Waiting, it is one of the hardest lessons in life to learn, perhaps that is why it seems that most of our life is spent in this frustrating mode. Hard as we may push to avoid this problematic state of unwanted suspension, it seems that some unexpected problem crops us causing one or more of our cherished plans to come to a halt and enter this bleak miasma where like comes to a grinding halt.
It seems that if anyone is need of learning this painful lesson it must be me, for sadly it is in this deplorable state of affairs that one of my newest dreams have fallen. Not that is such a new dream, for bits and pieces of it have been around in some form, but up until now the idea has always been in the background as a nice idea for some future date after my real hopes and goals had been met and I at last had time to relax in the warm glow of having accomplished my grand goals. But once the sad truth at last broke through, that I was not fighting some transient battle with ill health that with a little TLC would vanish into the night never again to reappear, was a lovely dream but not the stark reality, I at last came to the unwanted conclusion that it was time for me to lay down my sword and admit that I was not equipped with the necessary gear of resilient health necessary to slay the giant and claim the castle I had so long desired. But must instead find a new set of dreams that with a little fine tuning could bring the smile back to my face and hope into my frustrated heart.
The seed of this new dream had been planted years earlier as having learned different tidbits about the sad state of the food we put into our bodies, my family and I had at various times kept a small garden. It was never much more than a raised bed of peppers, a bucket of tomatoes, or a few citrus trees, but from this humble start an idea was slowly sprouting, and the dream of growing a garden capable of meeting a fair percentage of my family and my needs.
While the idea of growing more of the fruits and vegetables I ate appealed to me, at first I was tempted to mark this one off of my list, as even meeting 10 percent of the needs of a family of four would require a rather decent sized garden and quite a bit more work than a couple of raised beds and a few haggard looking fruit trees. The energy required to plow, to till, to rake, to plant, to weed, and harvest might be fine on really good days, but how many of them could I expect? And what about those days when an earthquake would struggle to push my aching bones out of bed? What would happen to the garden during the long summer flare or during the rainy weeks of utter misery?
The idea was on the brink of being sidelined as completely ridiculous when thanks to a few You Tube videos it was given a new life as I was introduced to new ideas and concepts such as aquaculture, back to Eden gardens, and more that would give me the ability to have a fairly decent garden. Thanks to videos from sites such as Hollis and Nancy who showed how to plant potatoes in containers, Arms Family Homestead who was using mobile chicken coups in his green house to improve the soil of his raised beds, and Justin Rhodes who via his American Farm Tour had highlighted several methods of gardening I had never heard from, hope for this dream had sprung to life.
Unfortunately living near the city limits and under the strict control of an HOA did not lend itself to my burgeoning dream. No one would complain about the few fruit trees or the handful of garden boxes safely hidden behind our fence, but not one tenth of the delicious fruits I longed to plant could be housed in our garden, never mind even one chicken, without raising the ire of our HOA.So if my hopes of having a backyard full of citrus, mangoes, bananas, papayas, cherries, various berries, plums, peaches, guanabanas, pineapples, almonds, walnuts, herbs, melons, peppers, tomatoes, beans, and more had any hopes of becoming a reality it would that my dear family would have to move.
Fortunately for me my Father had long shared the same dream. He had spent several years as a child on a dairy farm which had given him a desire to enjoy a bit more elbow room than 1/3 of an acre near the city limits can ever allow. My Mother on the other hand had spent much of her childhood growing up in a bustling city. For her there was nothing like the convenience of only having to travel a few blocks to the store, and in her mind we were already to far from civilization. Happily with a little patient convincing and the fact that the company we had brought our home from had done a rather miserable job at smoothing out the land leaving us with sharp curves and small ditch in our backyard that was hard to mow, she gave her blessing to our attempt to move.
Now came the hard part. Days, weeks, and endless months of searching. At night my eyes ached from having stared at the screen all day looking for an affordable place. Here and there a seemingly good place would pop up on our screen and filled with excitement we would rush to the car and drive hours away only to discover that the neighborhood was frightful, that large appearing room in the picture was more like a postage stamp, that from a different angle it looked like one strong wind could huff and puff and blow the house down, or one good rain and we would be singing the floating down the river blues.
We were in the depths of frustration about to give it all up when in answer to our prayers we found an affordable and promising piece of land for sale within a hundred miles of our home. Excited, but cognoscente of our past failures, we hurried out the door. The first sight was all we feared it to be. High on a sharp hill that within a few feet plummeted sharply down in a way that would highly restrict its usefulness, and decorated on several corners with abandoned furniture, it was enough to snuff out the small flame of hope we had left. But before giving up for the day we decided to head to the nearest realtor and see if with a little help we might find our dream lot.
After a few minutes of relaxed chatter, our kindly real estate agent printed out two listings. Telling us that if neither of these worked, he would print out some more. With hope renewed we set out full of hope. The first was less than exciting as it sat in front of a rather unsightly looking home that could double for a dump.
But the second one, oh the second one was an instant success. Set on a little hill it proudly stood above the flood line facing. Its edges rolling down in a gentle manner that when cleared of the small forest of thin trees would allow for comfortable mowing. It was all that we had hoped in the price range we could afford. For less than 15,000 we became the proud owner of a little over 3 acres of wooded land.
I cannot express the joy that had filled our hearts as for the next few months we almost weekly found a reason to make the long drive to walk our small slice of heaven on earth. What hopes, what dreams did fill our heads as we imagined how it would be to see those scraggly trees fall to the ground and the comfortable home of our dreams take its place. What images of sweet fruit filled our dreams and with great excitement we visited our local Rural King to look at the baby chicks confident that one day soon we would be carrying our first set of little chickens to our new home.
That was early last year. Fast forward nearly a year latter and multiple calls to land clearing companies, our eager dreams have faded for the frustrating reality that we have once more fallen into the dull trying sea of wait and see. Wait and see when and if someone will ever clear the land so that our dream home has a place to go. Some calls went nowhere as the number was no longer in service, one was willing to clear our land of the handful of pine trees and leave behind the 99 percent of skinny trunk oaks that would prevent us from using our land and call it clearing our land for use, while another got mad because we kept calling after he gave us the answer to our question that we never heard because we had lost the signal.
At the beginning of the year we were certain we had at last found the person who would clear the land. The price had been given and agreed to, and we left with the confidence (along with 2 broken ribs my Father got from falling on the land that day) that it was only a matter of weeks before the heavy machines would roll in and the trees would fall to the ground. That was over three months ago and several calls that ended with the hopeful response, I am almost caught up call me next week and I can give you a better date. Until this week when the discouraging response was given, I have fallen behind, I am not sure when I can get to you.
Well that was about it for us, we were ready to bring this painful lesson of patience learning to an end as living between two worlds soon gets tiring. Reluctantly each one of us voted to put the land for sale, and with heavy heart we called the realtor who had found us our slice of heaven. But to our surprise instead of grabbing the chance to make a commission on the sale of our land, like an answer prayer (and indeed it was), he personally took matters into his hands by calling two land companies and going with them to get a quote.
So now much to our surprise we find ourselves back in the agonizing boat of wait and see. As for the next three seemingly endless weeks we wait and see if we at last get the call that we are hoping for where we hear the delightful words, get ready because on this specific morning the machines will purr to life and the next step of making your dreams a living reality will finally begin.