"I think we should go look at this house in the country."
That's how it all began. A simple little statement that Russell said over dinner while we were house hunting.
I knew immediately what he was talking about. It was a house that had been for sale for a while, just outside of our little town. It had solar panels, a huge garden, and zombie shades on the windows. In a nut shell - Russell's dream. When I first saw it on Facebook months before, I knew Russell would love it. So, reluctantly, I agreed to take a look.
A few weeks later, we were moving in.
The most annoying thing about Russell is that he tends to be right. This house is one of those things he was right about. It was just what our family needed. This quirky "apocalyptic ranch" (that's how Russell describes its aesthetic, as though we are on an HGTV show).
In this space, our family has found our stride. We've discovered new hobbies, simple joys, and the room to let ourselves take a breath.
Without a doubt, the outside space is what sold us - and what has taken most of our focus over the last couple of years that we've lived here. We've learned so much about gardening - converting the rows to beds, and the shed to a chicken coop. We took down a fence and expanded the backyard, adding a pool that abuts the orchard. We've spent so much time on the patio - playing, eating, relaxing, entertaining. And we definitely have dreams for how this 2-acre life-giving plot can continue to evolve.
So much of our life has been spent in the potager - a kitchen garden, if you're unfamiliar with the term - that the inside of our home has been largely neglected. The "apocalyptic ranch" style isn't exactly our personality. Nor is the farmhouse style that is so popular right now and would be the natural fit for a farming family living in the country.
Instead, we're on a quest to create a kind of garden house that is vibrant and alive. Colorful and welcoming, with a rich, layered story to tell. Something that brings the garden inside, creates something delicious with it in the kitchen, and serves it to family and friends.
We aren't there yet.
But, that's what the pages of this blog are for.