On February 28th, 2016 – Scott and I drove up our driveway for the first time.
We (ok, I) had been looking online for a few months and finally found this farm on Craigslist. Ignoring the fact that we still had 6 months on our current lease and that Leesburg was nowhere near both of our jobs; we passed through the pine trees bordering the property and we knew there was no turning back.
Old barns, a silo, and a windmill scattered the cow pastures. I knew this wasn’t going to end well – there was no way Scott would want to commute an hour and a half each way to work every day. There was no way we’d be able to afford this. There was no way we’d get out of our lease. We rounded the last bend to the little farm house to which the landlords refer to as “The Far Bungalow”. The house was adorable, there was already a chicken coop and a shed, plenty of room for a puppy, a garden.
I couldn’t even look at Scott. I knew what he was thinking. We couldn’t afford it. It was too far away. But then…he asked the realtor if we had access to the Potomac River, it had looked like it on a map. My ears perked up. Visions of taking the kayaks out after work danced in my head. “Yeah, there’s a gravel road that runs right up to it, all on the property so you’re good. You guys kayak?” Uh, yeah, we do. I asked if I could get chickens. “Yeah.” Goats? “Sure.” A puppy? “Sure thing.”
Our little tour ended and we remained in polite silence. Not knowing what Scott was thinking was killing me. I HAD to live there. After leaving the realtor’s office, we went to lunch. Sitting across the table from one another, I prepared myself for the worst.
I understood the commute would be awful for Scott. I understood it was far from our social life. I understood it was more expensive than we wanted but we could make some adjustments. He understood how bad I needed this. He understood that the pros of the place outweighed some of the cons. We both understood this was all contingent we could get out of our existing lease. We agreed we would try to move in.
On February 29th, 2016, I talked to our landlord. He said as long as someone rented our place, we were off the hook and he’d help us find someone. 6 hopeful tenants came though, each one turning it down. Until finally, on a Wednesday (one week before the farm wasn’t going to hold our spot) we got the call. Someone wanted our place! The catch? They wanted it by Saturday.
So we packed up our tiny apartment and the farm was ours on March 26th, 2016.
And the rest is history.
I can’t believe how much we have accomplished. We’ve upgraded some our furniture – no more college futon for us! I bought a new car – hellooooo red pickup truck. We’ve gotten chickens, turkeys, goats, rabbits, and a dog, bred the goats, butchered our own chickens and turkeys, started a huge garden, and built more fences and structures than I can even comprehend. We’ve planted 100 tulip bulbs, we’ve kayaked, we’ve hunted, we’ve thrown dinner parties, we’ve listened to coyotes surround the house in the middle of the night, and we’ve watched cows graze from our front porch.
We have so much more coming in the next year…baby goats, more chickens, more turkeys, breeding the rabbits, honey bees, a bigger garden, more float trips, and more fishing. We’re even in the midst of planning our wedding here. The to-do list feels never ending but maybe more manageable. We started with NOTHING and we’re finally about to reach the surface. Look at how much this last year has brought. This is it, I’m really doing it. I can’t wait to see what this coming year brings. I can daydream and plan a new business, think of new animals to have, be a good wife and homemaker as well as farmer, friend and daughter/sister. I also want to sit back and appreciate what I’ve got. It seems too good to be true. My whole life, everything I’ve ever wanted, it’s here. It’s happening.