Saturday, November 10, 2012

Meet Your Host and Blogger

I was born in 1970 and found myself living on a farm in a small town in Pennsylvania with my Mom and Step Dad, Bob. I called Bob, Dad, as he was my Dad and was a driving force in my life.

Our farm was once a farm that produced its food to support a Hospital, and so they bought the 17 acre farm and leased the land around it from the state for cheap. From the start I was put into the barn where I raised chicks, kids, piglets, and calves.

I was also put into the garden, where I learned to grow food..... Mom and Dad were people who believed in harvesting earths wild food whenever they could find it. They also hunted animals for food off the land as well as fishing.

They taught me many things that I would not retain or remember later in life. Although, like all families, we had our ups and downs, I always felt loved. We never had a lot of clothes, we had school clothes and work clothes, school winter boots and barn boots. I never went without a meal, if I did it was my own fault.

As it would happen, one day we lost the farm.... I remember the man coming down the road and post a sign on the front door. At that moment, I felt as if my life was over.... I lost something that day, a part of me...

Looking around one day as my parents struggled with life issues, I would have to go live with my natural Father. He lived in Newport News Virginia. This big city is filled with military families and is an ever changing place so relationships can begin but not last. The whole area is military and the hustle of a growing place. I would live there until I went into the Army.

From the start I hated the city, sure it was a huge cultural shock, but the people seemed to be so disconnected from each other. They didn't share  small town family values like we did back home. I knew one day I was going to move back to the land and live like I was raised.

The Trigger...

I was living a good life, I decided to stop punching the mans time clock and start my own business. It took off and before I knew it I was making more money the I ever did. So we bought a house in the best area, best neighborhood, best school, and lived like yuppies with a hippie attitude.

As the news came on one evening, I saw a house down the street on the screen. A woman that I met a few times that lived down the street had been killed and other awful things. If it happened to her, we too were in danger or could be.

About that time we decided to go on vacation back home so I could visit family and the old farm. While here, we decided to look at properties... This place cried to me, it was run down, tired, over grown and neglected. As I looked deeper, I saw my own hope and transfer from those things to being my Homestead.

So as we arrived back in Newport News, we decided to give that all up, sell out, and walk away to a new more productive, responsible life...

After we settled in, I developed a five year plan, which now is the funniest joke around this home...

One of the biggest fan mail subjects is people that never followed their dream to get back to the land, or those that want to get back to the land.

You know your life, not me, but I say do it....

Be prepared to struggle, face the hard work, and own up to your own self. You will find yourself out here in the dirt. You will cry hundreds of tears, face things that you thought you would never encounter. You will grow respect for your land as much as you will yourself. One day, it will hit you like a ton of bricks,  and you will realize that you are doing it.....

Your land will shape you as much as you shape it. As your land changes, expect that changes will happen to you. 

7 comments:

  1. Interesting story. I enjoy your blog and FB page.

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  2. Thanks! We are getting there. Harder at our age but still making progress in that direction. It's a peaceful feeling to see things move forward.

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  3. Love to hear I am not alone in quality of life over quanity of life.

    I too grew up in Pennsylvania. My grandparents had a farm, when my parents got married my grandparents gave them land to build a house on the farm. So, I grew up a PA Dutch girl. Went to college, moved to northern PA, got married, kids, career....3 1/2 years of Cancer...survived, made a new life plan. Got a divorce, sold everything, moved to South Central Oklahoma, bought a 160 acre cattle & pecan ranch. I grow everything we eat. I have a garden year round, herb garden, fruit orchard, chickens, guinea hens (good for bugs control..like ticks), rabbits, a horse, donkeys and cattle.

    Thanks and may all of your harvests be plenty :)

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    1. Adrienne, I admire your spunk! I am too old smart, as Ann Landers (or somebody) used to say. I'm living vicariously through the Modern Pioneer posts on FB and reading posts here on his blog.
      I am so glad to see people returning to the land and homegrown food and preserving it and raising animals for food, eggs and milk. I'm 81 yrs. old and often say "I want a do-over!" But I guess I'm smart enough to know that, given the same circumstances, I'd still make the same (dumb?) decisions I made earlier in life.
      But regrets don't do me any good. Instead, I'm trying to do what I can to be a Farm Girl. I have to 5' x 2' planter boxes for growing tomatoes, eggplant, and whatever else strikes my fancy each year. I have a large pot for a few herbs. I have a large pot full of kale, and 2 pots for "patio" tomatoes. My cucumbers are climbing the fence behind my condo. I did my first ever canning this year -- 6 pts. of Bread & Butter Pickles and 5 pts. of tomatoes or tomato juice. Since moving my cukes to the fence, I have big plans for it next year! Straw-bale gardening with potatoes, melons, and whatever else seems right at the time. Condo rules are against having goats or chickens or I'd definitely have some! Thanks for sharing your story.
      At one time I considered retiring to Okla. Love it. I have cousins in Bartlesville who once lived in Norman, Her brother lived in Midwest City (burb of Okla. City.) Best vacation I ever had was pow-wowing from the NE corner of Okla. to the SW to Lawton.

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  4. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

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  5. I grew up on a farm in South Alabama. My hearts was so in touch with your story. The farm has always had a strong pull for me to return. That will not happen as I am too old & the farm has moved on to others. I felt the sweat, tears, love, joy & the age of innocence you shared. God bless you & keep the faith. You will win & enjoy.

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