Friday, June 3, 2011

#21 - I'm a 43 Year-Old Kid Moving to the Country!

For over ten years now I've been learning the importance of farming. A farmer is one who is most likely to be self-sufficient. Many farmers grow produce and raise their own table meat and eggs. In today's economic and political environment, it is not so strange to want a piece of this independent, self-controlled delicious farmer pie.

Shaye helping to put fresh hay into the coop.
Teaching our children the importance of farming...even on a small scale is important. As our daughters were growing up, we usually had a vegetable garden and our own patch of herbs. I always wanted chickens.

Frequently, as we raised our daughters, we'd take them on trips to the country and they'd flourish. My daughters would find large branches and put them together in pyramid fashion, my husband would tie off the top to hold the tip of the pyramid together and the girls would wrap the entire contraption with sheets. Presto! They had their own Tee Pee. Summer after summer, in the woods, on their land, wherever we found ourselves in nature, they'd build a tee pee. Soon, they kept their best tee pee sticks with us at all times and we'd travel with them in tow. Such good times in a home-made tee pee.

My girls visiting a REAL Tee pee.
Our girls knew how to tend to a garden...from sowing seeds to pulling weeds. They would help water the garden when it needed it and they helped wash the freshly harvested vegetables. Then, they'd want to eat a bowl of cereal.

My daughters on one of our many, many camping trips.
Now, my daughters are grown. Heather is my oldest and she is 23 years old, a graduate in Biology and she works in a lab, loving every minute of it.

My oldest, the Biologist!
My youngest, Stefie, is almost 21 and she is beginning her third year and has decided to study to be a Child Life Specialist.

My youngest daughter and I having a fun time. It's been suggested that the white floater is my mother "visiting."
Not so sure about that, but we do seem to have a lot of odd floaters in certain photos.
Am I a proud Mama? You betcha.

With our two daughters...our oldest had attended Texas A&M and this picture was for Ring Day!
However, these days I've been cherishing each moment with my niece. She is four years old and a ball of fun. Deputy Dave and I have purposefully decided to help her learn about nature, first hand, as much as possible.

Shaye fishing with Deputy Dave and yes, she caught plenty, all by herself!
Since we are such outdoors people and we love fishing, hiking, camping, gardening, etc., we have made a real effort to expose her to all of these wonderful things, just as we did for our own girls.

Here is Shaye at only 3 years old, Miss Thinker. She took my book, wrote in the blank
back pages and she'd pause to consider weighty issues of her 3-year old world.
I get to have my niece stay at our house frequently. My sister and I are closer than close --- my daughters are like her own daughters and my sissy's daughter is like a daughter to me. Such is our relationship of sisterhood.

My naturally blond sister and me having fun at a friend's wedding. I am several years older than she.
Shaye is my niece. She is named after my mother. Shaye is short for Shelley Faye. When my sister was five months pregnant with Shaye, her first child at 30 years of age, our mother died after a short battle with breast cancer. My brave sister lost her mother and became a mother within a few short months.

Shaye was born a short time later and she gave us a bit of our mother back.

My mom holding my little sister. You cannot tell that my mom has a left paralyzed arm and right paralyzed leg.
Shaye is a shining light in my life.

Baby Shaye with my oldest daughter, Heather, taking a nap.
On the weekends that Shaye spends time with us, we may take her fishing or we might go to a park and let her swing almost to the sky's edge as she screams with laughter.

One of many great times we've had with Shaye at the park.
Here at the house, lately we have been letting her help with the gardening and the chickens.

She loves every bit of it. I watch her fascination with all things in nature and see her delight while outdoors and I feel light and happy and carefree. Her joy is contagious.

I can't wait to develop our acreage and to one day see our future grandkids enjoy the farm with MATOES, CHICKIES, TWACTORS and more little Howdy doggies. But, we'll also have goats and a few cattle.

I keep praying that God will helps us to continually move forward to the day when we will be able to sell this house and make our big move. Sometimes it hits me hard...our move to our acreage is actually right around the corner. The fuzzy initial dream has become more sharp as the years have passed.

Now, it's easier to focus in on how drastically our lives will be changing as we move to the land; it's becoming our new reality. I'm excited, scared, anxious, eager and in disbelief. I feel like a kid who is moving to the farm!


frugalmom said...

I love this post. It is just lovely. And I really love how you are so close to your niece. I know that all that she is learning from you on the farm and camping and all the outdoor activities will stay with her forever...that is such a great thing you are doing for her..with her.

There will be things that you font even realize have impacted her and then years later when she is grown she will share a story with you that just touches your heart.

Anonymous said...

frugalmom is right....
My husband's sister who is 15 yrs younger than him wrote the most wonderful poem about the time she spent with us as she was growing up, we took her with us a lot and out to our place in the country after we got married(she was about 7 when we got she spent a lot of time with us.
I also have a nephew and niece who also spent a lot of time with us when they were young and I think it has set them on the right path in life....all the animals to care for and the wonder of all the out of doors has had a good impact on them.
I have seen shows on TV of inner city kids that are greatly impacted by just one day out in the country with animals. The animals are a big part of it. Beth

LindaG said...

Wonderful post, Lana. Great looking family, too. :)

My dad taught me how to fish, but we didn't do any of that other stuff.
I'm pretty sure I'll be 60 before we get to the farm permanently.

I'm excited, scared, anxious, eager and in disbelief.
I hear you. I'm the same way, exactly.
Enjoy your Saturday! :)

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Frugalmom --- You are so sweet to say such tender and uplifting things...I do hope that Shaye will one day remember all of the experiences she's had with us. We certainly have enough pictures to jog her memory! And I hope that many more years are to come.

Beth --- I agree with you 100% that animals can bring out the nurturing side of a child, even on in great pain and a few animals can teach a child responsibility at the same time. Kids can learn a lot about life by taking care of farm animals. There is a "orphanage" near our home for children who are Wards of the State of Texas, my husband and I have been official "Sponsor Parents" for many of these children and their compound also has a section in the back for a few farm animals, mostly for the teenagers participating in FFA, but the animals are loved by all the kids makes a definite difference.

Linda --- I sure do love my family, but I also wish my waist line was not so non-existent! haha I hate having photos taken of myself, but I am trying. As for us getting to our farms permanently, I think just about 60 years of age is perfect timing...I'd much rather be headed out to a farm so I can wander around my own property than anywhere else as I get older. I know I might end up with having to get part-time help on the farm, eventually, but until we could afford it, I'll do all I can with my husband. It's just a blessing that we even have the opportunity and keep working toward the day we can be there full-time.