This image perfectly captures the purpose and dream behind Green Acres. This is my son, Brave Heart, walking arm-in-arm with my mother in front of me as we explore our new land together as a family. My heart wants to explode with joy when I see this picture and many others I have already taken in our FOUR DAYS of land ownership.
We closed on Green Acres on Friday and, thus, started a flurry of activity on the part of our entire family. On the day of the closing, The Outdoorsman and I got our new driver’s licences at a rural DPS office in the area. Pretty sure a whole new world awaits us since the one closest to our farm is only open two days per week and this one had only one person in line in front of us and cheerful music playing in the entire fifteen-minute-as-opposed-to-fifteen-hour ordeal we are accustomed to in the greater Houston area. (I promised the DPS employees there I would not divulge the location when I told them the sad state of affairs in our area!)
After we got our licences renewed with the farmhouse address, we drove about 45 miles to get the water put in our name, met the electric company employee at the farm to hook up our meter, and drove back to Austin to stay for the night. The next day, we drove back to Houston and did major manual labor and errands at our current house in order to get it on the market next weekend and loaded up two huge trailers full of items to haul up there the next day. On Sunday morning, my little nuclear family met at our house in the morning and helped finish packing and strapping things down before we began our new adventure. During the trip to the farm, we had a lot of fun pulling the two trailers to the property and made sure to enjoy the day as we unloaded and moved things around in the farmhouse and barn.
For me, one of the highlights of my day was the fact that Brave Heart is now close enough to us in proximity that he actually met us on the property with his sweet girlfriend. They spent the entire afternoon with us walking the property and discussing plans for the next couple of weeks. Just the fact that I can see him in less than an hour is absolutely thrilling for me. It means many more unexpected visits from him and the ability to visit him on any evening in the future. My heart could not be any happier to be so much closer to all three of our children. Thank you, God, for making that happen for our family.
Another thing that stood out for me that day was that The Outdoorsman finally got to mow on our own farm. While growing up in East Texas, he mowed his grandfather’s huge farm and has always enjoyed it as a relaxing past time. It may seem impossible to be true, but he REALLY does enjoy it more than any person I have ever met! The second that mower came off of the trailer from our house, he took off mowing and could not have looked any happier. He has literally been talking about mowing for weeks and it was thrilling for me to watch him mow a path for the walk we were about to take with our family.
My parents, of course, have had some reservations about this whole idea but I am pretty sure that they are now as convinced as I am about this entire adventure. The beauty is overwhelming, the peace is palpable, the excitement is contagious, and the gratefulness is overflowing for everyone involved.
The reason I know this will not hinder the close relationship I have with my parents is because I grew up with two amazing sets of grandparents who lived in Missouri and Alabama my entire life. We visited them whenever possible and I always felt connected by a very close bond with them due to the fact that we had uninterrupted visits when we saw them each time at their homes. In our situation, our children have constant access to their grandparents and, at times, I have felt that the intentionality of the relationship was not there because we could see one another whenever we wanted. Because of that, it has frequently been a super quick visit before heading to another activity or engagement we have in our busy, everyday schedule. At times, I have felt that families would be better off living far apart because they would have one another’s undivided attention for days on end during visits to one another’s homes. That is the goal we have for Green Acres. The Outdoorsman and I are hoping to create a farmhouse and surrounding acreage that is inviting, relaxing, comfortable, and engaging for our children, their families, and our close friends and family members. We hope to find a way to bring things back to how it used to be when families spent the entire day or weekend together instead of a rushed, two-hour visit squeezed in between activities and events on a crowded calendar.
There is no judgement here. Believe me, I have lived the “crazed parenting” lifestyle for the past ten years or so. There were weeks and months in which my children barely spoke to or saw their grandparents despite the fact they all live only minutes from our home. What a shame. The very relationships that benefit children the most are the ones most neglected by families in today’s busy world. I am thankful to be finished with that hectic and, to be blunt, unhealthy lifestyle that has become prevalent in American society. It was exhausting, draining, and unhealthy for everyone in our family but, when you are in the midst of it, there seems to be no way out of the chaotic schedule you are keeping.
Hang in there, Friends, because God can and will lead you out of the chaos. At first, you will blink and look around for a moment and wonder what happened. That is precisely the moment God will remind you of your dreams. Your dream of living in the country. Your dream of owning your own farm. Your dream of raising animals. Your dream of roaming the land. Your dream of spending time with your family making memories.
Green Acres is the place for me.