My husband and I bought our land based on the wind. Well, kind of. I mean we knew the specifics like acreage, open fields for solar and wind, woods, nearby lakes and rivers, clean well water, and price. And of course, we had our superficial desires like being located on a dead end road, long tree lined driveway, a field a summer wildflowers, wooded trails.
We had narrowed down our search to an area with 4 parcels to choose from, all equally good, but none of us could decide which one fit us best. I took a walk alone through the tall golden hay and stood at the origin. The wind swireled all around, as if it too couldn't decide which way to go. I reached down to pick a fluffy white dandelion that had gone to seed and declared my desires out loud, "Wherever the seeds land, is where we choose to build our future." I held the plant high above my head and let nature do the work.
I had no way of knowing at the time, but where all the seeds landed was the only parcel available for sale. The other three had been sold in the previous months.
I call it serendipity mixed with intuition and a little bit of opportunity meets luck; seems to be the way I make most of my decisions and it has always worked.
We did the final pieces of research, made an offer and waited. Offer rejected. We offered an unrealistically low price and didn't really expect the seller to accept. Although, with the housing market as it is, we figured what could it hurt. The land had been on the market well over a year and was already listed at a reasonable price. We put in a second offer and it was accepted. I can't tell you how hard it was to wait for that email. I think that month took years off my life and made Mike go gray around the ears!
The day of closing, we packed up the kids and traveled one and a half hours to the realtor's office. We debated on taking the boys, but decided it was important for them to be part of the entire process. They did great! With the contingencies met, the contracts in order, and the check written, we signed our names to our future. To our dreams. To a life of homesteading; living simply with each other and the earth.
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The first thing we did was to bring up our camper. Our temporary home. Every other weekend we make the trek up to the Blue Hills in an attempt to get to know this piece of earth. To watch it for signs of what to do next and where things want to go like a house, apple trees, gardens and sheep. A tree fort, chicken coop, and the well.
Already we have discovered the path of the rising sun along with the habits of turkeys, deer, coyotes and hawks. We've learned to tell time by the long distant sounds of neighbors going to and from work.
We've had the pleasure of meeting some of the long distant neighbors who have been more than willing to share tools and give advice in all matters of country life.
We're doing little things at a time like mowing paths and building birdhouses. Digging fire rings, decorating trail edges with rock, and hanging a makeshift clothes line. Anything to help make it feel like home. Like we belong.
It wasn't until this last visit that I knew we had absolutely made the right choice in following my intuition. When we arrived late in the evening, after a long car ride, and pulled up the 700 foot driveway, our entire field (and our parcel alone) was glowing in seeded dandelions. I think we'll stay.
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My intention is to keep a weekly account (Tuesday) of our journey to becoming off grid homesteaders. Our path will be long as we are only paying in cash and our funds are very limited. Mike and I have no idea what we're doing so we'll be learning as we go. I know we'll make mistakes and that's ok. It's all part of the process.
We would love to read about your homesteading experiences, so if you'd like to share your favorite resources, tips, funny stories, recipes, books, website or even just a photo from the week, please leave a link in the comments. (I'll try and figure out a linky system soon!)
Wishing you a beautiful week~