First off - we were so happy to receive so many responses to our last email, and are already enjoying communicating much more directly with you! If you haven't received them, let us know - still working out the email list kinks.
Today I want to talk with you a little bit about how we spent this winter, and particularly how it has helped us practice gratitude.
Winter is a little bit slower time on the farm. There is still plenty of work waiting to be done, but once the snow sets in it becomes pretty difficult to travel to the far corners of the farm to do it. In future winters we’ll do more tree cutting to supply our lumber yard – but this year the bulk of our attention has been on the house.
If you’ve been following our journey, you know that we live off-grid in what was once a barn – or more accurately, the four broken down walls of a century-old barn with no roof. In the last 3 years we’ve made a lot of progress turning it into a home, and we’re quite proud of it. But this winter we’ve made some big leaps in terms of amenities.
It was mid-winter when we first moved into our house three years ago. At the time we were happy to have bed, a small cook stove, and some lawn chairs. I kid you not, it was a huge step up when we decided we needed a book shelf to hold our two plates and two bowls.
Now we cook in a kitchen with a working stove and fridge, and eat at a dining table. We warm ourselves with a large wood stove, and enjoy our evenings on the couch in a living room. This winter we added running water, which means no more daily trips to the creek with buckets. We can do laundry at home, and finally – FINALLY – take proper showers in the comfort of our own bathroom. For 3 years we have been the people who aren’t afraid to ask for a shower when we arrive at family & friends’ houses.
Spring will be here soon, and we really can’t wait to get outside. There is so much to be done on the farm and we’re chomping at the bit to get going. But slower winter months are also great for making things more comfortable at home.
It’s also a great time for reflection. Sometimes we get caught up in the grind here at the farm, and forget to have gratitude for what has been accomplished. It’s nice to take the time to look around your surroundings and truly appreciate how they came to be. It's not enough to constantly push forward - if you don't look back once in a while, what's the point?
Plus, all this renovation work has given us lots of practice with the ‘rustic’ look. We’re thinking about doing some custom furniture and décor work in the future, and will likely be sending an email soon with some specific pieces. If this is something that you might be interested in for your home, please reach out with any questions or feedback!