Sunday, August 16, 2015

Welcome to your dreams

I was driving the other day to pick my children up at school. We love the school here. It is very small and friendly. They are enjoying it. Without disparaging the schools we left behind I do want to say that they are better here. That was a major consideration for me. I moved here mostly for Tractor Man. But being confident that the move would be good for my children was necessary as well.
Okay, that was a bit of a divergence from what I meant to say. I was driving to pick the kids up. I went a slightly different way and saw new things. One of them was a house. My dream house. I have never been IN this house, but I see it all over the place here. It is a Sears Kit house. And it's beautiful. Look:
Isn't it lovely? I think the one I saw may have been a slightly smaller version, I don't remember it going back three windows deep. I think just two. In any event it was gorgeous. And run down. It will fall apart soon. Tragic. No fear, there are tons of this house up here for some reason. I especially love that window on the second story. 
I get the boys in the car and point it out, "This is my dream house... only not a falling down version." Youngest kid says, "That is not a dream house, Dream Houses are big." I say, "Not my dream house, my dream house is actually pretty small." Middle kid says, "Then I think you should be able to get that some day." And youngest kid (he's 4) says, "Maybe the reason so many people don't get to have their dreams is because they dream of bigger things then they need." 
Think for a moment about all the wisdom in that statement. Have we wasted time that we could have spent attaining our REAL dreams while trying for bigger things that we needed? Have we forgone happiness because of greed? Did someone, well meaning, tell us to "Dream Big"? Is dreaming big really a virtue? 
I once heard an Oprah quote where someone said something like, "Now that I have attained my dream, what do I do now?" and she replied, "Dream a bigger dream." It sounds like outstanding advice. I held it close to my heart for a very long time. I'm not so sure now. Maybe the goal shouldn't be "more" but should be "enough". Not that I ever want to stop progressing. But isn't that different from attaining? I hope my focus is on improving, not acquiring. 
At this moment I am in my kitchen with a cup of coffee. There is vanilla and sugar in it, delightful. My dog is sleeping and snoring quietly. The front door is wide open, you can do that here. One stinging insect got in but I killed him. Tractor Man is getting ready in the bathroom. He is listening to Finnegan's Wake while he shaves. Cicadas are singing. It is very sunny but the shade of our huge oak is still keeping the house cool. Not for long, it's summer in The South, soon we will have to shut the door and turn on the air. Why on earth would I want anything more than this moment? All this peace and beauty and love. I couldn't possible dream bigger than this. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Welcome to Snakes in the house

We had mice. They are gross. Kinda cute, but totally gross. So I cleaned. Cleared out closets, dressers, cabinets and so on. Got two cats. Mice population went way down. I joked with Tractor Man that we needed to get a snake and let it loose in the walls.
Not two weeks later my middle son backed out of his room saying, "No. There is a snake." I barely believed him. I open the door and guess what? Yup. There really is a huge long snake on their dresser.
I'll admit. I kinda freaked. I mean.. it's not a tiny snake. I called Tractor Man's father and he came over. We tried to kill it, which I'm not proud of. Super snake is ticksy though and it hid somewhere. Which left me with a hidden snake in my children's bedroom. Delightful.
Tractor Man left work early to rescue his city girl from the terrors of a rat snake. He's dreamy like that. Of course by the time he gets home we have lost the snake and everyone is hiding on our bed. He sits my boys down and explains that the snake is safe and likely terrified. And almost certainly it has escaped through whatever hole it came in. And it worked! My children, ages 4, 9 and 10 went to sleep that night without worries. Tractor Man told them they were safe, so they were.
And I guess I got my wish. I believe a snake lives in our walls. I like to think it is keeping us safe from mice. I have not seen another mouse ya know. (No "evidence" of mice either.) My kids decided he's our friend and part of the family. His name is Fred now. He lives here. I guess. Oh, and apparently I was not supposed to kill him. I was supposed to put on gloves and pick him up and put him out in the yard. Because picking up wild snakes should be the obvious answer. Now I know.
"Welcome to the country"

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Welcome to the Country

I hear it at least once a day. I hear it when a snake has gotten in my children's bedroom. I hear it when a giant, presumably man-eating, spider is in the bathroom. I hear it when thousands and thousands of delicious blackberries grow in the yard. "Welcome to the Country."

I was a city girl. I've never lived anywhere like this before. This is an honest to goodness farm. And I live in the middle of it. In a shack. In the woods. I came here to find myself. To reconnect with the woman I let go of a long time ago. I came because I want my children to understand where food comes from and what hard work means. I came because of heartbreak and love. It's beautiful and hot and sometimes scary and painful. And it's mine. My country. Even though I have never lived anywhere like this before, my soul said, "I am home" when I arrived.

So welcome. Welcome to the story of a city girl moving to the country. Of learning to garden and can. Of battling snakes and stray cows. Of love and healing.

Geography is important. More important than I ever knew. I need to be here. Right here on this very farm.