I spent a lot of time on my fantasy farm today.
Actually, I was in the office, working as hard as the lingering remains of my cold medicine would allow. But a part of my brain was at the farm.
While we were in Woodstock, Nikki and I agreed that we could be very happy living in the Catskills. Which, as it usually does, led me to look at real estate. We have a very small budget and very big dreams, but I did find two properties that I really love. They’re further west than I would like, but they’re both within half an hour of three college towns, which to me means library, culture and food. The rest is up to us.
So I’ve been thinking about orchard placement, pasture layouts, greenhouse construction, shop colors, all the big and small things that might go into the place. Being so close to so many schools, we might be able to barter room and board for manual labor, or offer studio or boarding space in exchange for design or animal help. I even looked up internet providers for both places.
I’m finding that my criteria for the perfect place are expanding over time. Originally, I wanted a place near the mountains, woods and ocean (which is why we were looking at Maine), at least 5 acres but preferably more, an older house with at least one fireplace, and at least one cool barn. I have now had to add to that that it has to be int he coverage area of an NPR station and within half an hour’s drive of a UU church, preferably one with some pagan presence, or at least open to it. As the kids get older, I’m having to worry less and less about schools. My job, assuming I can keep it, is one I can do from home, and there are people elsewhere in the department who live far away and only telecommute, so there is precedent for it, which means I have to worry about being in a location with job opportunities. And working from home would work well with the needs of farm maintenance! People keep warning me about winters in the places I’m looking at. Dude, that’s WHY I’m looking at those places! I need decent winters!
Unfortunately, it’s not happening any time soon. I need to get the kids through school first. So three more years minimum. Unless I win the lottery. If that happens, I’m not waiting. Well, yeah I am, but I’ll use the three years to do the renovations on the new place so it’s ready when we are.
Of course, I have to buy tickets…