Part 3 of 3
There was more than one dream preserved in that little box from '79. Soon, a second life-long dream would become a reality...
It didn't take long before my honey caught the vision, too, and now we both wanted to make the dream a reality. Soon, we found ourselves searching for just the right property. The search took months, but in November of last year, we became the owners of a little five acre parcel next to Cottage Grove Lake. It's a peaceful retreat from our life in the city, and in many ways, it reminds me of my childhood farm.
We bought the place with grand plans to remodel and build up a farmstead for when we retire. We'd transform the house to look more like a farmhouse--add some gables here and dormers there, build a story-and-a-half family room on one end with a wrap-around porch. The house happened to be a duplex that lent itself nicely to being converted into a large single family home--one with a few more bedrooms and bathrooms than usual. Perfect for guests! We went wild with ideas of huge family reunions, writers group retreats, big country-Christmas celebrations with guests staying over, and on and on.
We started the remodel. Phase one complete--well, not quite. It's been sitting half-done since January. But it's as complete as it will be for a while. Sometimes, just as the author of a story writes in plot twists (surprising even the author at times), we can make choices in life that rewrite our script. We're going along thinking we'll do one thing, but then it's another we choose, and a new act in the play of life follows.
The farmstead next door...
Shortly after buying our lake house and starting our remodel, we shook our neighbor's hand over the fence one day and introduced ourselves. Our neighbor's five acres spread out below us on the slope. He's got this cool old barn and a little grove of apple trees, and a ton of space begging to be planted and cultivated. George and I look directly over his place when we sit sipping coffee, gazing at the hills and lake from our front porch.
"I'm thinking of selling," our neighbor said from his side of the fence.
George and I exchanged a "you don't say" sort of glance.
Funny thing. Just the day before this, my honey and I were sitting and sipping, gazing and talking, and what were we talking about? How nice our neighbor's land would look all planted up and joined with our long narrow piece of earth. How his land with ours would make our whole farm such a nice shape. How we'd plant an orchard here, put a pond there, and some grapes and berries over there. How if our neighbor ever decided to sell, we'd sure like to be in a position to buy. But that would be years in the future, if ever, right?
We looked at each other, said "nice to meet you" to our neighbor and walked away.
"What about the remodel?" I asked, as we walked hand-in-hand, discussing.
"This chance will probably never come our way again," my very practical honey said.
That was a couple months ago. Now, we own our neighbors cool barn, his apple trees, his nice shaped land that fits so good with ours, and his house, which we'll rent out.
Funny how things work out. But not to worry, the completion of phase one will happen, just not as soon as we'd planned. Phase two and three? They'll happen, too. At least that's how we've written the script for now. I guess we'll see, as our adventure unfolds--an adventure that started with the time capsule of '79. Who could have known?
Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,
"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."
How we were lead to our farm by a time-capsule: Part 1
How we were lead to our farm by a time-capsule: Part 2