First, I need a grain mill, and I am working on that. They are SO expensive! I was hoping to find a used one, but so far no luck. I found one on Ebay, but so did some other people. It's kind of hard to shop on Ebay when you are non-competitive and on a budget! I also need some canning equipment, and a large freezer, and maybe some bread baking lessons.
Also, and take it with a grain of salt, I need some laying hens, a couple of dairy cows, and a small farm for a garden. Is that too much to ask? If you knew me at all, you would laugh, because surely I am joking, right?
For most of my adult life I have lived sedately suburban. As a child, the wild places were my playground and I romped endlessly and heedless of danger through unknown parts on imaginary adventures. I didn't stomp loudly on dedicated pathways scanning the perimeter for snakes or live in fear of poisonous spiders lurking...well, everywhere.
During four of my elementary years I had the privilege of living in a German village while my father was stationed in Germany with the Air Force. I loved it. We were immersed in the village life, farm life, living in community with others. I spent much time on a particular farm where we watched and helped in the birthing of calves, had warm fresh milk squirted into our mouths, and enjoyed the foods and benefits of farm living. I will say that the chickens scared me to death. Even to this day I would probably rather birth a calf than collect eggs from chickens.
Then we moved back to America and I had to become normal again (I found that my years in Germany had made me peculiar in ways that did not aid me in "fitting in"). For years I secretly held onto the dream of owning a small farm (on and off into my twenties). I thought that one day I would get married, and contrary to military life, we would settle down and live somewhere forever and forever. I did get married, and then life with Corporate America began. It wasn't even ladder-climbing on our part, just being shoved around from place to place because that's what the companies wanted. The Lord had prepared me well for this lifestyle, but this wasn't what I signed up for!
Somewhere along the way, my favorite way to enjoy nature became looking through the window, or at the least, a screened-in porch. In fact, at one point in time, my greatest desire was to have a patio home in a manicured and fenced neighborhood (because no snakes would live there). I think it was having children. Suddenly, everything I loved about the outdoors was a danger to my child. Wild things are everywhere! Snakes, spiders, ticks, leeches, not to mention the bigger things--why we aren't safe unless we're inside! I am still coming to terms with those fears.
But...I find myself more and more enamored with idea of having a big enough piece of land to actually do something with, on which to love and nurture and bring forth fruit, and on which to teach my children to do the same. It is hard for me not to be jealous of some of my favorite bloggers and their picturesque homesteads, or even just friends of mine with the space for a garden. But this is where God has put me. Who is to say that if I did get the desires of my heart (and all the work that goes with it) that I wouldn't go screaming into the house at my first run-in with the wildlife I find so terrifying and give up on it forever? I literally scream when I find a tick on myself!
So I guess I'm back to baby steps. Maybe some day I will have a mini-farm and learn to live at peace with God's scarier creatures. But for now I will concentrate on getting a grain mill and shop at the farmers' market--can't wait until Saturday!