Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old MacDonald

So this is part prayer request, part ponderance on my part.

Mike and I are looking at houses.  It's time.  I'm sure some of my longer followers remember my first posts about getting a house.  Well, we're back baby!  There's a children's book that my mother used to read me called "It Could Always be Worse".  It's a Jewish proverb about a man who goes to see a rabbi because his house has become too crowded.  One by one, the rabbi instructs the man to bring his farm animals into the house to live with his family.  It gets worse and worse, until the man almost breaks.  Then the rabbi has the man put the animals back in the barn and for the first time in weeks, the family has a peaceful and quiet evening. 

I think this is the story that God has played out in my family life thus far.  We don't have farm animals (we have a cat), but we have 5 children in 900 square feet with 2 bedrooms.  It would be okay as we've given up our room to the girls so that the 3 boys and 2 girls can sleep in separate rooms.  But now that Mike works from home, he has taken over my kitchen during the day (which also doubles as my school room when the fall comes) to conduct his business.  Being confined to the living room (and quiet with my 5 children who are all under 7) during the day has made me want to go visit that rabbi myself!

So this insane idea has popped into my head.  Very soon we will list this tiny gem on the market, and will venture forth into the great unknown.  The market is poor right now.  I understand that we might lose on the house a little bit.  But we need space, and we stand the chance of grabbing that right now, more than ever before. 

CT is an expensive state, the second highest for gas right now.  It's an expensive state to live, much less raise a large family.  But the nature of Mike's business is such that we can't uproot and find our family's means somewhere else.  The economy is such that we recognize Mike's ability to support us with this new business for what it is: a miraculous blessing.

So I thought to myself, in my quest for a house, that I would take whatever God would send, we're not picky.  I told my realtor up front that we'll trade space for upgrades.  And that if the house is small but on a larger chunk of land, that might be okay too.  If we ever wanted to do an addition, it would need the land to afford the zoning for that.  And now is the time to make that kind of investment, if we're ever going to do it.

And then, I started to grow these ideas in my head...What if?  What if I started a small farm on the property?  I've had good luck in the past with a garden.  I owned horses and did 4H when I was a kid.  I've "worked the land" as any decent Connecticutan can claim to have done.  And besides a farm offers so many benefits - ESPECIALLY with a large family.  And as I look out over our national horizon, I'm thinking now is more the time than ever to try and become self-sufficient.

But that's where my encouragement ends.  I have to will myself now to get outside and mow the lawn, and tend to our pool.  I still have yet to weed my flower beds, and if it weren't for the showings, that project might not get done this year.  I don't know if its because my heart has given up on this temporary dwelling, and I'm in a passive sit out on this place, or if its because...I'm not meant to be a farmer...

In theory, I know what it entails.  But in theory, I know what it rewards.  In one word: Independence.

Pray for me, and please if you have advice share?  I'm seriously considering this next step and would love whatever light in the dark you may be able to shine my way?


  1. Just finished a great read from Seton Press - "Ginny's Gems". It's a short book for those who want advice about organization and home schooling. She says our primary task as mothers is to raise our kids in the faith. No other activity is as important as that. If other things get in the way (sports, extracurricular, etc.), then we should probably drop them.
    I would be overwhelmed by a farm if I had five kids under 7 and was teaching them at home, but you might do well. There are certainly a lot of homeschoolers who do what you're contemplating.
    I would probably ask myself, "Is this a real passion of mine? Can I juggle it with all the other tasks? Would my enthusiasm wane eventually?"
    Will say one for ya! :)

  2. Anonymous made some very good points. It's very easy to say that our primary goal is to pass on the faith. I think i've done that, but now that I have 3 highschoolers and graduation of one just a year away, I am struggling with how to guide him through his boy-manhood conversion. I would love a farm. But I suffer from your gardening challenges as well. We bought a house 2 years ago, tons of space inside, but not much outside. I tried container gardening.. Did potaroes in the five gallon bucket..yhe harvest yielded 3 apricot sized potatoes. :(. Peppers are being eaten by anunseen invader..forgot to water the tomato:(..
    So for now i'll support the local farmer and appreciate his green thumb. If you are ever in Ga let me know.. You can get a huge place (2-3000 sq ft) for around 160,000 right now.

  3. Hi Patty, if you feel God is calling you to do it then hand it over and He'll take care of the rest. If you've had success gardening in the past, that would be encouraging to start a small farm. The question is, would something suffer by the time needed to farm? You definitely need more space with your husband working from home. Something to consider. I will pray for you!