Manifolds, Manolos and Manure
Fifteen years ago, my farmer and I purchased our first house. With our big dog in tow we stepped into a basic, beige ranch on a quarter acre in town. Time passed. We added a corgi. Hardwood. Fence. A blue-eyed girl. Granite. Backsplashes. A big-little boy with no official eye color. Upgraded bathrooms. A lot of gray. Patio. Partially finished basement. And in-floor heat.
We’ve always talked about moving or building at the farm, but never really felt the draw to move until about a year ago. Last year was the first winter that we didn’t make any upgrades. We handled the repairs then enjoyed a quiet winter complete with a family vacation. At night we talked about building. We drew up a floor plan complete with exposed beams and a loft bedroom. We even spoke with the road commissioner about fully decommissioning the road that runs through one of our farms. Time passed.
This summer a friend sent us a home listing for a two-story farmhouse on five acres. Even though we weren’t looking, the pictures (or maybe the three-season room) were too enticing to pass up. We passed on the property, but we started paying more attention to houses for sale. Again, time passed. The blue-eyed girl and big little boy went back to school. We played some softball and we had a handful of barrel races.
For anyone who knows my farmer, he’s not the most observant person. He doesn’t notice hair styles. He doesn’t notice paint colors. And he’s never really concerned himself with noticing other peoples’ properties unless they include a farm field or tractor or two. This fall he happened to notice a weathered ‘for sale’ sign in front of an old tractor and farmhouse. In a move completely and totally out of character he called to see what exactly was ‘for sale.’
Yes, the tractor was for sale. And yes, the property complete with a farmhouse, old (red!) dairy barn, run-in shed, pastures, and pond were for sale by owner. From the haymow you could see our farm, a mile and a half away. Within the week our family of four visited. We walked through the barn. Visited the pond. And strolled through the house complete with a bay window and three-season room. We imagined bringing home our blue-eyed girl’s show calves. Raising beef calves. And having the big red dragon and the pocket picking hunter pony running through the pastures.
Less than a week later our offer was accepted. Within a week our house was on the market. And two months later seven mini tornados, also known as strapping young men, loaded our worldly possessions onto two flatbeds, a 30-foot stock trailer, and a two-horse trailer. Our first week was less than glamorous; we ate leftovers, couldn’t find light switches, and stumbled up and down stairs.
But our first week was also incredible. Our blue-eyed girl ran the pastures with her golden retriever in tow. We ate leftovers as a family. And our big-little boy explored the old milk house foundation.
We still can’t find the right light switches and the house needs updates, but we’re ready for our next adventure as a family living on a farm.