One version of the American Dream, for a man to own his very own share of land, to work it, to build his own house with his bare hands.
We'll never build our own house with our bare hands, but the dream is to secure a single sprawling piece of property to call our own, to hand down to our kids and their kids.
I've never wanted to live "in the country." I thought contentment would be to live in a clean, friendly neighborhood with easy access to the grocery store and library. I thought this modest, comfortable house we had would be the one we'd grow old in, our permanent place.
I'm not quite sure what inspired us, but it seems Miner and I are on the same page: we want a house outside the city limits, with acreage, woods, creeks, a pond. It sounds like heaven, strangely. In times past, I thought living far away (relatively) from Lafayette proper would make me feel isolated and lonely. I thought being out in the "boonies" would exacerbate depression and disconnect.
I don't feel that way anymore. I am overwhelmed, thinking of waking up to the sounds of nature in the morning, to look outside and see the frost clinging to our grass as far as we can see. I imagine walking back into our woods in the chill of an early November, leaves crunching under my shoes, looking up through the pine lattice to see the foggy morning sky.
And in the summer, kicking through a path we created, back to a rusty colored stream trickling through the bluffs. Our squirrells, our mockingbirds, our woodpeckers, our dragonflies.
Such a place is out there for us. It will be the consummate puzzle, trying to find a large enough house for our family with ample land, yet easy access to the city, and within our price range.
It can be done. The next year holds a lot of work for us. We've got to get this house in shape for selling and get rid of all the stuff we've accumulated over the years. Preparation could drag on through next summer before we're ready to troll the real estate listings, but we're patient. We can wait.
God brought us to this desire for a reason, so I know He has the most suitable home set aside for us. It's only a matter of time.