The Past and Our Future

I find it amazing at times to look around this area where our homestead is located and see all the changes that have taken place since I was a little girl. I have lived here all 32 years of my life, minus two years of checking out the grass that looked greener on the other side. Growing up, we hd to drive 30 minutes to the closest store, and on that drive there was no traffic, no red lights, and, for those of us that rode in the back seat, no seat belts. Just lots of pastures and trees to look out the window at.

Nowadays, it doesn’t even look like the same place. Bee Caves has become its own little city. Spicewood now has subdivisions and apartments. I can get to the grocery store in 15 minutes now, and rarely even drive into Austin.

In some ways this is heart breaking. Seeing so many properties that were once covered in grazing cows, galloping horses, and pretty gardens turn into Baby Gap and ‘Throw-Up-Housing’ can be hard to swallow. It’s not that we are the type of people who want to hide in the woods and pretend the world is going to disappear, it’s just that time is leaving it’s mark on this beautiful country. It’s loosing it’s country character. More and more roof tops are dotting the horizon, and where you once could see miles and miles of open space, is now gone forever.

These things often show us how different we are from some people. I had some friends out one day that were going on and on about how exciting it was that the Bee Cave Galleria was going to open soon. I remember just staring at them and saying “How many clothing stores do you need? We have so many already, how many ranches are left?” I got the “LoOoser” look. Eh. Who cares.

I remember another conversation that I had with an old friend who mentioned that he knows people whose lives have been changed forever by inheriting family land and selling out. The just of the conversation was “How quick are you gonna sell?” I left feeling kinda sick to my stomach.

Saying all that does not take away any of the love that we have for this place. It’s actually just the opposite. It makes us so proud to have a rare working homestead/farm in this area of the Texas Hill Country, and to be doing it completely organic! It’s gorgeous here. The lush green fields, the rolling hills, the beautiful views. All these are part of our everyday life.

This morning Preston and I spent some time talking about our future and the dreams it holds, as we often do. Something that we have dreamed of for a long time is taking this place to the next level and opening to the public on a larger scale. Building a General Store, where people could come to get local, organic produce, meat and poultry, eggs, dairy, and honey. Being able to team with other local farmers to create enough variety to meet demand. Having a full selection in one location, where people could get everything they would need to stock their freezers and pantries with wonderful food.

The influx of growth to this area certainly makes that dream seem easier to obtain.

But there are many, many details in that dream: licenses, building, training, partnering. It’s still years away, as our Littles would have to be Bigs to help out! But the dream is still there, ever-growing, rotating, expanding and becoming more real with each new addition to our farm.

Life is an amazing journey. No one could have told me 20 years ago that I’d be homesteading and farming now. I wouldn’t have believed it! I was gonna move to the city and be a music professor, but just look at our family now! This morning I fed 77 animals and 3 children breakfast,  milked 4 goats and a cow, banded 5 bucklings, homeschooled, made homemade pizza, (with our own crust and cheese), for lunch, and cleaned out the barn. And I LOVED every minute of it! Preston has been outside all day building bee hives.  My children just came in the door covered head to toe with mud, because the past 2 hours they have been playing out in the pond, having a blast! This is our life. Where ever the future takes us, I am eternally grateful for what we are experiencing now, and we have great hopes for what our future will hold.

I have certainly learned to Never say Never to anything that can be done. You just don’t know what you can accomplish until you get out there and try!

 

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5 thoughts on “The Past and Our Future

  1. I think it’s amazing what you all are doing and I commend you for it. There are always going to be shopping complexes popping up b/c for some reason there are always going to be a lot of people who want to go to the same places. I like to shop here and there but I agree we don’t need the same cookie cutter clothing/electronics/whatever stores every few miles. Whatever happened to originality and variety? 😦 Can’t wait for your general store to get up and running.

    I don’t think you are weird at all to think what you think and what you said to your friends. Y’all are just different. And if you are happy with where you’re at…it just means you got there a lot faster and at a younger age than most folks. They just don’t get it. Your life sounds amazingly fulfilling to me. I love reading about what you’re doing and I’m happy Mark and I can bee (haha, couldn’t resist) a part of it. See you manana!

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the commercialization of what’s left of our rural spaces. Concrete can be so oppressive when you’ve watched it being laid over places that had been hard wood forests or pasture land. Unfortunately, some of our neighbors worked hard to bring that to pass and see their only future (and a lot of fortune) in continual development.

    I admire that you and your family have chosen a different path. It’s not the “easy” decision these days.

  3. We are working on our own homesteading dream in East Texas. However, we are on the other side of it with this as a semi-retirement property and dreams of our grand-children playing in the mud!

    I laughed out loud when I read your post on ordering chickens. I too can pass on designer purses and shoes, but give me the choice of another fruit tree or a pair of peacocks (the last time friends questioned my sanity), and I am helpless to resist!

    So happy to hear your stories!

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