Thursday, February 26, 2009

Putting things in order

For the first time last night, I felt my baby kick in her mother's womb. I am going to be a daddy. There is nothing like that feeling to put the pressure on a would-be homesteader. There is no house, no garden, and no nursery. We seem so unprepared.

The first rule for an architect and former Scout is to be prepared. Plan well. Follow the plan. But when the plan changes on you, ADAPT!

We did have a plan. My soon-to-be-wife and I put a contract on a farm last summer. It had fences and cross fences, house and barns, creek and lake. Incredibly, it had a huge new shop that I could start my construction business from right away. It was made for us. We were so excited!!! We even considered having our wedding ceremony on the grassy lawn by the lake and swing dancing in the barn, but the logistics were too unmanageable. We did plan a wedding nearby and promised to host our families at the farm when they visited. We adopted our Great Pyrenees puppy from one sheep farm to grow up on our farm and then acquired a trained Border Collie from another, since our Aussies were not trained yet for herding. Arrangements had been made with still another local sheep farm to provide us a small herd. Everything seemed gloriously ordained.

Two months into the process of quitting jobs and packing to move from Houston, the seller breached his promise to sell the farm to us. As was natural for two architects, we had planned our first five years of growing the sheep farm. We had shopped for trailers and tractors we thought we would need. We ordered quinneas, ducks and chicks to be delivered to the farm to start the process of de-bugging the place and composting. All that planning was derailed as we began the painful process of realizing that the seller would never sell us the land. There were no farms anywhere like this one. The fowl were redirected to Houston during the negotiations, but we had to release the fast growing ducks into a nearby lake. The keets grew quickly too and we had to release them too. Reality set in hard that our dream would not start as ideally as we had hoped.

Eventually we found this other land with a creek that we could maybe afford to build our own homestead. We would have to start from scratch. We rented a house sight unseen and started our move. The chickens live mostly in the garage awaiting a protective coop and fencing on the land. The wedding went beautifully with the family happy with hotel arrangements. We remained undeterred in our hopes and dreams. We took it as a sign that we were to be die-hard homesteaders after all, when we discovered we were pregnant with a honeymoon baby. An incredible surprise but a welcome one!

Plan, plan, adapt. Just because it seems we are doing everything out of order, just means that we did not know the order that things were supposed to happen.

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