rain sending in cool, refreshing air, I turned to him and said, "There's no doubt God gave us this homestead. That said, though...We did it! Yay for us!"
Getting here has taken a lot of hard, hard work, so it's good to relax a little and enjoy the fruit of our efforts - and the gift from our Father. However, there's also no doubt there's a lot of hard, hard work ahead of us. The difference, though, is that this is the sort of work that's fun to dream about; it's work that's more satisfying, too, because it's about building our dream, not prepping something for a future buyer (who will mow down all the amazing flowers you've tended for 15 years...but that's another story).
I'm sure I'll be sharing a lot of our projects on our Piece of Heaven Homestead, so you may as well see what the homestead looks like now. But first, I'd like to preface things by saying that the people we purchased this property from really build this land up from nothing but God's creation. When they moved onto this place, there was nothing but one apple tree and an old, uninsulated building to live in. Little by little, they worked hard to build a home - first just a small building, then building an addition, then a second story - plus outbuildings, an orchard, and so on. Though our homestead needs work, I by no means belittle all the amazing work they put into this place. And they'd be the first to acknowledge that the work needs to continue.
So let's start with the house. As I said, it was built piecemeal - and it's not yet finished. Hence all the quirks. When you walk in, you see the kitchen and dining area, and the living room. All are small. The kitchen is really just makeshift; the original owners always intended to expand and put in a proper kitchen. For now, it's serviceable, but once I'm preserving and cook more from scratch, it's gonna drive me crazy.
Just off the living room is this wide hallway. They used it as a den. I'm thinking maybe the piano and bookshelves go here. By the way, throughout is newer laminate flooring.
I'll leave off showing the bedrooms, but this unfinished staircase (love the orange glow paint on the bottom step?) leads to the upstairs, which is all master bedroom. It's very large, but needs mudding, texturing, flooring...There is no bathroom upstairs. Oh, and the master came with a pool table. (A nice one, actually.)
There's a ton to do inside this house. Every wall needs paint, many surfaces need finishing. And, yes, I need a better kitchen. But any time I start to feel overwhelmed by the inside, I just look outside. And then I feel super duper happy.
Outdoors, the original owners put in a couple of pole barns and miscellaneous smaller structures. Over the years, they had chickens, ducks, turkey, sheep, goats, rabbits...and probably other livestock I don't know about. It's fun exploring, because every once in a while you bump into some little structure you didn't realize was there before, like this old chicken coup, half hidden in the brush.
Figs! I honestly had never eaten one (except in Fig Newtons). But there are four fig trees here, so I'm going to be experimenting a lot with figs, I expect! We tasted our first figs a few days ago; happily, we really liked them!
There are also lots of apple trees - I haven't counted how many yet - and their fruit is yummy. (I ate some when we came to view the property last year.) There's even at least one tree that bears winter apples. In addition, there are two mature cherry trees, a bunch of mature plum trees, bearing blueberries, and a young pear and apricot tree. I may add an additional pear tree and a peach tree this fall. I've been told peaches don't do well here, but our micro climate is warmer than much of the surrounding area, so I might get away with it. There's also a grape vine, but it's awfully shaded and doesn't bear much.
Like all the outbuildings, it's full of stuff. Some of it is kind of neat.
I confess I'm loving this place - even the quirky house - more every day. And I keep thinking back to what the original owner told me (tears in her eyes) the day she and her family moved out: "But who better to leave this place to? It's like we worked and prepared this place just for your family!" I think there's a lot of truth to that. It's just like something God would do :)