August 2005 in New Orleans: I'd spent an entire summer writing a curriculum for my English V AP class at the all-girls Catholic Academy where I taught and was gearing up for yet another school year that would involve pantyhose and hours so long there'd be days I wouldn't see baby Girl 1 awake. I absolutely loved my job. It was rewarding, and my students were amazing. . . .
And, if you'd told me that 8 years later, I'd wear overalls more often than I'd wear pantyhose, start my days by milking a goat in my backyard, and enjoy doing things like soap-making, cheese-making, gardening, and canning, I'd probably laugh and then click off in my heels to work on next week's lesson plans.
And, if you'd offered John and I a piece of land to make our own that only had a few drawbacks, like that it can't even be reached by car, has no electricity, or water, or anything else other than a pond and woods and pasture, I'd probably have said, "thanks, but no thanks."
But that was then. Hurricane Katrina spun us around and set our lives on an entirely different course. And on this new course, in August of 2013, I am downright giddy about the opportunity to grow our farm on this new plot of land.
That's right, our backyard homestead will be growing. Soon, we'll have enough room to grow our farm as big as we'd like it to be. And, believe me, we're dreaming big. When we stand on the spot we've chosen to build the house and gaze out over the pasture, I just keep thinking, "How blessed we are! How very, very blessed."
The first step in gaining access to our farm was to put a gate into an existing fence so that construction vehicles can get in to build our road.
And, John wanted to put that gate in himself. It seemed symbolic, in a way. There was no entry there. And now there is. A door has both literally and metaphorically opened to us, making way for us to build this farm however we'd like. It's a blank slate.
John had planned to write what would undoubtedly have been an excellent guest post about the symbolism of the gate, but to say that he's been a little too busy with work lately to do it is a big understatement. So, that will have to wait.
Construction has now begun on the road. There's a creek that has to be bridged before our land will be fully accessible by vehicle. So, all other work relies upon the road getting finished.
In the meantime, we have so many decisions to make. We've picked out the house site, but where will the barn go? The milking shed? The garden? What will the house look like? In what order should all of this be done? It's at once exciting and completely overwhelming.
And, you'd better believe, this blog will be following our progress every step of the way.