These things I will miss: our summertime swimming hole, our garden plot that somehow manages to produce the first corn in the valley every summer, the wonderful old four-story "chicken barn" with it's many nooks and crannies that the kids spend hours playing in, my flower beds, the amazingly crisp and juicy apples from our apple trees, and especially, sitting on our back porch in the cool summer evenings and listening to the soothing sound of the river rushing by.
These things I will not miss: worrying about kids and living so close to the river and road, feeling like everyone driving by is looking in our windows when all the leaves are off the trees in the winter, and especially, the log trucks that come barreling off the mountain and past our house at a hundred miles an hour--air brakes blasting at 6am. (sigh)
So...on to new adventures! But, before you get alarmed, don't worry. We're only moving about a mile away across the valley. Yep, only a mighty act of God could move us out of our beautiful valley! :)
I'm so excited to tell you about our new house, but first let me tell you why we are moving.
For the last few years, we have sensed changes ahead for our farm. For one thing, our farm is at the center of "town" and our community here and we have no way of expanding. Lately, we have struggled to keep our herd healthy as they suffer from overcrowding. We have built onto our barn as much as we are able and have simply run out of space. Poor cows...
Several years ago, a parcel of land and barns that used to be a dairy here in the valley came up for sale. We eyed it longingly, but were unable to buy it. It was divided into 20 acre sections and we were sure it would soon all be sold. However, the years went by and the economy plunged and only one section was sold.
Eventually, a good friend of ours who was looking for farmland to invest in decided to make an offer on the entire property. Along with preserving the farmland, his goal was to allow us to lease the land and barns and eventually buy it from him. Amazingly, his offer was accepted, and we were suddenly scrambling to adjust to the fact that our pipe dream was becoming a reality! Much number crunching, scheming and dreaming ensued, and a plan eventually emerged: we would move the main dairy and milking herd over to the new property (which still contained the bare bones of a milking parlor) and Grandpa and Grandma P. would raise all the calves at the old place. In addition, they plan to keep a small herd of milk cows to supply milk to our good friend, John--purchaser of the new property and maker of artisan cheese from our milk. See, benefits for everyone all around!
So...looking ahead...we have our work cut out for us! Here are a few pictures of the barns and milking parlor.
|Just imagine the possibilities!!!|
|The milking parlor|
|The tank room|
Now...on to the house. Our friend John was also given the opportunity to buy the farmhouse adjacent to the barns. It is a fun old house and we are in the process of remodeling it. It was in a sad state of disrepair, but it is coming along quickly and we hope to be able to move in soon. The plan is to get our family settled into the house in another month or so and to get the barns and parlor ready to move the milking herd over by the end of the summer.
Here are a few "before" pictures. The "after" pictures are soon to come. :)
|The addition--which we are making into a schoolroom and master bedroom.|
|The entire floor of the addition was rotten and we had to rip it out down to the dirt!|
|Another upstairs bedroom|
Rough, huh? These were taken a couple of months ago, though, and everything is much improved! :) The best improvements have been the floors. Nearly every room was carpeted with dirty, smelly carpets in hideous 70's colors (forehead smack--what were they thinking???)
Considering it is an old farmhouse, we crossed our fingers and sure enough, when we ripped out the carpet (and two layers of tile and plywood) we discovered beautiful wood floors. Yes!!!
The kitchen is about 3 times the size of our present one, and I am super excited to have a separate schoolroom and laundry room. Once we get the master bedroom finished in the back, there will be six bedrooms and two bathrooms--perfect for our growing family!! I am amazed at God's goodness to us in providing a bigger house and farm for us!
Stay tuned for the "after" pictures! ;)