We knew someday we would homestead, or at least we had hoped for it. In fact, a few years ago I presented my husband with my real-estate wish list (a few acres, trees, fall colors, squirrels–something with breathing room and elbow space–and room for animals was a huge plus.) Over the years we often chose real estate shopping as our free-time hobby. But the listings we found were too far from work or had too many zeros. But on February 1st the faint voice of fate rang especially loud as my husband showed me the listing for a sweet overgrown brier patch on 3.35 acres with a barn, a chicken coop, a shop, and a 1920’s farm house in desperate need of renovations. We looked at the property that day and made an offer the next day. Three days later we accepted a counter offer with an agreement that we would do the work needed for the house to appraise. We were immediately caught in an emotional whirlwind of selling our house, packing, moving, and buying a farm.
After living in our beautiful subdivision home with personal updates, a landscaped yard, and a simple lifestyle for nearly eight years, the idea of moving was scary and overwhlming. It was the first house we had owned together, we had our two girls there, we did remodels and landscaping ourselves, we had memories and tears there. And then we thought of the memories and tears and the hopes and dreams that would come with the new house; our guts wrenched with the fear of not getting the farm.
Our subdivision home sold two days after putting it on the market and we frantically packed and moved out on March 27. We moved into our motorhome, parked it at a campground, and waited.
We scraped paint, spot painted, repaired dry rot, and removed ivy that had virtually covered the front of the farm house we hoped to buy, and we waited. We received the appraisal, and we were heartbroken–the bank would only finance up to 76 percent. We tried a different loan, and we waited. We got a second appraisal. We scraped more paint, did more spot painting, painted a wall of the shop, repaired more dry rot, removed ivy from an out building, and we waited.
While waiting we discussed farm names and farm dreams. We want a goat to tame the blackberries and a cow and chickens and a pig and a puppy and bees and a garden. We have sweet hopes—sweet as the honey our bees will someday provide. And we have hard work ahead of us—starting with the thorny brambles everywhere. The work and stress of clearing the land, remodeling the house, and venturing into the farmstead enterprise will at times be thorns in our sides. So Honey-Brier Farm it will be…when the waiting is done, and we can call the farm “home.”