When my mind is caught up in the day to day grind, it’s so easy to be aghast… geez, where does the time go? But when I really think back to the beginning, and compare it to what makes up my current day to day life… well. It’s pretty obvious that those fifteen years have been quite full. When we first moved to this farm in 2001, we were still practically newlyweds. It felt just right to be living in a 15′ x 20′ cabin in the woods with no electricity, an outhouse, a sketchy water system, a small garden, a creek as a bathtub, a hive of bees, a dog and a handful of chickens, no kids, and a tiny amount of savings. We had practically no bills, aside from vehicle insurance for two not-so-nice rides and a phone bill. I’m not really sure what we did with all of our time back then, but we must have been dreaming up some pretty good dreams. (Horror of horrors, we didn’t even have the internet…) We had the incredible privilege of care-taking this farm for a friend for a few years, and getting a small business established, before biting the mortgage bullet.
Like a fruit tree in a newly planted orchard, we had time to grow our roots.
We started our small business, a vegetable CSA out of Nashville, with just seventeen shareholders. The Bugtussle CSA grew to eighty-five shareholders a few years later, which at the end of that growing season we deemed far too many, and backed down to around a comfortable and steady fifty shareholders. We are now winding down our thirteenth season with this business, and some of those shareholders have been riding the seasons with us from the very beginning. That’s something.
Back in the day, our first livestock, aside from a few chickens, was a couple of milk goats. Then a sickly calf that our neighbor gave us as a “project” that I walked around on a leash up to the pasture each day. Then a handful of sheep. Then our first milk cow, Dehlilah. Then more sheep, more cows, more chickens. And on and on. We even bought a second farm in the spring of 2008, adding 50 more acres and a second mortgage to the bustle and insanity of this thing we were creating, this crazy offspring of a crazy beautiful marriage. Somewhere along the way, we started having babies, too. Three of them to be exact. Three wild, fiercely independent, creative souls came into our lives to make our marital bonds stronger; making us related by blood. Three incredibly strong forces that rock our world each and every day. (And never let me shake the nagging feeling that I wasted a lot of time before they were here with us.) Three little beings that required us to build a room onto our tiny little cabin in the woods not just once, but twice.The littlest one of our family, Livi, with be turning five tomorrow. We share a special day, making it all the more special. The very early morning of our tenth wedding anniversary, she arrived with the howling wind into the darkness of our (newly completed) bedroom, precious love child that she is. Oh, but, not so fast Livi… not so fast.Funny how when I reflect on all of these years of marriage, I can’t help but also reflect upon what Eric and I have created together. Our family. Our farm. Our incredible friendship. Our shared vision for all of the years we have yet to see. There is just no separating one from the other. It’s all one big tangled lovely mess.