Those of you who have followed my blog for some time now will already have recognized that, when it comes to plans for the future, I change my mind frequently. Actually, DH and I like to say that we are Dreamers. We love making plans for the future, even though we know that a particular plan may not ever manifest itself and that it’s likely to change completely down the road…it’s the dreaming-about-it part that we enjoy so much. Keep this in mind as you read the following post, so that if I completely change my mind 3 months from now you can’t call me a flake, lol.
A while back I wrote about the desire to live in a house, rather than a condo. That phase was fairly short-lived. Eventually we realized that really we did not want a house in the city. For one thing, they are enormously expensive, and you seem to have to choose between having a garage for your car or having a yard. The lots are too small for both. So we’d gone back to plan A, which was to buy a condo in the city with a large balcony so we’d have some kind of outdoor space. And then maybe get some land somewhere that we could eventually put a cottage on (or a Yurt!).
Well, this past weekend DH and I took the kids out for a drive to the country, about 1.5 – 2 hours out of the city. This is where true acreages can be had, and for less than a house in the city. I saw a family pulling a horse trailer and was reminded of my previous life as an equestrian. I truly miss that lifestyle sometimes. I muttered something to DH about it, and he came up with this amazing idea – what if we did BOTH? What if we bought a few acres way out here but kept our apartment in the city. We could come into town for a few days to do our activities there (gym class, Ecology centre, homelearner’s dropins, Science World, and all that) and then go out to the country for a few days to relax and enjoy life out there. WOW.
The more we talked about it, the more I loved the idea. We checked the real estate listings and it looks like we can find 3 – 5 acres with a small house (no big houses need apply!) for a price that is low enough to allow us to pay a mortgage there and rent here (we’ve been in this apartment for 2.5 years now and the rent we pay is already well below current market conditions). So the two of us have been off and running with this latest plan and I’m very excited about it!
What makes this work is that we are homeschooling and DH’s new position will make it possible for him to work away from the office at times, thus it is likely that he will not need to be in the city 5 days a week. It also makes coming into town for concerts, evenings with friends, etc. more doable because we won’t be faced with a long drive home afterwards. Even if DH eventually gets a job where he has to be there Mon – Fri, he still wants to do this. As for me and the kids, it would be easy.
Today at the library I checked out a book called “Raising Horses on Your Small Acreage”. I also looked at books about raising chickens for fresh eggs, and a manual for country living written specifically for city slickers such as myself. Now, DH spent many a summer on his family’s farm in Croatia, and he also lived on a 25 acre winery in the Okanagan Valley during his late teen years, so he knows a few things about managing acreages.
I myself am dreaming of horses and ponies and long trail rides with the family on warm summer days. I’m dreaming of having dogs. I’m dreaming of trying my hand at organic gardening (DH will be in charge of growing the veggies!). I’m dreaming of having a little patio off the living area that looks out over acres of land untainted by any man-made buildings. I’m dreaming of spending a warm, rainy afternoon puttering around my little barn, cleaning tack and sweeping the aisle and grooming the horses and all those things that are like meditation for me, so positively soul-lifting in a way only another horse person can truly understand.
And yet I don’t have to let go of days like today, when the kids and I walked through the city to our amazing central library (pictured below), saw the cherry blossoms starting to bud, ate jumbo hot dogs from the yummy street vendors and grabbed a latte when DS fell asleep.
It seems like the perfect solution!