We are home. There is no other way to explain the last two weeks. It was a mad blur of packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, and stowing. As I sit here now on the first rainy day in our tent, looking out the storm door on the greening woods — I feel it in my soul. I am home.
Last Saturday was our first night in the tent. I had grand plans of posting our regular weekly update once we settled in, but we were “settling in” until past midnight. We also didn’t have the internet up and running full-time for two more days.
It feels incredible to finally be here, though, after so much planning and so many set-backs. In some ways, this moment feels like decades in the making. When we sold our 10 acres in Idaho and moved to Missouri in 2003, we fully planned to buy some acreage and get started on this homestead right away. Instead, we are starting 20 years later. So much has changed since our last homestead. The children of the family grew up, and a new generation has taken its place. We are all older, wiser, more educated — and sometimes, more jaded with life. But we are more committed than ever to finding a way of living in this world that is true to our Lord and His intention for His creation.
This week has been busy, trying to find a new routine, learning what works and what doesn’t. Still, our days have been glorious. We have been soaking up the sun while doing copious amounts of organizing. We have also been fitting in some gardening. Despite having the larger priority of getting our bunkhouse up, we are hoping to supplement our diet this summer with some fresh, homegrown produce.
We also spent a lot of time renovating an old portable building we bought from our folks. They used to run it as a drive-thru espresso business, but it has been sitting in storage for more than a decade. The floor had rotted during that time, and it needs work in other ways. While we still kick around the idea of using it as a business someday, we decided to fix it up and utilize it as an office space for those who want to work from the land. We also have a refrigerator and small chest freezer inside. Last summer, one of the biggest challenges was keeping all of our food cool enough on warm days. Our spring can keep things chilled, but it is not cold enough for true perishables. Having modern cooling appliances is a convenience that will make life here much simpler than last year.
Speaking of modern conveniences, we have also been especially thankful for our porch washer. It has worked beautifully hooked up to an appliance-safe extension cord and garden hose. We are using ec0-friendly soap, so the drainage can be used to water our garden once we have it in. Drying our clothes line works even better up here on the hill than it did last year in the hollow. One load is often about dry by the time the next is ready to hang out.
Our nights have been snug in the tent. Most evenings we have opted to have a fire, but it gets so warm in the tent we typically let the fire go out pretty quickly. We have a kitchen area, but we tend to do most of the actual cooking outside — though we did make soup in here on a rainy day! We love having our homemade farmhouse table in the tent — even if it takes up a lot of space. Our bunk beds have turned out to be very sturdy and comfortable as well. We have to fight the clutter constantly, but we are making it work.
Cooking is a lot more work out here in some ways, but it is also a lot more fun — and a lot tastier. We’ve loved cooking over the campfire and on our grill. We’ve also been experimenting with our slow cooker, pushing the limits of what we are used to doing with it. We are still keeping beverages cool in the creek, as we don’t have that much refrigerator space.
The dogs, of course, are having the time of their lives. It’s like last fall all over again. Only this time, they have both honed their hunting skills and have been dining on mice and voles every day. It’s a little sad, but we are glad they are ridding our building site of furry pests!
We have also found time for some fun. I tend to be very practical and focused when it comes to “getting things done,” but I’m blessed with family members who like to make time to enjoy life, too. So, in the middle of all the crazy, we set up an outdoor projector screen. My youngest brother bought a projector last summer, and he fully intends to host family movie nights under the stars. We even packed our stove-top popcorn popper in a tote underneath the tent.
It was a full, exhausting, blessed, wonderful, crazy week! We are so happy to be here. And we are so looking forward to making progress on our bunkhouse starting this week. In closing, I fully intended to have a pretty, night-time picture of our tent. Grace and I tried to take said picture last night, but it decided to rain on us! We had to move all of our towels off the line to the porch, along with the laundry baskets. So the porch is cluttered and not picture-perfect. But that’s real life, isn’t it? Especially on a homestead.
4 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 4.29.23”
What an inspiring post! Congratulations on finally realizing your dream of a homestead. Your dedication to living in harmony with nature and your faith is truly inspiring. Best of luck on all your future endeavors!
Thank you, Chris! We feel truly blessed.
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I love reading about your adventures.