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the american dream for weirdos.

my friend melissa and i were exchanging emails awhile back about how we are kindred spirits when it comes to our ultimate 'good life.'  when asked about what their best life would look like, some people think about traveling the world, some people dream about winning an oscar, some people dream about super expensive furniture or tiny dogs or a maid.  some people say stuff about joel osteen and then i want to punch something.

but anyway.  we dream about farming.

actually, i would say 'homesteading' would be a better term for it.  you know, living off the land.  growing and 'putting up' your own food.  owning (and milking) your very own cow.  chickens. tell me that wouldn't be awesome.  (don't tell me that - you'd be lying.)

now, before you get all judgmental and like, 'that would be a lot of work.  chickens stink.  land prices are high right now. do you know how expensive it is to feed a cow?'  just remember that i'm talking about a dream. no one ever said dreams have to be practical.

wanna be a doctor? it's expensive and takes work, but everyone's like, holy crap you're the best human being i've ever met in my life and can i have your autograph and will you bless my baby with long life and good health?  wanna marry colin firth? regardless of the fact that he lives thousands of miles away, is famous, and is obviously too good for any of us anywhere near this blog, people are all like, he's single and you're hott.  go for it.  but you want a cow and a stupid orchard and maybe ma ingalls living next door (actually, down the path) and people are like weeeeeeeeeeiiirdo.

so right now, just pretend i'm saying something else so that you can, in good conscience, tell me i'm an awesome human being and a hottie.  thanks.  moving on.

yes, i fully understand it's highly improbable that i will never own that acreage, nor am i fully committed to the idea of roughing it (toilet paper is non-negotiable, as are mary kay medium coverage foundation, tampons, and the option of pants and haircuts for girls.)  camping is for chumps.  but homesteading?  here's a little taste of what i'm currently missing out on:

a humongous garden.
a pantry full of stuff i grew and canned.
a freezer full of stuff i grew and froze.
a root cellar full of stuff i grew and...root cellar'd.
(see where this is going?)
a cow in the backyard.
some chickens doing their chicken thing.
a compost bin.
this guy:


yes, those are cloth diapers.  organized nicely on a clothesline.  in the country.  anyone else ready to pee their pants right now? no? just me then.

problems with the dream:

1. we bought a house in the city (er, in town. the town we're moving to has like 3k people, so maybe i'll just start thinking of it as a commune in the country that has its own hardware store.  in fact, i'm definitely going to start thinking of it like that.)

2. some of that stuff is expensive.  like land.  and cow feed.  and, you know, land.  but i feel like i can grow my own organic veggies, raise my own pets meat and dairy.  (don't throw red paint on me.  i love animals as much as the next guy.  sort of.  they do taste good.) gather my own eggs.  so, with the money i'm saving on groceries and gas to get to the grocery store, buying a huge acreage with a dream house on it that has all the animals and plants growing on it already that come for free with the property, is probably a wash.  or at least almost a wash.

3. once when i was little and we lived in the country, it took the fire department 45 minutes to get to our house.  that's a little unnerving.

4. i have never gardened anything in my life, nor have i canned anything.  so...there's that.

5. a lot of homesteads feel the need for their own beehives.  don't get me wrong, i think it would be really cool to have tons of honey bees at my beck and call (and maybe i could teach my bees to do other stuff, too, like mow the lawn or babysit the kids while i get my hair did).  also, i've started buying honey by the gallon so it's not like i wouldn't benefit from having tons of free honey.  but the pay-off is the potential for thousands of tiny little warriors getting t.o.'d that i'm stealing their goods... and carrying around an epi-pen just to walk through the yard doesn't feel very 'pioneer'.  plus, has anyone ever read the little house book where her cousin accidentally steps on a yellow jacket hive and swells all up and has to be wrapped up in mud and old sheets like a mummy? probably the scariest story i've ever read, barring none.  so...not going to take my chances.  i'll just pay someone else to wear the ridiculous outfit and do the dirty work.  but does that make me less qualified?


so here's the point of it all:  in six weeks, i will have my own little .4-acre slice of heaven.  and i will be working on getting it as close to the ideal as possible.  awesome.

if i promise to continue wearing pants, cutting my hair, and using modern technologies like the toilet, will you still be my friend? i pinky-swear not to get all pioneer-chump on you.

4 comments :

TheCrislers said...

I loooove this post. And I have too much to say about it, and don't want to make all your other readers read my drivel (just you, you lucky dog), so expect a long and windy email from me soon on this topic.

whenjeskasparks said...

if you build it ... i will come....

..back to ames. :D
haha. i'd wanna live next door.

Farmgirl Chaos said...

Well, I too still dream of living on a farm. The best I can do now...going back to the family farm as often as possible.
And which town are you moving to? I'm in Nevada! And it is actually a great little town. :)

Ben Dau said...

I hear you Paige, that is a dream life. My dream farm would also consist of a food forest, orchard and a small creek, but would otherwise be the same. I say go for it. Ames passed a law recently to let people have home flocks didn't they? Chicks for $1.50, a couple bags of feed and 8 weeks and you could have organic, free range meat in the freezer... just saying.