A real homestead has mud. We live in the country for God’s sake! I can mop one minute and the next minute see paw and boot prints across the floor. We tried to have everyone take off their shoes as they came in. But who wants to come in the front door, unlace their boots, get whatever they came in to get, go to back door five minutes later, put on and lace up boots once again and then go outside? Everyone just tip toes across the floor (if the dirt doesn’t know you are inside, it won’t fall off!) leaving tracks in their wake. The dog is the worst. I do hope what my grandma always told me rings true. “People are there to see you, not your house.”
A real homestead has dust for the same reason it has mud. The fairgrounds are behind us and the wind that kicks up over there is impressive. They could film a dust bowl scene back there. The dust enjoys sauntering in and landing on freshly dusted surfaces. I dust once a week (if I am lucky) and the rest of the week I ignore the furniture.
A real homestead has the amazing phenomenon of immaculate to tornado status in 3.5 seconds flat. If you are home alone, and all the animals are outdoors, and the children are not there, and the hubby isn’t there either….bask for a few seconds because in a real homestead, real life happens and no matter how much we want the house to look like a magazine (ok, mine could pass in a magazine decoratively speaking but they would only have 3.5 seconds to photograph it) real life doesn’t look like magazine pages unless it is real boring!
Real homesteads deal a lot in poo. It’s a phobia we all best get over. From diapers to grandbaby’s diapers, to old dogs, to mass chickens, to your friend’s horse manure for the garden. Poo happens. Just have soap nearby for your hands.
Real homesteads are a three ring circus. There are more animal antics then Animal Planet television shows. Goats crying, chickens running around with bloomers flapping, dogs playing, cats trying to kill the dog, squirrels in the chicken coop, birds singing their hearts out just outside.
Real homesteads have great food. It’s a given. And on any particular night that you do not feel like cooking, head over to your friend’s homestead. There is guaranteed to have some fresh, home cooking on the table with enough to go around. No processed, no crap. Just straight from the source healthy ingredients and country lovin’s by the spoonful!
Real homesteads have great company. Chaotic, easy going spaces attract like minded people and there is always good laughter and great wine to be had when you have a homestead.
Real homesteads have security. Whether it be Smith & Wesson or the simple knowledge that your neighbors got your back, there is less fear on a homestead. Out here one does always notice a car that isn’t supposed to be there, or recognizes everyone they see, or knows what is going on from town gossip, so not a whole lot of surprises can come to a homestead.
Real homesteads have stars. They have brilliant demonstrations of light and Mother Nature so that we are secure in the fact that we are not in charge and we can just bask in the awe of the powers that be. From wind, to rain, to sun, to snow, from the lovely heat of a spring day to the full moon and stars at night, we become one with nature. Keenly aware of weather changes, animal migrations, seasons.
Real homesteads are built on good intentions. In my post, “The Handy Dandy Washing Machine” I bragged shamelessly about finding a way to get clothes spotless, fairly quickly, and the old fashioned way. Well, folks…after three months of bitter cold more often than I can remember and more snow than I can remember, the frost bitten fingers were getting old, the north wind was my nemesis, and the pile up in the laundry room of clothing and towels, and sheets, and everything else under the sun, was overwhelming. Then add in eight days of vacation and all the clothes from that. I handed Doug what was left of our savings and said, “Kindly pick me up milk, bread, and a washing machine.” I have never been so excited to do laundry in my whole life. Attempting to sooth my ego my dear friends, Kat and Rod, mentioned that I have a lot of irons in the fire and accepting this bit of help from a washing machine is okay. Also, when hand washing was the only way, women only wore two dresses! A few aprons to wash would be a heck of a lot easier to wash than the department store our house has become.
So, I admit defeat. I have a washer. Today I have fiddle lessons, tomorrow (weather permitting) a Master Gardening lesson, Wednesday is butter and cheese making with Nancy, spinning, planting, chicken incorporation, three homemade meals a day, honey bees are coming, shop to run, grandbaby to love, and a house of chaotic charm. I must have a real homestead!
So, whether you have a homestead in an apartment, in town, or in the country, happy homesteading!