When we talked about our little farm homestead dream, the girls and I made it a five year goal. Little did we know that only a few days after, the most perfect little farm would present itself to us and within three months, it would be our new home.
Sometimes, I think God hears our inner most desires and wishes and when He’s got a few minutes between saving sick babies and enlightening world leaders, He gives a little wink and a nod.
Then things happen so quickly, you know they are divine.
How else could this perfect little three acres of rural heaven fall directly in our laps. Our little family of three – a recently single again mom and two wonderful teenage daughters.
Up to that point we had a rough ride. We lost our beautiful, big home in a lovely fancy neighborhood through foreclosure after divorce. We moved to a rental home at the edge of Detroit and upon fleeing there, bought a twenty year old moble home for $800 cash. We slowly fixed her up and got back on our feet. We were doing better, but there was no way we would qualify for a mortgage and we never imagined that we would be living on our little homestead within four months of making that five year plan. Yet the fates intervened and for a very little amount of $12,000, Windhaven was ours. Many cars cost more.
Now, we didn’t have that very little amount of money. In fact, we had only about three or four grand at most and that was from scrimping and saving like squirrels! We lived in our “Moby” as urban pioneers. Homesteaders… we did everything by ourselves, and we made do, and we learned just how tough we were.
We planted fruit trees and created raised beds. We grew lots of our own food. The last year we were there we harvested over 200 pounds of food from our little gardens around that mobile home. We even won second place in the best mobile home in the park contest and you can bet, that $200 went into our savings pot. We crafted and we learned how to can and to preserve food. We built what we could out of our own designs and a hammer and drill. We made that little worn out moby into a home.
Yet, we longed for something more.
Chickens, mostly. And maybe some sheep.
Now, don’t think I didn’t plot and plan to get a few hens and hide them in our storage shed. I even asked, in a round about way, if there might be ANY chance that we could make a little discrete coop because after all, the city did allow up to 5 hens in your yard. But the manager stood firm. No chickens. She loved that we were encouraging the other residents to plant pots of tomatoes and sunflowers along their homes because it generally improved the look of the elderly park. But farmyard fowl was the line in the sand.
So, we gazed at hatchery catalogues and learned about sheep handling and the different breeds through books and online, living vicariously through other homesteading families and their blogs. We found others akin to our dreams and we learned from them and visited their little acres of dreams. We bought fresh eggs from Frannie down the street and we shopped at the farmers’ markets and we dreamed of the day it might be our turn.
Little did we know that this property, that would eventully become Windhaven, would come on the market. I really figured there was no way it could ever be ours and I told my daughter Maggie about it and added, “well, we might as well not waste the gas, there’s no way we can afford that…” But thankfully, Maggie didn’t give up that easily. She said, “let’s go and look at least”. So we did.
Maggie and I made that long drive out to the country, leaving Jessy home for some reason that I don’t recall but at the time seemed important. She didn’t mind, she’s like that. When we pulled in the driveway of the forgotten little farm, all covered in snow and weeds and fallen branches, we were so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. It was everything we had visualized in our planning session. Everything. Mature trees, outbuildings, pastures, a hedgerow, a little creek, no close neighbors, and just enough acreage that we could raise our animals and a big garden, yet not so much that we would be overwhelmed. It was perfect. We didn’t even worry much over the house, it was just a house after all. We wanted the possibilities of the land and felt a true homesteading adventure was about to begin.
Even though it was chilly January, Maggie and I walked all over the place. We picked up little treasures, a broken plate, a few blue marbles and spent shot gun shells! We talked as if the place was already ours and I think, in our hearts, we knew this was home. We took pictures and did little calculations of fence lines and livestock for various buildings. When our toes were frozen, we left and chattered like magpies all the way home.
When we returned home and shared it all with Jessy, we got even more excited and we could hardly sleep. But then reality set in. The listing price was $18,000. We almost gave up without a fight. But something said to share this with their father, and we did. That very next day we showed him the photos and we talked it up, he just smiled and said, “let’s try for it”. He had a little nest egg that he was willing to share and he wanted his girls to have something more stable and lasting. We knew it would be hard, but there was just something special in the whole plan, that we had to pursue. With the help of our dear friend Jeff, as our realtor and guide, we managed not only to get the price down considerably, but managed to raise enough money to buy the place outright! It was so close, and we moved in broke, but that was fine with us!
Our little farm was ours and we would still have the equity in the land should it be a huge mistake. But it was no mistake. It was a dream come true and a chance to prove our nettle just like those homesteaders of the old west. We had our land and a few broken down buildings and our wits about us and little else. We could make this place a home through hard work, luck and a lot of prayers! We took one step forward and three back at times, but we are still working on our five year plan, it’s just we are a whole lot closer to our final dreams!
We hope you will enjoy this website on our homestead journey. From our newest little piglets to the chickens we adore, and our cat and dog companions, Windhaven is a living, breathing place that nourishes our souls and brings contentment to our hearts!
You can visit our blog at:www.TheMobileHomeWoman.com
“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds,
babes and sages, with open heart;
to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions,
hurry never; in a word,
to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.”
~William Henry Channing