I've got it bad; restlessness, the need to feel productive, to be making something, growing something, creating, but crafty projects just seem meaningless right now. Spring Fever. I have the urge to be outdoors in the sun, but when I get out there it isn't as warm as it looks, even with the bright sun.
The winters are long here. Our homestead was poorly planned. We didn't plan. We were going to build a small house and then sell it. Then we built a hovel for my horse so she could live here - before our house was liveable by most people's standards. Then our son came along. Then the goats and chickens. The house needed to be bigger so we added on. This is the "Alaskan Way" and we are Alaskans. We are located on a steep hillside with tiny flat spots here and there. In the summer it is no big deal. This time of year our tiny slippery steep trail system is treacherous. We look back on the winter and realize how little we've accomplished. We survived. We stayed alive, warm and fed. We kept our animals fed. They kept us fed. We didn't get ahead.
We look at each other this time of year and think, "whew, we've got six months to be better prepared for next winter." And we wonder is this how we want to live? Will we be able to do this in ten years? Twenty, Thirty? It is spring fever speaking, or at least that is what I tell myself today. It will pass with the snow. Once I can see dirt, grass, brown and green I'll be cured. The summer will sooth and heal and rejuvenate me. I am strong. I was made for this lifestyle. I love my life. But it could be easier. It doesn't have to be this much work does it?
I have pasture envy. Farm land envy. What is farm land? Land with good soil, good water, good sun exposure, possible clear pasture already, a stream, slough or pond. We can work with that. I know we won't be finding my old farmhouse and traditional old barn up here. My husband and I have been on the land hunt this past year. If it were up to him, he would be looking somewhere warmer. I insist that we just need level land. Land with water. Land that faces south or has better sun exposure. If we had good soil, water, and level or gradual sloping land, sun streaming in the window even on the darkest days... So at first we were looking for land that could be farmland. Level land with water. Then we started looking at small farms for sale. There isn't a lot of either available close to town. So our search has been taking us farther from town.
Dreamer that he is, D started searching for farms for sale on the east coast this week. (Let it be noted that the east coast is like a foreign country to me) Farms with old farmhouses and barns, pastures and established orchards (he knows my weaknesses). I know the farms we are finding are crazy cheap for a reason, mainly depressed economy. While property and housing prices are still high here. While we are not really looking to buy a farm elsewhere, it did get us thinking that before we do invest everything we have in a farm here, maybe we should get away while we still can. We feel very committed and bound to our homestead and animals. We leave, at most for two weeks a year and it takes so much planning and multiple amazing house-sitters/farm helpers to accomplish that. This week I've realized that anything is possible. Traveling and exploring with our children is still possible. There are ways to take a break from this lifestyle. We could sell our animals and come back in a year and buy some of them back. Or we could lease them. There are options. I love our homestead, our animals, this unique life that we are giving our children. Yet, I feel that they would benefit from road trips, more vacations, seeing other states, countries, lifestyles. I know this is spring fever expressing itself.
Acknowledging that I could make these dreams a reality, is exhilarating. Here is to spring fever dreaming and whatever craziness comes of it! Cheers!