As Thanksgiving approaches, I have so very much to be thankful for

 

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As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I have so much to be thankful for this year with regard to my homestead. Just six short months ago, I would drive down to the farm and look at the plot of land where I planned to build. It was an empty field. Then one day my dad and I pounded four stakes in the ground where we would eventually build. It seems like just yesterday I would dream of the house.

Today that house is so close to becoming a reality. It is a bit disappointing because initially I had hoped to be able to move in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That will not come to fruition, however, I still have many, many blessings.

Each step along the way we have been immensely blessed. There are so many things that come to mind including our search for a power pole. Some friends of our family had one and they gave it to us. We have also had people give us building supplies that they no longer needed. We’ve had people loan us ladders and staging that we needed that they were able to spare when we needed it.

The support that my dad continues to receive from his friends is unbelievable in the building process! There are too many people to name, but they know who they are, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. The most monumental day to date was the day that we raised the rafters. We could have not done it without the generous assistance of one of my dad’s friends and his son. Two people that deserve special thanks are his friends Lars, and my Mom’s cousin, Gene. Both have been faithful in helping him time and time again over the summer and fall.

I am so thankful that up to this point, all the lumber that we have used in the house has come from our land. I know at some point we might have to buy some lumber for a particular purpose. The fact that we have not had to yet is amazing. It was not easy, however. Night after hot summer night we would head to the farm and the sawmill. Just when I thought we were nearing the end, my dad would say we needed to take another tree down and saw it up. During those hot summer nights, it seemed like this phase would never end, and the light at the end of the tunnel seemed so far off.

I remember how many wild goose chases we went on looking for my perfect window. Each time I would come home disappointed. I had just about decided to settle on a window that I was not satisfied with. I decided to try one last place and found the windows of my dreams out in their old discount barn. That is an amazing story in itself, but I am waiting until I get the windows put in as you really need to see the windows along with the story.

I am also so thankful for what I have learned along the way. I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. I’d beg my father to teach me small things – how to use the circular saw, how to use the nail gun, how to hook up the generator. All these things that I am now proficient at. These are skills that I will be able to use the rest of my life on my homestead.

I am thankful that my mother has been amazing along the entire process. Not only does she let my dad go down to the homestead and work each day, but she typically goes along in case she can help. She prepares lunch so that they don’t have to come home daily for lunch.

Of all the things that I am thankful for, I think what I am most thankful for is the relationship that I have built with my father. My family has always been super close. My dad and I are both very similar and both very stubborn, which at times in the past has made working together interesting. During this project, we have definitely learned to work together better.

I am thankful for all of those who have been reading my blog. It has been such an amazing journey and I hope that people are enjoying following along.

This has been the journey of a lifetime. I am really trying not to focus so much on the destination that I miss the wonderful journey that I am on. Someday I do believe that I will move into my new home. Until that day, I am just going to be thankful that I have a home in Old Town that I can call my own, and I have a bedroom at my parents’ house that I can stay at any time I want.

 

Laura Reed

About Laura Reed

After 15 years in college athletics, the last seven as an assistant athletics director, I was burned out with 70-hour work weeks and extensive travel. I resigned my position and accepted a position in marketing at a small, vibrant college in my hometown of Unity, Maine. In the process I wanted to go back to my childhood where we raised polled Herefords, had a Christmas Tree Farm and spent many hours outside. I decided I wanted to build my own home on beautiful farmland that my family owns. With help from my Dad, the most talented person I’ve ever met, we are building my home together. I have decided to blog my experience – the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations. What was once an open field will one day be my home! The dream in my head is becoming reality. I can just see the lambs frolicking in the field, chickens in the barnyard and going running with my Alaskan Malamute!