Sunday, July 21, 2013

July Monthly Moos {Our Farm Story}

The entrance to our farm
 

This is the story of our farm.   As I've been pondering this blog post,  I keep thinking I need to leave out the beginning of the story, but it's a big part of how we came to the place of buying our farm so I can't really leave it out. 

Our driveway through the woods

It starts like this:  before my husband and I ever got married (31 years ago) he told me he wanted to buy a farm someday.  So, during our first 20 plus years of marriage when he had a good job as a Mechanical Engineer and we were raising our two children, we would talk often of retiring early and buying a farm.   In 2005, when we were just a few years from acting on that dream, the unplannable happened:  I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I was 42 years old.  Our daughter had just married, our son was in his first year of college. 

The first glimpse of our house as you come through the woods.

 
I remember clearly the first words that came out of my mouth when the Breast Surgeon gave me the news.  I said, "My husband and I were going to buy a farm.  I'm afraid that now this will change everything in our lives and we won't be able to buy our farm."  I'm sure he wondered about this crazy woman, but he was kind and said, "Lets just take it one step at a time". 

Our beautiful pond and the main source of water for our cattle.

Fast forward over the surgeries and the chemotherapy to my last check-up with the Breast Surgeon and his words to me, "Dori, it's time for you and your husband to find your farm."  I had actually forgotten my words to him and it tells you what an amazing man he was that he had remembered.

My perfect garden plot at the bottom of the hill.


So... the hunt was on! We had always dreamed of moving to the Southeast and with a daughter and son-in-law in Alabama we decided Tennessee would be the place to start looking.

The first glimpse of the hilltop - notice my husbands smile!
 
Long story short, it was Thanksgiving 2005 that we followed a sign on the highway that said "Farm For Sale" and drove across a pasture, through the woods, meandered up a hill, slowly climbed another hill to the hilltop. 

Thanksgiving 2005 - Our family
(My hair just growing back from chemo!)
 

Our daughter and her husband, and our son were with us and we got out of the car and stood there with our mouths hanging open.  We looked at each other and said, "this is our farm".  And 4 months later, it was!
 
The view north from our house.
 
It was six years, in 2011, before we were actually able to retire and move to our farm, where the work really began!  (If you haven't already read about it, you can read all about our farmhouse progress here.)
 
The view east from our house towards our daughter's house.

During those six years before we were able to move, our daughter and her husband drove out to the farm from their home across the border in Alabama, to hike around and check on things.  It was on one of those trips that the farmhouse they had always admired just down the road, was for sale!  Long story short - they bought it and moved a few years before we did!  We cannot see their house from our farm, but we can see the the red rooftop of their neighbors house! 
 
The view west from our house.
 
 Maybe you can understand why this farm means so much to us.  It was a lifelong dream for my husband, a miracle for me, an incredible and amazing bonus to have our grand-babies just down the road, and it felt like we belonged from the first time we stepped foot on it. 
 
The view south from our house.
 
We love that we have an ever changing view (in every direction) from our house.  We love that we have a taste of the smoky mountains by the "smoke" that rises from the hollows.  We love that we see our cows every day.  We love the friends we've met that, in just two short years, feel like family to us now.  We love living so close to our grown children.  We love everything about being here on our farm....  listening to the birds during the day, the sounds in the woods at night, and how everything grows!  We even love to mow (and mow and mow)!
 
Our driveway coming out of the woods and around the bottom of the hill.  (That dead tree you see there by the road in the woods is going to be cut down soon.  It is massive though and will be a huge job.)
 
Thanks for visiting our farm! 

30 comments:

  1. We live in Huntsville, Alabama, and I assume we are not too far from you. I love your blog, your farm, your creativity. Thank you for sharing so much.

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    1. Jean, you are right - we are not too far from you! Isn't North Alabama and South Tennessee such beautiful country? Thanks for reading and commenting - it means a lot to me. ~ Dori ~

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  2. Hey, Dori. I have never commented on a blog...but must say, I was given a subscription to a magazine that featured blog awards. Being new to the idea of "following" a blog, I have been delightfully encouraged and inspired by "Keeping it Cozy". From there, I happened along to your blog and continue to be warmed and uplifted. Your post today, once again, touched my heart. I wanted to "write to you" to thank you for the joy your blog brings to my life and to thank you for sharing a little of your journey. It's been said many times how richly you bless the lives around you...but I just wanted to extend that and express how "contagious" your love for life is. May the Lord continue to bless you, Miriam

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    1. Dear Miriam, thanks so much for your comment and your kind words. It is amazing how much comments mean to me and how much I enjoy reading what each person writes. How fun that you follow Keeping It Cozy also (did you know she's my daughter?). Thank you again, Miriam. ~ Dori ~

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  3. Hi Dori, just a quick note, been a reader for awhile. You are an amazing woman, and to share this was a blessing to us all.. Love your farm.. Are you close to the Smokiee? We try to visit the Smokies yearly, we are only about 4 1/2 hours away in Kentucky.. Yep, Im a Kentucky Country girl... and your post about life, canning, house building and farming right up my alley.. Thanks for inspiring us all.. God BLess You..
    p.s. I love Keeping It Cozy too.. :) Have a wonderful week... Connie

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    1. Dear Connie, thank you for your comment to me and for reading my blog. It means a lot to me. We are not close to the Smokies! We actually have never been that far East, but looking forward to taking a weekend there when we get our house completed. We need some time off from this busy retirement! :-) I love Kentucky - we once looked at farms for sale in Kentucky. It too is a very gorgeous state. Thank you again for reaching out to me. ~ Dori ~

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  4. I love the story of your farm, Dori! The photos are beautiful and it is so easy to see why you love your farm. You must be happy to just jump out of bed every day and look at all you're surrounded by. I read your daughter's blog as well and am charmed by the stories and photos - I love that you both share what you love. Your family photo (pre-farm) is delightful. I don't comment every day but I'm always out there reading your blog. Thanks for sharing! (and I can't wait to see the house and the move-in)

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    1. Thank you Linda, for reading my blog and for always being one of my "faithful commenters"! I always look forward to hearing from you! And yes, I love the first view out my windows each morning - the beauty is oftentimes astounding. Thanks again for your kind words! ~ Dori ~

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  5. Okay...don't know if I am emotional this morning, but I sat crying as I read your story. I love when dreams workout, and the timing falls into place, and most of all when there is peace that surrounds it all! Love, love, love happy(in real life)endings. Thanks too for starting your story from the beginning...gives even more depth to the story.

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    1. Thank you Darcie - I think I had the hardest time writing this post because oftentimes it is so hard to share things that are so personal - but when they play such a big part in our lives it is also hard to leave them out. I know that as a fellow blogger you really understand that sometimes we just have to put ourselves out there. I appreciate your sweet comments. ~ Dori ~

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  6. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Your story and your farm make me cry in a good way. Reading your blog gives me a peaceful feeling way down in my heart. Hugs!!

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    1. Oh Val. NOBODY knows how to write like you do - so I take it as a huge compliment that I made you cry in a good way! I cry in a good way always when I read all the things you have written! Hugs to you too. ~ Dori ~

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  7. Love your story of your farm. :) Everyone has a story and your breast cancer is part of yours so thank you for sharing that personal part. I see why you fell in love with it. So so beautiful!! :)

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    1. Dear Gina - you are so right... everyone has a story. Amazing how hard it is to tell it sometimes isn't it? What made me finally write mine was that I recognize how much I love when others share their stories. Thanks for reading and commenting - it means a lot to me. ~ Dori ~

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    1. Thank you Debra! (How did your final skirt come out with the different elastic?)~ Dori ~

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  9. What a beautiful story with a happy ending. Our farmhouse is so extra special to us also - it sets on a very special piece of land by the cabin that my father-n-law adored. He gave us that land before he lost his battle to cancer two years ago yesterday. He would have so loved to have seen this home finished but he didn't make it - but I know he looks down on us and his memory is all around us. God bless you and your story and may all your days ahead be happy and healthy.

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    1. Thank you Cathy. And you are so right - your father-in-law would've loved seeing your gorgeous home and your landscaping too. I refer to your home so many times when I'm trying to make a decision (especially in my kitchen!!!! I was trying to explain to my husband about why I wanted the open shelving and I used your kitchen as my example!) Thank you for reading and commenting. It is amazing how much it means, isn't it? ~ Dori ~

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  10. This post really touched me. I'm only 33 right now but just recently my husband and I have been discussing the very real possibility of buying a farm in about 10 years which is way before retirement age! I grew up in the city but visited my grandparents farm every summer for a couple of weeks. There was always something so peaceful about it. I never realized how much I want to live in the country until we bought the 6 acres we are on now. Every day, my heart is tugging me more and more in the direction of farming than I ever imagined. I'm so happy to read that your story continues happily down that path despite the huge challenge it took you to get there. I'll be anxious to see the pictures of the house and read of your adventures in this new chapter of your life.

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    1. I love it when people move to the country and recognize all the wonderful things it brings into our lives. Like you said: there is a just a peaceful about it. My husband took an early retirement - we knew that if he watied to "retirement" age we wouldn't be able to work like we can now. Yes, it is a definite financial sacrifice and a decision that we weighed heavily. We haven't regretted one day of it. Thanks for following my blog and for your sweet comments. ~ Dori ~

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  11. My Dear Friend Dori, as others did, I too read this with tears streaming down my face. I am overjoyed to hear and see you so happy! What a beautiful piece of earth..I can understand why it's everything you and Eldon wanted! Reading your blog makes me feel like I am right there with you..taking it all in! I am so thankful we can connect in this way..sending much love..Tracey

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    1. Dear Tracey - all I can say is I miss you. Can you and Jaimie come visit us?! Thank you for your sweet comments. You, better than anyone I know, understand what it is to have dreams put on hold. I recognize and value that I have so much to be thankful for. Big hugs ~ Dori ~

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  12. What a beautiful story, Dori. I am so glad that you get to live your dream. I know your husband is thrilled to build that house for you. God is good! Your daily grateful spirit will make everyday special. I'm excited for you and your future..

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    1. Thank you Betty. I think Eldon is very thrilled to build our home - exhausted, ready to be finished, completely emotionally ready to be done.... but certainly thrilled interwoven. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and to write. ~ Dori ~

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  13. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. You and your family are truly blessed and the best thing about that is that it is very evident that you realize how blessed you are. It has been wonderful reading as your dream house is coming together and this story is a huge piece starting at the beginning - thanks again for sharing.

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    1. Diane, It is more true than ever before that it is very important to see that we are so very blessed. We do thank God and apreciate our home and farm; I'm always afraid that the day will come that view around us just becomes common. Thanks for reading and wri

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  14. I just "happened" onto your blog yesterday and spent into the late hours reading your amazing story of your farm. How awesome! I am so happy for you and your husband. Happy you were able to come through breast cancer and happy you found the farm of your dreams. You are inspiring. We would love to have a farm in a place as beautiful as Tennessee. We are actually vacationing there this fall. For the first time. And I am "hoping" that by some miracle :), we happen upon our own piece of heaven on earth.
    My sister moved to Tennessee a few years ago from California and they have never been happier. I can't wait for our trip. I am looking forward to the rest of your story as it happens. God bless.

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  15. Hello,
    I just found your blog today and I'll tell you that I will definitely be back again and again! Your pictures are lovely and I'm so glad for you that you could get the farm and things you've dreamed about and still have your family close. God is Good in how He works all that out for us!
    Have a good day!

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  16. Hello,
    I just found your blog today and I'll tell you that I will definitely be back again and again! Your pictures are lovely and I'm so glad for you that you could get the farm and things you've dreamed about and still have your family close. God is Good in how He works all that out for us!
    Have a good day!

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  17. Hello,
    I just found your blog today and I will definitely be back to 'visit' again and again. Your pictures are lovely and I'm so glad that you were able to get the farm and things that you've always wanted God is Good in that He takes care of us that way.
    Have a good day!

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