Since starting the farm in 2017, our goal had been to build a house on-site right up on our stand of 200 year old live oak trees. It was quite a process to sell our house in Thomasville and draw and draw and draw again plans that had a chance to be within our budget. During this time, our living arrangements hopped around until, thanks to the generosity of family, we got a really fine, close by temporary living set up. But during this 4 year long period, we weren’t settled and were really missing our own home. In addition to allowing us to sink our roots, our new house on the farm was going to make it easier to tend to the goats and cheese and allow us to be together more – the idyllic, most efficient set up.
Well, trying to build a house on a modest budget today is not possible. After 2 years of planning and trying, we were pretty ok when we had to give up our new house dream and were resigned to the idea of moving an old house to the farm to renovate. Such a move wouldn’t be an easy task, but with taking down some trees and fences and somehow finding the right house, it could be done. The night we got our last ridiculous bid for new construction and officially gave it up, we got on Zillow to get serious about finding a house to move and nothing short of a miracle happened…the old 1902 farmhouse near our farm that we always say is “our perfect house” was put on the market that very same day, and it was within our budget and had been fairly updated. Not only did this house have the high ceiling, big porch, and layout that we wanted, it was old and had history that so ignited Allison with joy that there was no doubt that we had to go for it. So, we did, and we got it, which was no easy task in this market even way out in the county in South Georgia.
For as right as this house is, it far from makes life easier and more efficient. It’s 10 miles from the farm, it’s a house of endless projects, and it has 7 acres for me to keep up with. All of a sudden, we went from a house idea that was to make farming easier to the reality of a house that makes my farm work harder. Even with the added difficulties, I somehow saw from the get-go that it was the right thing to do, and for, I think, the first time in my life, I responded to more-challenge with acceptance. Granted, I’d gotten better over my life at accepting, but usually I kept a varying degree of resistance down deep. I couldn’t help but to remember back to the first real right/hard thing I did which was to stop drinking (1). It took me years to release that resentment, and getting on the wagon still tops my list of best-life changes for me and I know was an experience that helped me significantly grow my courage for change.
When this house popped up, I could see a little from my perspective and even more through Allison’s that this was the place that we could feel settled, connect with, relax in, and grow in. On paper, this move doesn’t make sense. It’s scary for me and will add challenge, but I know that will all be a small price to pay for doing the right thing.
(1) Drinking had become a problem for me; it was how I (wrongly) coped with struggle. I couldn’t come close to drinking in moderation and am impressed by those that can.