|Waiting for the boys bus to come|
|The boys are ALMOST in from the bus!!|
We've been here almost year now, we're just a couple of days shy. After two concussions and a broken shoulder caused medical bills from our lousy insurance to mount, we've used a lot of the money we had pegged for renovations. The honeymoon has worn off a bit, we've discovered that, being an older house, it needs things we could never have imagined. Some of them more urgent then we would have assumed. Repairs that, in the end, are costing more then we are able to bear when they are needed. It's a stressful time for us. I'm job hunting again after three years away, Music Man's company issued a mandatory pay cut for it's employees. Yes, stress is the name of the game now. The barn needs siding, like yesterday...and beam repairs. We've discovered that its roof will need replacing sooner then we originally thought. These are not small ticket items. We have almost no insulation in the house, which in small would not be so bad, but in whole is a bit overwhelming. And the furnace that is 25 years old is sporting duct work that will eventually need to be replaced. The kitchen is there, but really needs to be expanded to meet the needs of a modern family that homesteads and makes 90% of it's food from scratch. The to-do list around here is larger then we can ever accomplish with just the two of us working at it with our limited expertise.
But...we've also come a long way. The first year living in a house, especially an older one, we didn't want to rush into changes. I've made some mistakes along the way, like you'll remember digging up the asparagus bed not knowing it WAS an asparagus bed. We ended up with a nice crop despite my eagerness to make it something else. We got a great crop of sweet potatoes, but the white and red potatoes fell victim to a vole infestation. We went through a lot of wood last winter using a stove that was here and inadequate for the size of this house, so we've replaced it with a wonderful stove Music Man bartered for years ago and have been moving around ever since. It heats more evenly and being cast iron holds its heat much longer. We raised our first meat chickens here, and made the mistakes of the first time, lessons we learned and won't repeat. We made a garden out of a yard and grew enough food to keep our family in veggies for the summer months with enough to put by a bit for the winter. Next year's garden will be larger, and more planned out. We've hosted holidays, birthday parties and friends for dinners.
We're building the life we wanted, by hook or by crook. We want to preserve this place for the next generation. It's a solid piece of history that is beginning to show some wear and need for attention. How many people can say they had the privilege of living in a museum of sorts? These walls were here when pounds paid for the deed, we weren't even an official country and people fought Native Americans to keep the house standing. Flu, smallpox and tuberculosis may have killed family members in it's walls. It's been here for a very long time, and we're hoping to have the chance to help it survive and become better.
We've really tried to embrace our new place, and we're hoping that in the end, we'll figure out the way to keep it ours. At least until the boys are done with high school and on to their own lives, and we're settling down for a bit of retirement. Preferably in a little seaside town called Freeport. Until then, we're debating things like a kickstarter.com campaign to save the barn. It's not just a barn for us, after all, but one for the country as it's living history right here and now. Lots of things in the thought-track, just needing to decide what to act on to get everything moving in the right direction.
A moment that's real for you,