Life on a farm has subtle rhythms and it’s those familiarities of routine that I thrive on. Wake up is the same every day during the week and a consistent time on the weekend. Coffee is the first order before anything except the sun coming up which thankfully doesn’t require my immediate attention to do. (It’s going to come up whether I’m ready or not.) The kids eat breakfast and get ready for school. Morning chores with the animals can almost be done half asleep because we generally are and everything still gets done right. And then the day progresses between rote chores and daytime career demands. The fire needs attending to every hour or so to keep it going just right in the winter. The chickens move around the property with regularity and the crowing of the roosters is somehow comforting and reassuring. The dogs are in a sleep rhythm until something I can’t hear gets their attention. The coo-coo clock ticks and chimes punctually. (Punctually doesn’t mean on time, having the hardest time getting it set to keep the right time but that’s another story.) Mackay and I have our own texting and calling rituals that I love. It’s comfortable and pleasant amidst the chaos of the world.
Sword fights do break out in gleeful randomness and the sibling squabbling does occur. Chickens get left out accidentally and a predator snatches one away right under our noses. Cars break down. Someone catches a cold but the gentle rhythm of the ranch never strays for long. I can imagine the cows munching along happily. Goats playing and eating without a care and pigs grunting and snorting and digging. Ah yes, these three animals are all still in my imagination and dreams but they’re coming this year. (4 goats arrive later this week!) The electric fence on my entry bench is a daily reminder that they really are coming. I think Saturday’s are my favorite with Sunday’s as a close second because that’s when we are all together. The kids bring a lot of noise and energy and Saturday’s are work days. We all pitch in together whether it’s cleaning out the chicken coop, stacking wood, working on the tractor, planting trees or cleaning the house. It’s the day we relax by working outside and together. Sunday’s are family days. Morning ranch chores, church and then home to a nice lunch prepared by Mackay and then we play. Corn hole is a new family favorite although a game of cards or Clue is definitely a possibility. This is the day we slow down and reconnect with each other as a family. We talk, we laugh, we relax and thank God for the life we have together. This is the day we plan out our week, review our family budget and if possible, steal a nap or run to the ice cream store for a sweet treat. (The kids are way more in favor of the ice cream but that’s no surprise there.)
Slowing down and working harder and smarter has been a life changer. Sure, there’s always stress when things happen - life happens and the unexpected hits BUT savoring the simple moments, stopping to enjoy the fire in the stove, petting the dogs or even taking a few seconds to breath in the sunlight, spending time in the Word has never been a moment regretted. When I take these few moments during the day to reconnect with those around me, I’m present in the moment, present for those I love and care about and more focused on work when I need to be. The more we live without tv and electronic distractions, the more meaningful time becomes. At this moment, we are considering a small possibility of selling our property and moving to an area of 150 acres that doesn’t have anything on it except dreams and possibilities, trees, a pond, a stream and wildlife. Could we sell our home and move into something temporary while we build a home from the ground up? We’d have to dig a well, put in a septic tank and get a propane tank and a solar array almost immediately. There isn’t a power grid to join. No cable. No internet that we know of and it’s a bit of a drive to the local grocery.
It’s an intriguing idea. Honestly, I’m not sure we do it and enjoy it without killing each other! Part of me says “hell yes!” and the other part says “are you crazy, no A/C with Alabama summers?”. But to live on just over 150 acres would mean we could become full time homesteaders and ranchers within a few short years and we would eventually build a bigger house as funds became available. Well, the reality is that we are about to find out because we close on this precious land later this month! And no matter what happens, I’m not sorry that we dared to dream and are striving to reach those dreams one moment at a time. Let’s see what today holds and tomorrow dreams up while keeping pace with the gentle rhythms of our farm…
I'm a wife, mom of 3 wonderful children, homeschool teacher and loving ranching. After Mackay and I married, we've been steadily pursing our goals of having a self sufficient life and teaching others along the way.