Friday, April 22, 2011

How I Got Here

My eleven year old, helper extraordinaire, and the one child who still wishes to be with me more than being anywhere else, most of the time, said she was the only one of the four kids who wants to farm when she grows up.

It got me to thinking:  when I was her age, that was what I wanted, too.  Who knows why?  Most of my life was spent in suburbs, but I have always loved horses, and something attracted me to growing food, raising animals, even then.

When I was a little older, I determined that I wanted to always have horses - being 14, I think I was dramatic enough to ask God that I would die "near a horse" - of course, I then started to delineate to God what that looked like:  not die young because I fell off a horse, but die near a horse - like maybe one in my backyard....when I was really old.

In high school, I realized that I wanted to be an English teacher.  I was inspired by my AP English teacher who shared time to talk with me about books and helped me write my first 20 page paper on the "Development and History of the Novel" as an independent study.

When I was 30, I told my father-in-law that I wanted to grow at least 60% of our food.  He looked at the shack (truly) that we were living in and the overwhelming subtropical grass and weeds and said, noncommittally, "That's a pretty big goal."

Funny that somewhere along there all the different dreams the different me-s had throughout my life are coming together.   I have a farm, of sorts; I have horses (although that same eleven year old told her cousin - you don't really want horses: they are a lot of work and you hardly ever get to ride [significant glance to mother]. Poor thing, I am always so crunched for time, tacking up and riding always seem impossible).  I am definitely a teacher which is a job, like farming, with responsibilities that go well beyond the "work day".

It seems impossible, sometimes, that one life could stretch to fit all of these things.  Sometimes, I feel that I am not doing my best in all arenas at all times, because one or the other venture has to take precedence for a space of time.  And, of course, the whole wife-and-mother stint, which as a kid, teen, and young adult seemed just a given, not another area of effort and work, has its share of demands and joys, too.

I wonder what the future will bring.  Well, worry is more the word for it, me being me, and worrying something I do at gold medal levels.  I haven't quite hit the 60% goal of food production, much less the newer goal of "everything except flour and yeast", so whatever the future does hold, it will include hard work.


Renee's Reality said...

I LOVED your post. It really touched me to read this. I feel like I struggle with the balance of what I want to do vs. what I have to do. Like you I am a HUGE worrier. I am already worried at what changes I want to make in 2 years. But what I do know is that I have a goal/dream of living more self sufficiant and making things more simple. I want to stop worring about money and time and be able to have peace.
I'm glad that you are blogging about your homesteading. You encourage me to make it work :) I'm ready to work hard to.

NancyDe said...

Thanks, Renee! A little peace and self-sufficiency would do most of us a lot of good. I am glad I am not the only worrier (although I wish for us both to be less involved in that pastime!); at least I feel less like an idiot knowing I am not the only one.

Lisa Mi said...

I always knew you'd have horses and be a writer. I love reading your blog posts, just waiting for the novel - maybe when the kids are all grown up? The worrying and striving to do everything well has been part of how you have been able to do so much and so well, with or without a lot of resources. You've already earned a bunch of gold medals for how much you have achieved already.

NancyDe said...

Lisa, somehow I am fresh out of ideas for a novel. Someday....maybe you are right, when the kids are grown.