What in the world would make you want to buy a mini farm? About eighteen months ago we made a cross country move from Alabama to Oklahoma. Feller and I wanted to be nearer family, a role became available in Northeast Oklahoma and my work as a strategist and writer can be anywhere the internet is and an airport nearby. We bought a beautiful brand new home and Feller settled into the new routines. Meanwhile my year was spent renovating and selling four other homes (nothing like inheriting estates to clear out) our own home, and a home we had recently renovated formerly called “the Tacky Brown House”. It was not a year I’d like to repeat.
This world has changed since we left North Alabama. A season of surprising developments has happened: Covid, an illness that sometimes produces devastating results came to our country, the job that we moved for went away, and ultimately we made life choices to say it is time to live our dreams for tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
And so, like any sane person might not do, we bought a mini farm. Not just any mini farm, but one that the well is not working, the home shows former termite damage to the main joists, and, tah dah, it’s roof needs repair. Nothing says home like a house that needs care.
Green Acres, a show from the seventies, about a bride who prefers “Penthouse Views” being taken to the farm suddenly has more meaning. If you’ve ever dreamed of moving back to the country, to a quaint cottage with a workspace that can become your media studio and creator center, you may have Pinterest driven visions of sugarplums in your head, dancing joy and clean kitchens. Well toots, the mini farm we have may be that some day, for it has a sweet sweet spirit, but it would take a spirit of an entirely different type to see it as anything but concerning at this moment. Let me introduce you to our new space:
The Ozarks invite you in, the lush greens, the country roads, the beautiful scenes as you drive through Northwest Arkansas to our area of Northeast Oklahoma.I personally have a thing about kind cows. This one and I have formed a relationship as I drive to a client’s home to work on a project. When we began the cows all ran when I approached them. I began singing “you are my sunshine” to them and now it is as though they come to see what in the world is going on with that lady in the green subaru. The great victory was when they stopped running to the other field, and this week, one of the dairy cows seemed to bob her head with me in rhythm. Could have been the flies bothering her, but I had a witness that she bobbed to the singing. So fun!
I think God has humor down pat. He gives us the desires of our heart (a new home last year) just long enough to let us see that perhaps, not everything desired is what is truly wanted. I love and loved our “brand new build” but the truth is, I have great value for things that are broken and restored. I grew up visiting mini farms that were family homes in Clark County Arkansas. My favorite experiences involved visiting the Franklins, my friend Diane’s home, Lee’s home, the Potters, and Samantha’s home. They lived in the country, their families seemed to gather and laugh often. There were always fun things like the Potter’s horses, or gathering eggs, and life just seemed fuller in their spaces than our in town home.
The same was true for time with my Grandparent Geddie’s at Dossie Mae, a little cottage with hydrangeas and a tiny orchard my Grandfather owned before he built his bride a new home. Dossie Mae was an eight year old girls’ dream complete with shetland ponies and fainting goats. Is it any wonder that tiny cottages call to me some forty years later.
Memories can blind you to the choices you’re making and the present. Feller and I had been seeking a space to do the work we love to do, working with families in business and creatives in transition. As a strategist I work with authors, speakers, and families in business to create processes that solidify their work, their product sales, and their media needs. Narratives, the stories we tell ourselves, matter in life. This space will grow people. Oh we’ll be working to build out the necessary things for their businesses, but the most important work we do involves growing folks in the knowledge of using their gifts.
Now for those of you who don’t know, it’s 101 degrees in the shade in July in NE Oklahoma. The breezes may come, but the heat never goes. I’m a Mary Kay lady, and though my Makeup may not melt in the heat through careful planning, my body does…and not in the good ways. It is HOT here, we’re filming a good part of the week in locations that are H O T then going to the new project and working four to six hours to clear the first layers of hot mess. This, THIS is that we call making our dreams come true.
Are you ready to come along for the journey? The Tacky Brown House in Alabama was our heart space, we loved that little house on the hill at Trinity mountain. This home will have no mountains, but is nestled in the Ozarks, near our older children and Feller’s parents, and the drives to our spaces simply make my heart smile. I am so blessed to be moving near dear friends for over twenty seven years, and many of my clients are within a couple of hours of our new home. We are doing the actual move rapid fire, as you don’t leave building supplies in an empty farm without expecting to share, so in the next four weeks we’ll leave our perfectly finished, air conditioned, year old home, to make way to downsize to one half the space, add a creator’s studio center for the myriad of roles we support in our businesses, and for fun, we’ll throw in some deadlines for a filming project, book projects, and make it all an adventure. This is the way of living the Sweetieland experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Feller and I are “get it done” kind of folks and this is going to be FUN! What a blessing to get to stretch and do something we’ve always wanted to do!