Saturday, March 24, 2012

It Ain't about Easy

It ain't about easy
It’s about tough
It’s about leavin the house 'fore the sun comes up

The kickin, the cussin, the fussin, the fight
Stayin in love when the money gets tight…

-montgomery gentry

15 years ago today, we were sitting in a lawyer’s office, signing a bunch of papers, and handing over a very BIG check.

15 years ago today, this little piece of the Valley became ours. ALL ours. But, it was an empty piece of land…NOTHING came with the little piece of the Valley except perimeter fence and a septic system. (…and believe me, we were very thankful for the septic system!) Eventually, the value of the perimeter fence would make itself evident as well.

15 years ago, we met our builder at the property, laid out the house site and began a whole new way of life. That is when the reality of the situation began to set in…

If someone had told us what the next 15 years would hold, we may very well have taken that check back, refused to sign even one of those papers….and run far, far away. At the time we felt we had no choice other than to take that step…of faith…into the unknown…

To say it’s been an adventure would be an understatement. To say it has been easy would be a lie. To say that this life has not been without its rewards would be an injustice. The past 15 years, while being the most difficult of our lives, have also been the most amazing and blessed.

In retrospect, I can’t believe we made the leap of faith.
Looking back, it seemed like such a gamble, a complete improbability. But, we stuck it out, worked TOGETHER, and can look back with fond memories.

…and I can honestly say that we have lived the first part of this song… By the time the house was built, and that last check to the builder issued, we had $5 in our savings account. Yep…a whole FIVE dollars! …and it stayed that way for quite a while. Scary? Oh yeah! Faith building? Most Definitely! Ever want to do it again? NO….NO WAY!

We have worked harder than I thought humanly possible sometimes. We have faced calamities that I thought might actually be the end. Uncertainty has been a daily companion at times.
But, fact is, that’s just LIFE…the hard work and uncertainty. Tenacity and faith…that’s what gets anybody through it.

…welcome to life son and you ain't alive, if you ain’t breakin a sweat…

Sweat-equity is a term used to refer to the amount of effort a home owner puts into a project. This takes on a whole new meaning when you’re shaping a new farm and an entirely different lifestyle. Did I mention we were raising children, too? Oh, and homeschooling them…

15 years ago, I could never have predicted that we’d be at this point…kids grown and married (and making it on their own), and the farm a thriving entity. We would have never thought that we would be growing on this scale, selling year-round and counting ourselves long-time, successful Market vendors. This year marks year #15 as vendors in spots 15/16 at the Market. We just completed our fourth year of Winter Sales, providing fresh farm products to our Winter Customers throughout the “off-season” when the Market is closed.

Back then, I hadn’t given any thought to this stage of our lives or the viability of the farm. I was just getting through the struggle a day at a time. Sometimes I wondered why….why we tried so hard…why we kept on…why we wanted to…

But, the end of this song says it for me…

…just remember the highs are higher than the lows are low!

That’s what keeps us looking forward to the next 15 years…

…and beyond.

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