I wish I had more time to write about what farm life is like this time of year, but farm life does not allow time for such things. :) Mike and I are planning a "downsizing" for next year, in hopes of being able to expand in other areas. People who come to our farm often ask, "How do you do it all?" I just smile and say, "I work hard every day!" We all do! That's farm life. A couple weeks ago, some young ladies with their small children, who were taking a tour of our farm, were talking about how beautiful and dreamy it was at our place. And instead of just smiling and saying "thank you", I thought I should give them a little bit of reality. So I told them that it is a lot of work. Not that I wanted to rain on their parade, but I didn't want to deceive them either. Mike and I like to stay busy participating in life, and that is why this lifestyle has worked so well for us, but not everybody likes to have a work schedule and routine like ours.
Let's face it, farm life IS dreamy for many young, married city dwellers! I remember those days. For fun, I would load up the kids and just drive out to the country. No destination, just a drive in the country. :) I wanted so badly to live out here. And now here I am, living the life I dreamed of for many years. Country life is dreamy! It's like having a little piece of heaven right here on earth...but there are day... and weeks (I will warn you) when farm life is a bit overwhelming, for example, harvest time. I go and go and go some days. Pushing my tired feet to pick more produce, scrub more vegetables, fill the dehydrator, can one more batch, blanch another quart... pressing on to secure the harvest. After all, we have spent so much time planting, weeding, tilling...we can't give up now. :) But at times, it seems like all we do in life is process food, and I have to remind myself that it is only a season. Then in the evening, the sun starts to set, the day cools, and in the quiet stillness I walk through my garden and look around my property. It is peaceful and beautiful. Then my eyes fill with tears, and I am extremely grateful! Often a hymn will come to mind, and I will walk around with a heart full of thankfulness and praise, feeling blessed beyond measure.
To sum it up, in order to enjoy farm life, you must love hard work and routine. You must be extremely flexible (I am still working on this) because the weather and animals will not always follow your schedule and these are two important variables in farm life. I am thankful that my husband grew up on a farm. At least one of us knew going into this what is was going to take. Mike's parents have always been very organized, and growing up, Mike's life was well structured to suit farm life. You must also realize that once you move to the country, get animals, grow gardens and orchards, and maintain a large piece of land, you no longer qualify for city life. Therefore you cannot join the orchestra, run your children to soccer every night, be on the bowling league, jog through the park every morning, have coffee and knit with the girls on Friday, go to every event on the city calendar, watch soap operas in the afternoon and movies at night, or be busy in any other way outside of the home. It's not that you will never be able to do these things, but they will just be the exception rather than the rule. In order to be happy on a farm, you must be a person who is happy at home. And for a woman, you must enjoy being with your husband and children, not needy of girlfriends and "me time". I know farm wives who try to live like city folks. They are miserable! But if you can enjoy farm life, it is likely your children will too. Before you dream about life on a farm, think about the kind of life you really want and enjoy. Country life may be exactly what you are looking for or it may ruin your family.
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