Listening: Coastline, by Hollow Coves
Weather: 18 degrees. Cloudy. Snowy.
Words: One day, or day one. It’s your decision.
When we were in college – when we would entertain ourselves by taking long drives in the country and dreaming about our future home on sprawling country ranches, that’s when I really shaped and defined my dreams for my marriage, my future family, and for my life.
It took a few years to really come around to that, but here we are. And to be able to pinpoint the moment that the dreams were dreamed and now that the dreams are being realized – totally surreal.
We were both raised in our hometown – well, JR lived in the next town over for the first decade of his life or so, but we were both raised on small farms in rural communities. I think sometimes when you grow up in a small town, all you can think about is getting out.
For us, “getting out” was going off to college in a town about 20 minutes away – a state university and the bigger town that accompanied it seemed so big-time to us. Really, it was just a vehicle to get away from the same old people, the same old one-street town, the same old everything. There were new people, different people, people who didn’t know (or assume to know) every detail of our lives. If you haven’t acquired thick skin, small towns can be rough. And we were just ready to get away.
We lived in apartments, townhomes, and eventually, moved closer to Kansas City and built our first home in a new subdivision designed for first-time homebuyers, young families, and people who though a quarter-acre of grass was just the perfect amount. We selected everything that went into that house, and eventually finished the basement and put some sweat-equity into it. Our first daughter was born there, and it was about that time that we realized a quarter acre wasn’t going to be enough for us. We were not suburban people. Overhearing our neighbor’s arguments, dodging the crazy dog lady next-door, and feeling like we couldn’t go outside without everyone watching us – it got really old, really quickly. And besides – those college drives through the country didn’t include suburbia. It just didn’t feel like we were where we were supposed to be.
Just three years later, we sold that first house. We made enough on the sale to purchase 7 acres back in our hometown, in what we thought was the best of both worlds – some acreage in a country subdivision with paved roads and a little bit of privacy.
We built that home, too. But this time, we acted as the general contractors and did a lot of the work ourselves. It was hard work, but we learned so much from it and took a lot of pride in the home that we created for our family. It was on a beautiful lot with woods and creeks and was tucked away in a little cul-de-sac. Perfect.
It was great, until it wasn’t. We quickly realized that HOA life wasn’t for us. While we totally understand the need for HOAs in the spirit of what they are intended, we didn’t want to abide by them ourselves. We wanted chickens. Pigs. Goats. We had a dog that wasn’t meant to be confined. We wanted a pool. And it killed us to know that we had to ask permission to do the things we wanted to do. I mean, it was OUR land. But it didn’t feel like it.
At some point during the 10 years we lived in our last home, we changed. We had a taste of true country life again, but it was still just out of our grasp. We were sneaking goats and pigs in to our back yard. We had 26 more chickens than were allowed in our covenants. Our dog would not stay in the yard. We still had people telling us what we could and couldn’t do, and it made us just miserable. Our breaking point was when some neighbor cows came to visit our subdivision and some of the (human) neighbors called the cops. On cows. In the country. At that point, we started seriously looking for some true acreage.
We looked, and looked, and looked. And looked. Sometime in 2017 we even drove up to our land and immediately dismissed it. (More on that later.) I was quick to say NOPE. I didn’t like it. I thought I was in love with another property.
We actually made an offer on it – 40 acres with a barndomenium included, in September 2017. It fell through, thankfully. It was far too expensive for what it was. And it turns out that the universe didn’t want us there.
It wasn’t until May 2018 that JR decided to revisit our property. He said that he just felt like something was nagging at him, calling him to take a closer look. He called the realtor, set up a time to walk the entire property, and I think that’s the moment this was all set in place.
The picture above is just last week, ceremoniously cutting down the “For Sale” sign and taking ownership of what we are now calling Wild Bloom Farms.