I was going to come here and just say how I have decided on yarn, finally, for Nolan and Rachel's blanket - colors I wouldn't choose for myself, but colors I know she will like and with cotton yarn as I don't think either of them would appreciate wool. But as soon as I typed the title - Decided - I realized that maybe I should share about a much bigger decision we have made.
Mike and I have been going through a nearly year long process (which has led to lots of stress) of deciding whether or not we wanted to stay here on our little homestead, working on our handwork business, building our homestead or for us to sell and Mike get a "regular" job in a more populated area.
Some of the reasons we were considering a change included:
neither of us loving this business, I mean it isn't our passion,
only having 3.5 acres with the majority of it being wetlands,
being very isolated (4 miles down a gravel road in a very low populated area),
having no access to high speed internet,
getting tired of wondering if our income can continue to sustain us and keep up with the improvements that need to be done (new roof being very important)
But over the course of the year of going back and forth, thinking we would put our house on the market and then changing our mind, we have decided to stay because:
- our home is home to us and probably worth very little to anyone else, so moving anywhere wouldn't make sense financially
- starting over somewhere else would take a lot of energy. Our soil is finally beautiful. When we first moved here there were no gardens and it was mostly clay.
-we have unlimited, delicious water that continually flows outside because of any overflow from our well. Even if the electricity goes out or there is a drought, we will always have water.
-it is very peaceful here.
- we still have so much we can do here. Work on the drainage to help the water issues, make more fenced in areas for the goats, build a new chicken coop, plant more blueberry bushes and apple trees, asparagus and rhubarb.
- Mike and our son, Nolan, are going to rebuild our trailer and start a side business doing odd jobs for people in the area, mostly outdoor type yard jobs so that should help to relieve a bit of the financial pressure of having the handwork business being our only source of income
- We just need to be more balanced with our handwork business and work on reducing our income needs over time, such as growing and making more of our food
- Although we live in very low populated area, only around 500 - 600 people, we know so many people and that is reassuring and we do truly have a community here even though it can often feel very lonely
- With our two oldest sons just about on their own, Thomas has two more years at nearby Johnson State College and Nolan and his future wife will be living right down the road from us. Family is too precious to pick up and leave right now.
-Finally, and most importantly, we have freedom right now. Our own business provides us with the flexibility to care for one another when there is sickness, go to a one of Thomas' productions on a weekday afternoon, work on homesteading chores off and on throughout the day.
Our time together is really what is most valuable, something that if taken away can never be given back.