We all do it. We stumble on our words, we stumble in life, and then we stumble upon something that guides us to what may be right for us.
A few months ago, all I wanted to do was to get out of where our life was at the current moment. We weren’t doing things right. Ducks were dying, crops were dying, bees were dying. Every time I pushed, the push back seemed a lot harder. I was so close to entering a contest to try and win a Victorian Farmhouse in New York state. That’s how desperate I was for a change.
I found the essay today and it brought tears to my eyes. Tears of how much we accomplished doing this “Modern Day Homesteading” thing. And now that I sold a house that was a burden to me the last five years, I can get back to the roots of the sh*t that I love. Because who doesn’t love doing their favorite sh*t?
Now that I’ve reread this, I want nothing more to continue passionate pursuits of this magnitude. And I’m so glad I didn’t hit submit because I’m going to need a lot more land than what that Victorian had to offer me. Here’s to saving for a prosperous future!
We Like it a Lotts!
Why would we love to have an old Victorian farm home in Corning, NY? Who wouldn’t?! What sets us apart from the “competition”? The words Modern Day Homesteading. My grandfather was a farmer in the plains of Midwestern Missouri. He was a carpenter as well. He taught me, a goofy little girl, all about what sustainability is to him. I never ate a tomato unless it came from his garden. I was always completely disappointed in the taste of cantaloupe and watermelon found anywhere else instead of what he could grow. I would traipse off into the woods with a bucket of nails and some wood planks to find the perfect perch to make a book nook in a tree (that happened quite often). Even when he no longer had his farm, he maintained a sense of self-sufficiency in his garden. He’s the reason I currently have ducks and bees. And while he has long since passed, his legacy is everlasting.
My husband and I want to continue this legacy with our 2 year old daughter, Elle Marie. To show her that the loofah you buy from a store is grown on a vine; that apple picking can be enjoyed in your backyard every day in the fall; that pasteurization isn’t completely necessary when it’s local; that nutrition is much more rich when it’s within your grasp and vicinity; and that homemade eggnog will not kill you.
We have constantly contemplated having a barn venue (there are none here in our current county in Western, PA and all of the properties containing such barns are not for sale). It would be a place for people to gather. Not just for weddings, but for all reasons to celebrate. For large communities to come together for game nights, yoga classes, and overall wellness by any means necessary. Sometimes wellness is in the form of sipping wine and painting a canvas. Sometimes it’s sitting in the grass watching a fireworks display. Other times it’s taking a break from playing in the snow and to stare at a warmly lit and ephemerally decorated Victorian home at Christmastime. New York really gives it it’s all during the holiday season. Currier and Ives is the New York state way.
We are in our 30s and have each had constant career and/or job changes within the same field. While we slave away in an office, our talents lie outside the corporate realm. My husband is currently in his 4th job transition in two years– Engineering and CADD isn’t what it used to be and I’m the assistant along for the ride. Our goal involves a drastic change in the next five years and we know it is going to be in New England somewhere… our hearts thrive here. We know we will die here– we love it that much.
Our Modern Day Homesteading dreams and pursuits could continue to thrive here. We can continue to expand our own knowledge of what it means to be self sustainable, self reliable, and self-sufficient without being selfish– it’s actually the opposite. You are giving a huge part of yourself, your energy, your lifeblood to create something magical. You are creating a “simpler” way of life (simple in that you relinquish all of the outside chaos). Real life is becoming all the more too complicated. Juggling careers, paying others to care for our children, and trying to “compete” in society brings us no joy.
We find our joy in creation. Making hollandaise sauce on Sunday mornings with egg white lattes, making soap, fermenting kefir grains, reclaiming wood for projects, powder coating dingy brass hardware for reuse in our current home, stuffing pillows with duck feathers instead of throwing them away, tapping our maple syrup trees in February, making strawberry soup in June, infusing pumpkin with essential oils for pies in October/November, and creating wreaths out of pine from our own backyard come December– we enjoy this side of life and hope to achieve it as OUR way of life in the near future. Others call us crazy, our friends and family admire our efforts, and think we’re finding our “true North”. From Lutz to Lotts, we hope you give this little family a chance.