Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Future

Bech and I are in a holding pattern right now.  We are waiting for next year when Bech will apply to graduate school.  We move to wherever he gets in, then I'll start worrying about applying to a PhD program.  Then it will be looking for tenure track jobs.

We both get discouraged by it all sometimes.  So many friends are buying houses and settling down.  And we have a WHILE until we are going to be able to do that.  And I know that when we reach that end goal, it will be worth it.  In the meantime, though, we dream and plan for what we want our "future" life to look like:

1) We would love to live in Asheville, North Carolina.  That is our "dream" city.   

This will be the trickiest part of our plan to reach.  We will have to both be able to get jobs there.  But seriously, this would be an amazing town to live in.  We would still get to experience fall and winter, but we would be close enough to drive home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2)  A house with land

so that we can...  

3) Own animals!

I can't wait until we have a house with land so that we can have lots of animals.  I want chickens (both for laying and for eating), a turkey (one a year!), a couple of pigs, a couple of goats, and a milk cow.  Oh, and maybe a couple of cows for eating! 

Yes, I know that to my southern friends (and maybe some of my northern ones too) I sound crazy.  But  now we have to pay an arm and a leg for milk, eggs, and meat that is hormone free, grass fed, pasture raised, etc.  Instead, if we had the space, we could just do this ourselves!

4) A garden

In the past couple of years, I've been able to grow some herbs.  But I really want to have a big garden, full of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  How amazing would it be to make dinner using fresh produce we've grown and eating meat we've raised?

Number one on my gardening list:  heirloom tomatoes!  How beautiful are these?

5) A Green lifestyle

This would include several things.

First, we would love to incorporate basic energy and water efficiency systems: solar panels, greywater, rain barrels, etc.

Second, we want to create as little waste as possible.  We already do this in a lot of ways: cloth diapers, reusable snack bags, washing zip lock bags out, no paper plates or paper napkins.  But we want to continue and even increase these practices.  I would love to decrease our waste output even more.  

And this sort of leads into:

6) Cooking from scratch

Again, this is one we already do a lot of the time.  We rarely use any type of mix.  We try to shop "around" the grocery store--buying meat, produce, dairy, but steering clear of middle lines.  But I have some things I still get from the middle sections: pasta, Annie's bunnies, Diet Dr. Pepper (It's my kryptonite!).  I would love to phase these pre made items out more over time, even to the point where we are regularly making our cheese and bread for the week.  

7)  Grow our family

I would love to have 6 kids; Bech is thinking more 4-ish.  But regardless, we want more children, and we would love for adoption to play a role in that.  We are still so early in this, so I don't know what route we will take specifically.  I have the tendency to want every child that I see on adoption websites!  I can't wait to see how God will work out this part of our story.

There are so many other little dreams built into all of this.  We want a brick oven for our pizza and bread, a huge dining room table to feed friends and family, a studio out back for Bech.  And who knows where we will end up?  Maybe we will be back in Malawi, or buy a house someday in Jackson, Mississippi.

And as eager as I am for all of these little dreams to become realities, I am constantly reminded (and am thankful for it!) that my final goal and my final home is not here on earth!  

I just hope that God grows heirloom tomatoes in heaven...


Danielle said...

These are all such great plans! We won't be settling down for a while either, so I can totally relate. We have three laying chickens, two pet chicks, and 20 eating chickens growing now. Ryan wants a cow and a pig but I think it's too much!

Erin L said...

I am with you. With only a year left here, it is really hard for me not to be constantly thinking about the future. Where will we be? What residency will we get into? What such-and-such specialty give us the lifestyle we always imagined? I have to constantly remind myself to live in the present and enjoy where I am now. Because most likely, God will take me someplace totally different than I planned. (And better, too!)

Courtney said...

Before jumping fully into the farming lifestyle, it would probably be good for you and Bech to research the cost of livestock upkeep. Chickens and goats are pretty cheap, but larger livestock can be much more expensive to maintain. Do a few back of the envelope calculations on the cost of owning, feeding, and butchering vs. the cost of buying the already butchered stuff. Another option is to buy one cow a year and have it butchered. That way you don't have to worry about upkeep, but you could still get the hormone free, etc. meat.

Funny livestock story: when we were kids Ryan got a goat that was about a day old. It was the runt from a set of triplets (twins are common, but triplets are extremely rare in goats). It basically became Ryan's pet. It would follow him around everywhere like a puppy. We didn't even bother to put it in the fence with the other goats until it was much older. There was a bell on our porch that the goat would ring when it wanted Ryan to come out and play. Maybe Jack can have his own pet goat one day. ;)

BTW, you can grow the tomatoes in pots, so you can do that this summer without having a full garden! Two or three healthy plants would produce more than enough tomatoes. My mom had about six plants last summer and was giving away tomatoes left and right. I think she grew hers from seeds, but you could go to Walmart or Home Depot or something and pick up seedlings. Or another option would be a local grower or co-op.

Tricia said...

Eric tries to grow heirlooms every year. He is terrible at it. My kryptonite is popcorn. I'm glad to hear you say that. People look at me weird when I say it. Having a farm is our dream. We already get free yard eggs from a guy at Eric's work. I want to own a farm and live next to someone with the same animals. Then, we trade meat so we aren't eating our own "pets." I'm weird.

Callie Nicole said...

Loved reading this post - it can be so fun to dream about the future!