As this leg of this peculiar little journey winds down, I find myself introspective. I know, already, that I will miss this remarkable land, these good people who have treated me as kin. "Why don't you come and live here?" is the constant refrain--from everyone, including myself, at times.
The irony of this nomadic journey is that my deepest interest lies QUITE tied to the Earth. Beyond the floaty and unreal world of performing arts, my heart flutters for FARMING--yes, that Earthy, dirty, do-it-yourself world of deal-making with Mother Nature, of nurturing plants, and animals, and ultimately oneself. Of humble rootings, and working an acreage of ones own.
Perhaps it is madness--but what would one expect from a girl rummaging about a cross-country journey. And, conversely, it may now make sense why I have been galavanting about the Midwest...to visit farm country, of course.
My problem is that I haven't found the right spot--either it's quite out of the budget, or too far, or too small. Yes, this prom date is awkwardly mismatched, always falling short of lead dancer status. Mostly, I worry about my little nest egg, and how far I can carry it towards a good and beauty parcel of Earth. I've had several close calls...and Iowa was no exception.
See, it's all Dawn's fault (that Heffa). As I mentioned, she lived on a long gravelly stretch of road not far from one of the Bridges of Madison county. On one of my excursions in her well-loved SUV, I sailed past her turnoff and, unaware, turned onto the road immediately after hers. I quickly realized, by the strange landmarks, that I was off, and was set to turn around, when I noticed a huge FOR SALE sign in the driveway I pulled up into.
AND THIS WAS THE VIEW:
Old farmhouse....plus rustic old red barn, old converted hog barn (into a garage), crunchy chicken coop, three sided shed. The whole thing screamed at me. Three acres of enchantment, and it was ALL on the same road as the Hogback Bridge. Immediately, I saw horse drawn wagons to the site, teas and picnics in pastures, a place for a heavy horse to graze, chickens and geese, a converted barn for dances or art classes...a million and one ideas for this property raced through my head...and NOW do you see why I can't be left alone by myself??
What eventually transpired was that I was shown the house (funny side note: the fellow doing the showing had ALREADY seen Dawn and I, because he had been in line AFTER us at the local icecream parlor the day before!), and this is what I saw:
The majestic old barn...
One of the side entrances of the Red Barn...here's an old ladder that leads to the hayloft. When I climbed it, I was immediately shooed away by a family of swallows, that galliantly tried to swoop at my head.
Three sided machine shed. SOMEONE can see a large gypsy wagon fitting in here!
Beautiful beams on the inside of the machine shed....
Ancient chicken coop...
Still totally smitten with this farm...
Unfortunately, though this lovely was offered for a SONG, there were reasons, and these were in the many repairs from it's age. The old plaster and daub walls were falling in some places, there was no stove in the kitchen, parts of the house needed rewiring, and even the beautiful barn had flaws....
So for now, this is a dream house only....but where does a nomad set down roots? There are imagined places, loved and dreamed about, but which ultimately run like a figment for a person who feels at times, lost--overtly inspired--restless--and not sure it the idea of settling down is worth as much as exploring the vast, wild world.....
UPDATE: for quite a while I've been teasing you with NEWS and indeed, many things have been happening since I've returned from Iowa. Behind the scenes, I have been wrestling with the idea of more security and by luck, I've managed to get a job in the Mother Of All Folk areas in America: Pennsylvania.
Indeed, steeped in history that dates back to the founding of the country, PA also is home to the original Amish community, and the place is filled with antiques, old food, ghosts and ghost stories, and plenty of folk and farm ways. THIS JOB IS FOR A YEAR AND A DAY, which seems quite olden-worldly and appropriate....and while I will expound on details later, I find this a perfect opportunity to get my hands on much more old-fashioned skills than one would typically find in the urban throngs of New York.
Of course, this new world is full of horses, and I consider this the crucial point for doing more Vagabond journeys! I shall try to see if I can train with them on a daily (or more regular basis), plus I would love to be a part of the artistic community, learn all sorts of things I could only imagine doing in my head (quilting, and FINALLY playing the fiddle, come to mind), plus so many other things that I shall detail in another post, soon.
I shall call this part of the journey The Pennsylvania Year. Tighten your bootstraps folks, it's going to be an entirely different level of mayhem!
I am looking forward to hearing about this latest adventure in your life! Best wishes to you and I hope you will be happy in your new position!
Oh what a beautiful and serene farm.
It is instant eye candy for the slow paced and country loving kind of soul.
I am so happy for your new venture in PA.
Oh, I hope to visit my family there sometime in the next year, and if that does happen, I would love to meet you :)
Where in PA? I live near Lancaster where there is a thriving art community.
I'm so happy for you! How exciting to be embarking on this new journey! I miss all of you renegade farmers and will have to make an extra effort to stay updated with your new adventures :)
Love your writing, Zan! Be well and happy in your new adventures!
I WANT THAT FARM HOUSE!!!! What was the price ? Oh please tell us the details soon. You're killing us!
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