a little more difficult to imagine the storybook farm life of which I'd been dreaming. What it looked like was a lot of work. And it looked, well, it really looked like the country. And not the Walton's country either. More like Green Acres. I even began to affect a Hungarian accent in the newer thoughts I was having. I was all Eva Gabor playing Lisa Douglas. I wondered if I'd begin taking a bath in the town's water tank. Have to shimmy up a pole to make a phone call.? Were we going to have a pig named Arnold? Horrors!
But it was too late.
Oliver, The partner, well he had already sipped of my Walton's-inspired Koolaid. He thought it was a grand idea. And I was in tears so did I, of course.
But it was too late.
By golly, we were farmers.