Monday, July 20, 2009

Where This All Began

I woke up early this morning! I went to bed at about 1:30 am and then this morning at about 5:15 am I woke up. I considered going back to sleep but decided I wanted to stay awake. And now here I am an hour later, blogging.

When I was little, we lived on a ranch in Southeastern Arizona. Originally we lived in the antique-pioneer house. It was adobe and the ceiling in the living room was gone. My dad has always been a pack rat so one of my earlier memories are of a little trail through the living room to the woodstove in the back corner. My mother tried many times while they were still married to de-junk it and make more space for living. She also tried to make it more livable and prettier since it is, and always has, been falling apart.

My dad still dreams of buying the ranch (he owns a small share of it) and renovating what we now call "the old house," but he has never really done anything and probably never will.

When I was a few months shy of my second birthday, we moved to Salt Lake City for awhile where my sister was born (exactly one week after my birthday, ironically). Then we went and lived with my grandma for awhile. My mother refused to move back unless my dad got something better to live in. He found a trailer. The house was bigger (but not really living standard without some work and money that we didn't have), but the trailer was better.

I liked living on that ranch. We had a garden, dogs, goats, and horses. The neighbors (the only other inhabitants of the ranch) had the same as well as cattle and chickens. My best friend (she was born a few weeks before I was and was the daughter/granddaughter of said neighbors) roamed everywhere. We played in the creek when it ran in early spring (from off of Graham Mountain) and in the hot summer we would run barefoot from shade spot to shade spot (since we went barefoot almost year round due to the short, mild winters).

There was an outhouse off to the side and back of the yard which we never used because for some reason bees lived there (no idea why...). My dad's kids from his second marriage would come to visit and of course my best friend and I would follow my older sister and her friend (my friend's aunt) everywhere which of course annoyed them no end.

I loved it when we got to bring the baby goats in the house (for whatever reason) and feed them milk from calf bottles and following my dad around as he did the "chores." (Feeding the animals, watering the garden, milking, straining the milk, etc.) When there was a day when we butchered, I would go inside and sit under the cooler where I couldn't hear anything. Then when it was over, I would come out and watch my dad chop up the goat (hung from an obliging mesquite tree) into tasty bits of chevron.

I remember one night when I was three or four, my dad was going to go out to the outhouse to get honey from the bees and I wanted to come with. He didn't want to take me, so he told me that the bogeyman would get me. I knew he was teasing, but even if I hadn't I wouldn't have been afraid (my idea of the bogeyman: man in all black wearing a ladybug suit). I insisted so he took me with him (the bees were all asleep, I think), so he finally gave in and we came back with lots of tasty honey.

When I was almost seven, my mom decided she was fed up with my dad and moved out. We moved to a less secluded (the ranch was miles from any kind of neighbor and I loved it) place with two acres and a trailer. From then on out, all the places we've lived, we've never had much more than a garden, a few cats and the occasional dog. So I would pretend. When I was younger I would go out to bring home the (imaginary) cows with my imaginary older siblings (I'm the oldest of my mom's kids) and ride my bike pretending it was a horse. My sister wanted to play Barbies. I wanted to play Farm.

When I got older, we moved to Northern Arizona and when it snowed, I'd go and check on my pretend farm animals to make sure they were safe from the snow. I wanted to plant a garden but I never could remember to water anything I planted and when I wanted to do more than plant a seed and water it once or twice, I had no idea where to start anyways. I devoured the Mother's Children section of the Mother Earth News (we have years of back issues).

After I got to be 12 or 13, I kind of forgot about it all until just before my sixteenth birthday when I started looking at our old Mother Earth News issues. That's when I decided "that's what I want to do." And when I ran out of issues, I decided I wanted to see if there was anything on the internet. I googled all sorts of phrases containing the words "country," "farm" and "rural," but I never found anything until I googled "homesteading." That's when I found and A Homesteading Neophyte. I was so excited when I discovered people still do this and that, even better, they blog about it.

And after reading through two or three blogs, I discoverd that no one ever really started blogging until after they'd been doing what they were doing for awhile or they bought property. I wanted to know about it from before all that. So I decided to write my own blog. And here it is. :)


Mieke said...

You are one special girl. I really like what your saying and doing. In my opinion you already are a homesteader, after all, life is about the journey, not the arival. I hope to read many more of you and I hope you will keep following your heart.

Gemini said...

Thank you. And welcome to my blog. :)