They say time flies when you're having fun.... Mmm? I don't know whether it has all been fun but I still wake up every morning feeling grateful for being able to live in our "little" piece of paradise. I guess things that are hard won through sweat and struggle are always appreciated and valued... by those that did the struggling, of course!
As a tree changer, twenty years on..... I have learned to be patient, to have faith that things will work out, to make mistakes and to have confidence in my abilities. I have also learned that I don't mind my own company. Not talking is a good thing, most of the time.
Highlights: So many but here are a few:
Being able to sleep in the house for the first time after 16 months of building it. No kitchen, of course (meals in the caravan) but it was great.
Getting the off grid solar power connected. No more noisy generator.
The rain falling on our roof and filling our water tanks for the first time.
Our first alpaca births on our farm.
Planting our espaliered orchard and building the chook yard.
Looking on in horror I noticed Myffy (our pet duck) emerging from the dam with blood all over her legs. Then she looked down and proceeded to peck at and eat all of the leeches off her. Go Myff!
Lowlights: You can't have the good without the bad:
Family health crises, especially when it's a child. So hard for the whole family and made more complicated when you live a long way from a major hospital.
The droughts - the second one was worse because we had stock. The alpacas were okay (they are good doers in harsh conditions) but trying to keep the cattle alive! I remember loading huge biscuits of canola hay onto the ute and then trying to feed hungry cattle in the hot, howling wind with dust and hay sticking to my face not helped by the fact that I was bawling my eyes out! My husband was in hospital, having treatment, so I was working and managing the farm on my own.
Animals dying...you never get used to it! It broke my heart just the other day with an old cow in her last hours. Our big Angus bull came over to her and made this sound that was full of anguish. He was saying goodbye to her. I am in tears now, just reliving this tender moment.
So while hubbie and I are still in good health and spirits, we will continue to live "out in the sticks" far from the madding crowd. I will continue to attempt to grow my own food, talk to my chickens and alpacas, every morning, learn new things, create in my studio and just enjoy life. Farm life really is the best.
Note: The bottom right images are of our front garden and paddocks in 2019 and then 2020 and 2021. What a difference the rain makes.