“It will be an adjustment.”
These words, spoken by my dear grandmother more than a year ago, ring in my ears about 20 times a day now.
In November, our family of five moved from our house in town to an 1848 country farmhouse. The house has been in my family for more than 140 of its 168 years, and was owned by my grandparents for the past 67 years.
After living there several years alone (Grandpa passed on in 2012), Grandma decided it was time to invest in a nearby condo. I’m the oldest grandchild and the closest one with a young family, and all my relatives share a keen interest in keeping the old place “in the family.”
And so, we sold the house where our three children were babies and moved into the house where I myself have spent countless hours since I was born.
An adjustment? Yes. In new ways every day. But one we are making with deep gratitude and appreciation for this house – this homestead – that has sheltered people for so long. Its creaks, cracks and gaps, its quirks and peculiarities will take a while to feel like “home” to us. But in another way, my lifelong daydream of living in an old farmhouse has come true, in spades!
Are we now “homesteaders?” Maybe, a little bit. At least, more than we used to be!
For simple comparison:
In town house: One level, brick ranch, paved driveway, attached (huge) garage with heater.
Farmhouse: Two-story (plus attic), three flights of stairs, many original windows, gravel driveway (uphill), detached garage – that my van doesn’t fit inside, so I’ll be parking outside this winter.
In town: City water system.
Farmhouse: Natural spring, pumped by electricity into the house.
In town: Residential street with trees and other houses as windbreak.
Farmhouse: Sits at the top of a hill – with bedroom windows facing the wind!
In town: Garage door openers as keys (yes, this was a bad habit).
Farmhouse: Giant skeleton key for the front door. (Okay, it is pretty neat to use – makes the most satisfying 19th-century clunk as you turn it in the lock.)
Honestly, I’ve never been so glad to work at Lehman’s. We carry so many things that have already come in handy for us as we experience this first winter “at the farm.” And, the hubby and I are already compiling an extensive “wish list” for future acquisitions.
Things we’ve already loved using in the farmhouse:
Amish Made Buggy Robe – This thing is my best friend. In fact, we may need a few more of them for my husband and children.
Merino Wool Socks – Good for padding around the house on cold mornings, before the coffee’s made.
Cast Iron Skillet Clock – As soon as we knew we were going to take this plunge, I knew I had to have one of these in my kitchen. I mean, c’mon! It screams “farmhouse chic!”
Cordless Window Candles– We invested in some of these before Christmas, and they’re so beautiful we just might use them all year round. They give a softer, more subtle light than the plug-in ones you see everywhere. These are different – antique looking. Love them!
Lambswool Duster– One thing we’ve noticed in the farmhouse is: more dust. Most of the ceilings are painted wood planks, and for whatever reason, lots more dust settles on everything. This duster reaches up high, down low and everywhere in between, and I don’t have to mess with spraying anything. Voila – it’s dusted and I’m done. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
Things on our wish list:
Septic System Owner’s Manual– Because we now have a septic system, and I don’t want us to mess it up (pun intended)!
Windshield Cover– Since our vehicles are parked outside (at least for now)
Amish Work Table– Could go in any room you need extra surface space.
Amish Kitchen Island– Would be sooooo great in the kitchen. Counter space 168 years ago was lot different than the kitchens of today.
Folding Step Stool– Because some of those old kitchen cabinets are way hiiiiiiigh.
Portable Chicken Coop – Because we need to start small.
And my ultimate wish list item: a Heartland gas range that looks like something out of a farmhouse storybook!
I hope you can follow along as we discover the many blessings that are unfolding for us in this new-old place. Happy winter, everyone. From my old family farmhouse in Kidron, Ohio.