Sunday, June 6, 2010


There have been a growing number of days, since moving to this rental home last July, that I'm feeling a big lack of purpose. When we own a home, we always have this project or that project to tackle, or this needing fixing or that. Here, we pay the rent, and there is no motivation to fix up anything as it's not ours. We know it's not ours and are not willing to put any money into making it better because our landlord will not do this for his own house. Things need fixing here, don't get me wrong. When we see something we'd like to improve, like all the planting beds around the house needing new timbers, or the bushes in the front bed that are 3/4 dead and need to be replaced, or the 1950's linoleum in the kitchen that looks dirty no matter how much you scrub it, or just making the second bathroom a size so that it could be used as a second bathroom instead of a closet with a toilet in it, or making the basement waterproof....oh, the list goes on and on. But, it's not ours, and our money is sparse for our own lives and so spending it to fix up a home that's not ours is not financially prudent.

The lack of purpose is many fold. I deeply miss my garden, which gave me a little glimpse into the homesteader I wish I could be. I miss planting, weeding, dirty fingernails and the cracks in my skin that I could never quite get clean no matter how much I scrubbed...soil. I miss soil. I tried with my pots, and they are coming along nicely, but they really need no care beyond watering from time to time. It's tough for me to feel a sense of nurturing when I'm not squatting between rows, picking this weed out or watching bees go about their work to pollinate the flowers and herbs and veggies alike. The sense of purpose that goes along with gardening can't be replaced by pots. Not for me. I know it works for some folks, but for me, I crave the full garden monty. I need to use a hoe in my garden, I need sweat equity in the veggies, I need to stand tall in a bed of taller trellises and feel my true place. I did not know this was not optional for me until I rented a home again.

So, apparently, I am not a person of non action. I've had almost a whole year of not progressing in a bunch of areas of my life, and it's time to change that for me. I've got to get back to purpose, and feeling as if I've accomplished something beyond keeping the house semi-clean and feeding everyone every day. I'm beginning to lose part of me that I cling to with iron fists. The person who has become a doer, not an observer. I'm not a good observer when it comes to certain areas of my life, I never have been. I see a problem, and I want to face it head on. I do not have a mentality of waiting or watching, in fact it's terribly hard for me to do sometimes. I said to a dear friend of mine recently with her problems, the only way out is through. That's been my philosophy for the better part of my adult life. Having had some earth shattering things happen to/for/against me in my adulthood, if there's one thing I've learned it's that avoiding a problem meerly makes it larger then life. So, this problem of lack of purpose and its driving need to be noticed is causing some changes. Though I did not arrive at these changes on my own, my entire family has recognized and agreed it's time (well, at least Music Man and I, the kids are luckily at the age where they don't really care either way).

We will be moving again on August 1. Readers of this blog know that we spent almost 3 solid months with our basement under water this spring. Yes, it was a very unusually wet spring, but our hunch is that this is not the first go around for this problem in this house. It caused mold problems that forced our children on allergy medications, aggravation and loss of property ( Music Man's for the most part since that was his domain). All of this coupled with the fact that we get no meeting of the minds with our landlord about how this will go forward, is leading to this big change. He wants us to commit to another year here by signing another lease, we won't do it because none of us wants to have to deal with another spring like the last one, and he won't allow us to go month to month in case we need to move. So, we're done here.

Our friends that own the CSA where we get our milk, eggs, chicken and pork purchased a foreclosed house this past spring. They bought it for her parents, who are not yet ready to retire here for a couple of years. So, we are going to rent it from them for a very reasonable price at least the next two years. Since we think the world of these folks, and we think they're kinda fond of us as well, it should work out great. This house needs us, it's been vacant for about a year and has some problems. But, they renovated the main floor wonderfully and are working on issues with the basement. The outside is 2 acres of overgrown everything. Grass, landscaping, field, you name it, it needs loving. I am able to have as large of a garden there as I would like (can you hear my happy heart singing all the way to your computer??) and chickens (oh, ditto, see previous happy heart song). That's two steps closer to homesteader then I have here. We probably won't get the garden in this year, but I'll manage to put in some sugar snaps and snow peas for a fall crop and also some spinach and lettuce and carrots. I'll put some of those in for sure. And this property (which is 2 acres next to a huge hay field) has a few fruit trees, so applesauce, here I come! And it has lots of projects that need attention, mostly outside, and that's where we all prefer to spend our time, so it's gonna be...really good. I'm smelling the wonderful sense of PURPOSE...can you smell it too?

Our little family is on to our next adventure. We're really hoping that by the time we're done living there, we will have the condo ball and chain sold, Music Man will be done (or almost done) school and have a job and we will be able to purchase our next place that will be our forever home. Where all we do is for the benefit of our home where we intend to stay until we're too old to care any more. Wish us luck, fun and purpose.

Imaging soil in my hands and chicken clucking serenades, ~Peacemom


Dog Trot Farm said...

Everyone should be able to own a little patch of earth and have a home in which to nuture one's dreams. I wish you and your family well and hope your dream becomes a reality soon. In the meantime I would suggest making a scrapbook/journal which can hold all your ideas for your future home, garden and pets. It certainly would come in handy and give you a purpose....

Sense of Home said...

Glad to read you are getting away from the wet basement. It is hard to wait for your own place though. At least you can have a garden at this next home, and every place we live in helps us decide what we really want when we get a home of our own.