I love my home, I really do. I am so amazed at how God provided this house (not the picture- that's my dream) for us, and what a blessing it is. We fully intend to raise our daughters here, and send them off from this nest into the next phase of their lives. Still, though, I dream of a home surrounded by trees and empty spaces of grass, instead of other houses and neighbors.
I grew up outside of town on 2 acres, with a garden in the summer, and sledding down the hill in the winter. My parents were organic before organic was cool, and we had a huge compost pile and a tiller to prove it. They made me eat whole wheat bread when it wasn't available in the grocery store, but could only be found in the health food store. Needing a loaf of bread required a special trip to the shop frequented more often by crunchy, vegetarian patrons than by my meat loving, school teaching, Christian parents. I could not believe the "misfortune" that I had been born to a family that preferred fresh vegetables and foods like pita bread (another rarity from the health food store in the 70's), to Doritos and candy. I thought of instant mac 'n cheese as an exotic delicacy similar to white bread in its allure.
Summer months were spent helping weed the garden and harvesting fresh, red tomatoes and corn, which had a 1 minute shelf life before being placed, still warm from the sun, on our dinner table. Vacations were planned around the garden, and when it would be time to can the green beans; it would never do to be out of town when the green beans were ready for harvest. They had to be picked, canned, and neatly loaded on the shelves in the basement for our winter pantry. Alongside them would go the corn, and beside that were row after row of whole tomatoes to be used for spaghetti sauces and soups until next summer. Many chilly fall afternoons found me in the basement, collecting the vegetables Mom needed for dinner.
I didn't realize then what a treasure my life was. I had a childhood filled with innocence, and was so blessed to have parents who weren't afraid to do things differently than "everyone else". I can assure you that their friends and family were more apt to subscribe to Better Homes and Gardens or Southern Living than Organic Gardening. Yet my parents quietly did their own thing, teaching me by example that living life in the way God guides you is your gift and responsibility as Christians. They gave me a solid foundation on which Rusty and I have built our own family, and are so grateful for. A foundation which apparently also carries with it a great desire to have acreage and grow fresh veggies. So these days I am dreaming of a home with land to grow a garden and where the girls can chase fireflies and gaze at an expanse of darkness, wishing on stars as I did so many summer nights. I am dreaming of a childhood of innocence for them, just like mine.