We rambled up the long driveway in our old truck and took in the view of the alpaca farm down the hill and the glorious eastern horizon where the sunrises will glint down upon the plants and through the numerous trees that reside on his property.
“I really feel that the sage is here to welcome you,” he said. I was struck and honored at his words. The sage is prolific there. It grows rampant this year among the many Cherokee roses. The prickly pear and the mullein are all there. Pines so tall they can recall when the Kiowa Indians roamed these hills and called them home.
The owner of this property is well respected, a friend of mine, who works in an emotionally challenging job helping the ill and passing. He lives in this large home alone. He needs help here. It is a glorious home that holds the spirits of his parents that built it. Sparkling ceilings and medicine bags in the foundations. The property has a retreat-like property and vortexes abound. It is a special place. We will live here for a year. We will help him sort and get ready to let this beautiful house go as he moves on to his next journey next autumn.
In the meantime we will have acres of medicinal herbs and trees to use and protect. Sunrises that greet us through the walk out basement doors. Three more cats to add to our menagerie. One of his chickens approached me in greeting. A wood cook stove and wood stove to help supplement heat. A kitchen upstairs for me to make sure everyone has sustenance. I feel quite well received here among his mother’s things and the spirit of the house and land. I found Doug in a recliner with one of the house cats on his lap. I think we’ll be real happy here.
It is two miles from my shop so a brisk morning walk will take place each day but that, perhaps, is a part of the hidden blessings. Since becoming homeless and losing everything three months ago we have been swimming several times with our granddaughter and friends, to Utah, to a winery, in an airplane, sang on our son’s album, have visited, and made friends. We have dreamed, comforted, and become fiercely grateful for everything. We are more flexible and need less. We will be content with a bed and two chairs before a roaring fire as the snow drops silently outside the window upon the world of peace and quiet. Cats curled up near us. A table. A bookshelf. Cups of hot coffee. That is all. That is all we really need anyway. Each other and an enjoyment of this life right here and now is what we’ll thrive on.
There are things we have really missed since moving out to this homestead in Calhan. We miss the people of Elbert County. We are there quite often for this or that, our bank is there, our daughters work there, but we are also far away. I love going to the grocery store and it taking two hours because I know someone in every aisle and stop and visit with them. I love knowing everyone in a restaurant. The ladies at the bank ask how the kids are. I miss the smiling faces of the girls at the library. I love Elbert, Kiowa, and Elizabeth and their shared camaraderie and all the people they hold.
Our wonderful, long-time friends are letting us move into their guest room this week. We will be two blocks from our friend who has sweet Isabelle the goat. Back in a small town where we can walk to the convenience store and the library, take in the sunrises, and wave to folks walking by at dusk. A place to garden and a place to paint. Friends to laugh with.
We are heading home.
I really need to stop making plans. For some reason the universe has something magnificent planned for us and apparently none of my plans are fitting into that scheme. I must follow my gut feeling. That I have learned. I must listen to Doug’s too. There aren’t really any details to share, just that at the end of next week we will officially be vagabonds (aka homeless). I forgot what plan we were on…plan M or something? I just know plan A, B, C, D and so on fell treacherously to fate. Doug always says the old phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” My school will still be alive and well as it follows me. But I hate to utter that for fear the universe hears I have a plan!
We are grateful, for it could be much worse. Neither of us are ill, no cancers, no injuries. Our children are great and healthy and alive. We will be able to keep our cats for the time being. And we are blessed with many, many great friends. We are just going to have to take this one day at a time. There will be many delightful adventures to write about!
It has been awhile since we have gone on a field trip! And you readers are going with us! Our dear, dear friends that you either know or have read about here, Rodney and Pat, offered us a nearly free vacation this weekend. We are all hitting the road tomorrow for Salt Lake City and you are coming with us! So pack your bags, we have eating, window shopping, ghost hunting, and sight seeing through northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah to do.
We’ll move on to the next great adventure when we get back but this weekend is just for rest, play, and celebration of life and friends!
We are quite out of room but I found yet another spot to grow things. In another part of the driveway, lining the raised bed garden, we prepared four spots for trees. We put down cardboard in a 3×3 square and topped it with three inches of mulch, namely soiled half broken down straw from the chicken and goat pens and coffee grounds. We watered it but Mother Nature has taken over the watering and each day gives it a good soak.
Two weeks ago the ground was hard. Only a few inches of ground could be disturbed. The wet cardboard and breaking down compost is creating a wonderland beneath the soil. The moisture is staying in and the ground should be cool. Tunnels of earth worms might be frolicking about and creating air and fertilizer beneath. In a few months we will plant four fruit trees. We will cut through the center and dig just deep enough to set the bundle of roots in then quickly cover it again with more wood chips, mulch, and compost. The cardboard will continue to break down and the nutrients will feed the trees. In the meantime, groupings of mushrooms that look to be homes for fairies are growing in the mulch. (Does anyone know what kind they are?)
We are renting a farm. This makes us vagabonds in a sense. A feeling of permanence is never with us. An underlying worry plagues us if we are not careful. Will we need to move? Should we move? Is there a better farm? Is there a place in the city that we could farm and help more people? Should we stay where we are because we love so many folks around here? Would I even be able to get a hold of the landlord to ask? These questions can usually be shhhed with a glass of wine. I try to not think and let the pieces of our life fall into place as they may. In the meantime, we are planting trees. Permanent? Yes, but a gift to the earth and the next occupants of fresh apples can only be a positive. And perhaps if we are here long enough, we will enjoy a few harvests.
If you rent a space, do not rule out about making improvements or planting trees and perennials. They will gift those that come after you, the wildlife, the bees and birds, and yourself while you live in that spot. The world is ever changing, as are our lives, and there are no guarantees that we will stay in one place, even if one owns a piece of property. For it is never really ours. Everything on this planet is on loan and our lives are in constant change, so enjoy where you are now and perhaps plant a tree!