Blossoms of My Life

Without a doubt, this daily prompt (Blossom) opens so many windows in my soul.  I once read a book entitled The Language of the Flowers that was at heart a kind of romance book, which I usually detest. But, embedded in this book was an understanding of the meanings for so many flowers — “Rosemary for Remembrance” and such.  I have always been a plant-loving nature girl, but this book brought new meaning to my appreciation of flowers and how they mark our lives.  There are flowers for celebration, love, mourning, anger, revenge, success, wealth, and a world of other sentiments.

When I originally began this blog, I was a homeschooling mom with two beautiful girls  reading and learning their way through high school.  I had a small heard of sheep, grew my own organic vegetables, and fancied myself as a budding homesteader. Life was like the snapdragon flower — full with days of  playfulness and fun, representing a hope for children. Every decision was made with the focus of raising happy, healthy, God-fearing, young women, confident in themselves, who they would become, and what they would have to offer the world.  As all situations in life happen to be, this was an ephemeral time of joy and happiness that was as fleeting as the snapdragon itself.  My girls are all grown up and pursuing adventures of their own.  And, it is so gratifying to still be their cheerleader and experience them cheering me on to my own pursuits.

Now that I am classified as what most would call an “Empty-Nester,” though technically my girls still live at home between college term breaks, I have decided to embark on a new life adventure.  I set sail on June 12, along with my sister, in a small car bulging at the seams with  provisions for a summer of working, playing, and hiking in Yellowstone National Park. It is an adventure that I have dreamed of since my early 20’s but never really saw as a reality because the joy and excitement of being a mom  stood as a beautiful towering mural on the wall of life in front of me, and I could not see over or beyond it.   I feel a strange bittersweet emotion deep in my soul that I don’t yet have a name for — a mix of remembrance of all the joys in life thus far, excitement for all the adventure ahead of me, fear that I’ll do something dumb like get eaten by a grizzly, thrill for all the beauty of the earth that I will witness, and longing to still have my babies with me for every adventure.  

Leaving behind a life of familiar comforts and taking to the road of adventure is a grand step out of my comfort zone.  A sense of sheer terror sometimes creeps upon me to think that everyday ahead of me will be totally unpredictable (I may not even get to have my usual morning coffee time.) But I say, “ADVENTURE HERE I COME!”  Lavender is my new life symbol flower, with its gorgeous and fragrant purple blooms.  With its exotic qualities, lavender offers the promise of new adventure.

 

Thank you to the Daily Prompt for sparking these thoughts.

Kindred Kottage: Exploring the Simple Pleasures of Life and Legacy

More than 15 years ago when my girls were small, I dreamed of living a self sufficient life on our small farm — raising chickens, milking a cow, spinning wool from a flock of sheep, growing our own food, and providing a happy, healthy life for my small family that I was sure would grow to at least 1/2 dozen kids.  Fast forward to today, and I am still dreaming that dream, at least part of it.   Some days (infrequent as they may be) I feel like it may just be one of those “if I could have just” dreams, but then I realize just how far I have come on my homesteading life journey. My small family (just me and my two girls) have survived divorce, a temporary stretch of city life, job loss, physical illnesses, education – public and home, “near poverty, rock soup lean times,” drought, storms, predator attacks, and countless hurdles over the last 15 years.  So, when I read the article “Start a 1-Acre, Self-Sufficient Homestead” from Mother Earth News a few years ago, the spark of THE DREAM surged again through my heart.  In hind sight, I take issue with how easy the article makes it all seem and plan to discuss openly with you here the honest reality of living sustainably on a small farm.

From somewhere back in my youth, a lesson from my papaw, the Watermelon Man, resounds continually in my ears and provides the fertile ground on which my life now builds. Growing up all my life on a farm meant for me long summer hours hoeing in the watermelon field with my grandfather.  He seemed to magically know just when my resolve to finish a row was about to melt away under the baking sun, and he would break the silence with a story or question or a life lesson that I was sure he heard straight from Ben Franklin himself.  He once explained, “Life an’ anything you want to accomplish is jus’ like this field of watermelons. They’s alot of work needs doing ‘fore the fruit’s ready, but all you gotta do is hoe it one row at a time.” That was one lesson I heard loud and clear, papaw.

I’d like to share my journey with you, including farming small ruminants, chickens, gardening, wool, fiber arts, wild crafting, preserving, sewing, home education, good books, faith, family, and anything else that life tosses our way.  My goal is not just to bombard you with post after post of instructions on how you should do this or that to be self-sufficient and happy, but just to honestly share my journey from a “Homestead Wanna Be” to where we are now — Exploring the Simple Pleasures of Life and Legacy at Kindred Kottage.