Sarah and I have corresponded back and forth for a while now. They ran into zoning issues with their chickens about the same time I was thinking I’d go nuts if we didn’t get out of the city limits and away from the red tags. They had their house for sale when we had our house for sale. I think our frustration with trying to find a house about caused Sarah to take her house off the market but then . . well, I’ll let Sarah tell you her story! It has a happy ending!
Here are some pictures that Sarah shared of their new home and land.
Thank you Sarah for sharing your story!
We finally realized a dream we started 4 years ago! About a month ago we finally moved onto our 6.77 acre homestead. It’s been a long hard road so let me share some of the highlights so you understand why we are so happy with our land of poison ivy and deer flies!
My husband and I are complete opposites; he was born and raised in the country and I was born and raised in the inner-city. We met thru our Church, married and assembled a family of 8 within 6 months. Little did we know our whole lives would become a series of wait-wait-wait-GO FAST! but that’s exactly what it’s become. When we married I moved 20 minutes out of town to a suburb which I thought was the furthest away from town I would ever want to go. I remember the first year we were married I missed city life so much that I drove into town to visit family and friends every day but Sunday! My husband was very patient with me and waited for me to acclimate. It took two years and then we took a role reversal. I couldn’t stand the politics of the small town and I wanted to start a hobby farm to support us instead of the grocery store!
Our plan was to finish remodeling the house we had, put it on the market and begin looking for 5+ acres with a house big enough for our blended family… there is a joke that is common in the Church: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans! And, indeed, this is exactly what happened. We sunk every penny, blood, sweat and tears into finishing the house as soon as possible because we totally believed that as soon as we put it on the market someone would snatch up our lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bath ranch on a 1/2 acre lot in a “pretty” suburban town. Ummmm, yes, we did take into account the housing market but it really was a cute house and we did price it lower than the appraisal we had. But instead we waited…. and waited…. and kept tweaking the house…. and kept second guessing what God’s plan was for us… and waited.
Three years after we started “preparing” for the move we finally got an offer on the house. Looking back I wonder if all that time waiting was really just us preparing for the new lifestyle. We got chickens (and then lost them to the zoning board… and then got them back when we successfully changed the zoning laws! Yeah!), we got bunnies, I learned to can, freeze and dry excess food, we learned to garden on a slightly bigger scale, I learned to make do with less and make our own things instead of going out to buy everything from Wal-mart. I guess that was enough to convince God that it was time, and He didn’t waste any time! From the time we got the offer it was 1 month till closing and we didn’t have a clue where we were moving… out back-up plan was to live in a friend’s basement for a couple weeks between houses. Not the best of ideas with 6 kids but it’s all we had. However, God had plans we didn’t know about and two weeks before closing we found a house on 6.77 acres. It’s far from ideal; the house is smaller, the lot is covered with poison ivy (I am not exaggerating, you can’t step on the property without stepping in poison ivy), it has an infestation of deer flies (the ones that bite, so it hurts like crazy and then itches like crazy), and ticks (lets not forget the ticks!!!!) However, it was paradise to us! It’s over 5 acres with meadow and woods and a creek. We put in a bid and found out a week later it was accepted; we closed within two weeks of finding it and did it the same day as we closed on our old house…. When we got home to the new house the first thing we did was spray for poison ivy! Second thing we did was start renovations. Third thing we did? Planted a garden!
We’ve been here for a month now and things are still moving along. It hasn’t been easy; poison ivy is still a huge problem with seven kids running around. The wild animals are something I hadn’t dealt with before and it’s a little intimidating at times. We lost three chickens right off the bat to the raccoons and ‘possums. The flies drive us crazy at times. BUT it really is worth it!! The house, while still ugly, has a two level deck for sitting in the mornings and drinking coffee with a book. Someday the inside of the house will be all finished and be just as lovely as our old house. My husband and I take time several days a week to stroll the land and we LOVE it… the kids spend all day outside playing. We have fresh eggs! The soil here is magnificent and our garden is taking off. In addition to the garden we started grapes (both table and wine), an apple orchard, pears, peaches, blueberries, asparagus and rhubarb. The land already had wild black raspberries! We also have plans…. lots and lots of plans. For the first time in my adult life I feel like we can make things permanent…
It’s been a long time coming with a lot of time spend in tears and prayers asking God why things aren’t happening. It will also be a long time of hard work to make our home everything we imagine it to be but it’s done, we’re here and we love it!