When I was younger, just becoming an adult, my dream was to build a home on land in southern Illinois that had been in my family for generations. I wanted a little cabin in the woods, with enough space to garden and enough privacy to feel truly free. I knew how I wanted to live; baking my own bread, reading in the afternoon sunshine, digging up dirt to grow tomatoes and sunflowers and carrots and peonies. I wanted fruit trees and rustic furniture, a gravel drive and chickens pecking about the yard, hand crafted art on the walls and home made wine in the cellar. Instead, I fell in love with a Canadian guy and moved to the frozen north.
Over the years, I worked elements of my dream life into my everyday as best as I could. I discovered I couldn’t stand living so far north and we moved to southern Canada. I still baked my own bread, gardened as best as I could in the cold weather, and grew my little menagerie from one cat to three plus a dog. I still wished for a goat and a cow, I still wished for space to feel free, and I still wished for a house that deserved a name.
Life is so short. If you only wish, you aren’t going to get anywhere.
My husband and I talked about buying a new house. We were outgrowing our condo and knew we wanted more, but every house we looked at fell short of what we wanted in a home. We stopped looking and started talking about what we really wanted, and it turned out that much of what we wanted was the same. We ached for space. We longed for something truly customizable to our needs. We dreamed about something not cookie-cutter, something where we could add on the items we really wanted, like a sunroom and an attached outdoor pet run. I fantasized about a greenhouse. He hoped for a games room for entertaining. We both wanted space enough to pursue the wishes we had. We both wanted a simpler life.
We decided it was time to plan instead of wish, and to begin to set things in motion. Our plan includes a name for our future homestead; Lonesome Cow Ranch, after the dairy cow we hope will be joining us. We hope to buy our little 1 -5 acre plot of land in the spring of 2016 and begin construction on a container home. Our eventual plans include animals, living as off-the-grid and off-the-land as possible, selling our wares and creations at farmer’s markets and online, a guest cottage for friends, family and possibly even for profit, and a life that fulfills us.
We are dreamers, but we are also planners. I hope you’ll enjoy following us on our journey as we carve out our own little bit of paradise from the life we’ve been handed.