We might as well call this homestead -ology, because we are totally learning so much as we go. Some of it, you would never even guess had to be taught. For example: We had just arrived at the homestead, and finished unloading our stuff into the barn, and then the first call of nature HIT. Reality set in…
Missed the first part of our homesteading journey? START HERE!!
When you GOT TA GO
“Mama… I have to go potty…”
Bet you thought that was the kids asking me….. nope, Nope, NOPE!!! That was legitimately what I next said to my mom. WOW… I never thought I would ever have to announce THAT to her again…
She stared at me blankly…. it was a Mexican stand off for a minute, like in the old western films, everything but the chew and spit; I knew that look all too well.
To save face, in admitting that I had no idea what to do next, I offered to drive the 20 minutes back into town, to take the children, and myself (and anyone else who wanted to go) to a bathroom.
She laughed and said, “don’t go into town, you just need to pop-a-squat”. “A what?” “Come-on over here, I’ll show you…”
Sure enough… “Mama, how do you bend your knees like that? My knees hurt just watching yours….” “We used to have to do this so much when I was a young.” Wow. Consider my initiation ceremony into homesteading complete…
That was like losing your homestead virginity 101.
Homestead Project Numero Uno
After that, we realized really quickly what our next project was: building a toilet. It wasn’t anything fancy or glorious, and we decided to do it the old fashioned way, and decided to invest our money in building up the homestead in different ways.
The first night was an adventure, we stayed in a camper at first, that we had renovated and given a make over, since we knew it was a temporary solution, why waste too much money and time over glorifying what it was. It was simply a place to sleep, without getting eaten up by bugs.
Speaking of which, wow. I have never seen so many in all my life. There were certainly more of them than all the bushes and trees in our new jungle. We learned soon enough, that to avoid them, we needed to sleep in past the dawn, and get in the camper before dusk every evening, or they were out in force. The “no-see-ums” were worse than the mosquitoes, due to the incredible bats that had taken refuge in the rafters of the barn.
One thing I was not prepared for when we arrived on the homestead… ok, there was a lot that I wasn’t prepared for… was the noise of the wildlife at night. We had just taken refuge in the camper for the first night, and we lay on our bellies, admiring the vegetation all around us, outside the barn.
Though we spent the day battling the weeds, in order to pick blackberries with the kids along the road, at night we sat back and relished that it was ours.
That this new adventure we had embarked on was exciting, and wild, and it felt like a new frontier to us. The possibilities were unknown, and the unknowns were endless. Laying there in the camper, we saw the fireflies light up the night sky, and saw our first snake, a copperhead, slithering through the barn where it met its ultimate demise right next to our picnic table.
Nature Calls… Again?
We heard a sound reminiscent of a whinnying horse in pain, which we recorded and later identified as a whippoorwill singing us our first evening taps.
We heard so many sounds that first night on the homestead, surrounded by nature and completely out of our element. Sounds so different from the hum of electricity from the home we had just left. Sounds so unfamiliar that it seemed comfortable sleep would never come. The crickets were so loud, all around us the frogs and crickets trumpeted their songs, seemingly having a competition to see who could outlast the other.
There we lay, our eyes heavy with sleep, until we could evade it no longer.
Parent-Child Relationship Mentor
Homesteading Mother of 4 (and 3 in heaven)
Thank you for reading todays article!!