Ok Welcoming House readers, brace yourself.
I am going go tell you exactly what might happen if you decide you are going to marry a man, or woman, with a homesteading heart. Now, to be fair, you might look at the two of us and wonder which one of us had more dreams to run our own little place when we first got started, because my husband was coming from the Twin Cities, and I was coming from a small town in the Colorado mountains.
But beneath the surface beat the heart of two people who more interested in learning to do things for themselves than they were on relying someone else to do it for them.
So lets talk about what it is like to be married to someone who has that kind of mindset.
It means early mornings. Mornings where you wonder why the heck you are up before the sun and if you will be able to walk straight without another good shot of heavy coffee before braving the cold to take care of animals, cut down wood, fix a fence, dig a hole, and many of a billion other never-ending projects that need to be done.
It also means late nights watching over the house when there have been break ins on other places, often with a dog at your side watching faithfully with you. Late nights looking over animals in your care as they bring in their young, or getting up after only a few hours of sleep to put more wood on the fire so that your family stays warm in bitter below zero temps.
It means that there are always, always, always projects to complete. Always.
It means that you need to establish a network of people you will work with over time to step in when you are needing help, and who will take care of issues when one of you has health problems, or that you might actually need to leave your home to take a trip for whatever reason.
And that is barely scratching the surface.
Let me tell you a couple more things it means.
That you will, at one time or another, fall totally in love with the feeling that you accomplished something all on your own. One that overwhelms you and you realize that what other people may have just paid someone else to do, or spent a lot of money to acquire, you have gained the SKILL of making or creating, and that makes it worth a thousand times more in your world.
You will gain the feeling of staring at the early morning hours, cup of coffee in hand, probably hours before the sun rose and hours after you got out of bed, and feel a rush of thankfulness that you are able to live this kind of life. That while other people are sitting in traffic, staring at the backs of other cars, looking at their exhaust, probably not even aware of their sunrise, you don’t have to. And savor it.
Next, the first time that you watch one of those animals you care for, whether a small or large, give birth and add new life and new hope to your little homestead, you will fall in love with what you do all over again. Caring for those animals becomes a privilege, one not ever taken for granted. You will mourn when you have to put one down for whatever reason, and honestly, some of those times you may weep like a child because it is one less companion on the land you have worked so hard on. Then you will begin to understand why people who call you names for raising and feeding your family with those animals have either never done it themselves, or simply have no idea what you go through to get anything on your homestead to live a happy thriving life. And have little tolerance for them.
Another thing it will teach you is what it is like to work side by side with someone in a difficult time and know you only have each other to rely on. Whether that is getting power or water back on after a big storm, or standing side by side reviewing the amazing damage that storm caused to your garden….whether that is stacking a load of firewood together to keep your home and family warm when the bitter winter winds come…whether that is sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee and discussing what needs to be done for the day….these are things that can not be bought.
Tread into this life wisely.
Otherwise, you may end up doing a class virtually online for a group of people, and your husband walks in and does this. And you will never, ever, EVER live it down.
Its a wonderful life. A hard life. But so so worth it.
I would love to hear what some of your experiences have been. Please share in the comments.
Blessings to you and yours