Maybe it’s the three-day weekend, the agricultural fairs, the time spent in the apple orchard with my mom, or visiting my grandfather in the corn field today.  Or maybe it’s the pregnancy.  Whatever it is, I’ve been daydreaming a lot lately. 

I’ve been dreaming about the type of life I want to give to our children.  Not things, but experiences.

I want our children to spend time outside in all the seasons.  Making maple syrup and planting the garden in spring.  Swimming all day long in the summer.  Hayrides, pumpkins and apple picking in fall.  Snowmen, sledding and pond skating in winter. 

I want our children to grow up around animals.  I want them to know how to treat and behave around dogs, cows, horses, pigs, chickens and turkeys.  I want them to learn to drive a hayride, train a dog, and milk a cow.  I want them to collect eggs and taste fresh honey.

I want our children to value family, traditon and the Earth.  Learn our family histories and the value of working together as a family.  I want them to appreciate and respect nature and wildlife.

I want our children to enjoy learning, both in and out of school.  I want them to escape into a world of stories, feel the satisfaction in solving a difficult math problem, and learn to appreciate the wonders of the natural world.  I want our children to have the confidence to try to solve real problems in their daily lives.  I want them to learn and value the skills it takes to grow and preserve their own food and be self-sufficient.

I had been getting down on myself, wondering how I could ever provide all of these opportunities to our children on our two little acres.  Fortunately, we don’t have to do it alone.  Our families do all of these things, which is how Ed and I had all of these experiences in our own childhoods.

A few days ago, I read “Is it a Farm Yet?” and was inspired.  I realized that our two little acres can do a lot toward providing these experiences that I so want for our children.  We don’t have to do it all, and we don’t have to do it all at once. 

So as I dream about getting a pair or trio of laying hens (and maybe, possibly a duck), adding peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and pears to our little apple orchard, getting a dog when the children are old enough to take care of him and Dukie’s old enough not to be jealous, and someday in the far-off future building a barn and greenhouse, I am slowly but surely reaching toward the life that I want to provide for my children.



Filed under Gardening, Home, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Outside, Sustainable Living

11 responses to “Dreaming

  1. All those things that you want for your children are very admirable. So many of those same things are what drives me day to day in my work around here. It is definitely a lifestyle choice to incorporate all of those things in to daily life but it will be so worth it in the end.

  2. Abbie,

    I love your dreams and am getting teary-eyed just reading this, and am dreaming of the future myself. Please know that raising a child is a family affair; you’re not in this alone; and I know that grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, will all be more than happy to share our favorite experiences with your children, just as they did with you and your brothers while you were growin up!


  3. Abbie,

    My husband and I have 9 children (ages 26 to 4) and I share many, if not all, of the ideas that you mentioned. Through the years our children have learned many of these things and experienced a lot on just our 1 acre of property. Sure, I wish we had more land for animals, but my oldest son is off and married and does have a horse of his own as well as a goat and chickens. His love of animals instilled in him while he was growing up. I wish we had a small orchard of apples and peaches, but instead my children enjoy picking our own strawberries and blueberries here at home. My daughters can cook and can. The oldest, (who is also Abigail), is 22 and an excellent seamstress and craftswoman. Raquel, my 17 year old, loves animals, especially horses, and spent the entire weekend at the Durham Fair working at the pony rides/petting zoo. My youngest daughter is 8 and following in the footsteps of her older sisters. I’m teaching her cooking and baking, she had her own garden this year, and is learning to sew. She took home several blue and red ribbons at the fair….even getting special best of show ribbons for her herbs and Oatmeal Fudge Bars. She was excited and my mother’s heart was overflowing. It is a great feeling and brings me joy when I see my children accomplish this and makes all the hard work that goes into teaching children things of value all worthwhile.

    Thank you for sharing the link to “Is it a Farm Yet?” This was great and even encouraged me too. It’s nice to read what others who have less land than we do can accomplish. It’s all in the attitude, I guess, which is something that I’ve had to watch in myself through the years. We may never get that bigger piece of land that I long for, but I am learning to be content with what we do have.

    Abbie, I don’t know you personally, but by reading your blog I can tell that you and your husband will be wonderful parents and will do all that you can to provide your children with these opportunities and ideals that you value. And as your mom commented, you don’t have to do it alone. You are fortunate to have families that also value these things and are willing to help.

    Sorry this got to be so long. 🙂

    ~~Anne in Cheshire
    P.S. Was that your pie in the “Grandma’s Favorite Recipe” category at Durham?

  4. YOU are going to be an AWESOME mother.

  5. It is the pregnancy. I have list after list of things that I want my babies to experience from last winter. I could hardly focus on things I was so busy day dreaming about what it would be like to take my little one to the fair. This year of experiences are fun for me. In the next few years it will be fun for him (and me!) But that’s what is important. I don’t so much remember the toys and the games, I remember the time and family from my childhood. I want Liam to look back on his childhood and smile with the fond memories. And I want him to pass that on to his children.

  6. Those are wonderful dreams for your family!

  7. Susan

    Hi, Abby! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and appreciate all that you have shared about yourself, your parents’ farm, your home and marriage and your love of plants and animals. Your family farm looks beautiful! I too, love the natural world and am working hard on a personal and political level to make sure that we save this wonderful planet for our children and everyone who comes after us. I think that the motivation to make lifestyle changes and push our leaders to mitigate climate change starts with a sense of wonder about the natural world that you’re never too old to learn. I try to share my love of nature and animals with others in the hope that they’ll find them worth saving, too. We don’t have a farm – just a suburban Denver backyard! But I, my husband and two sons are having a great time filling it with xeriscape plants, fruit trees, a vegetable garden, two dogs and a cat. It’s amazing how much a small lot can hold! And we spend a lot of time hiking, horseback riding, rafting and camping in the Colorado mountains. Our sons (now 14 and 17) have learned to love and respect wildlife and the natural world, and to realize that each seemingly insignificant choice – plastic water bottle or stainless steel? – organic produce or conventional?- matters and affects the whole planet. It’s nice to read the thoughts and ideas you share so generously in your blog and to realize that there are kindred spirits out there, even if they’re thousands of miles away! And by the way, it’s clear from everything you’ve written that you and your husband will be GREAT parents! Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  8. Wonderful post Abbie and a great personal follow up to Sharon’s. I haven’t visited in awhile – Congrats on the pregnancy, you will have many experiences to share because your child will be able to see the world through your eyes 🙂 Again – Congratulations, let the nesting begin!!

  9. Marie

    I enjoyed this post very much and I have to tell you that it must be the pregnancy because as the grandmother to be, I too, am daydreaming all the time. We are all cut from the same cloth and this child is going to have such a wonderful childhood. My daydreams include taking them to Maine to Beals Island, gathering beach glass and treasures from the shore. I dream of teaching them how to bake Christmas cookies and make pizza on the grill. Go to Pepe’s for pizza and beer, (just kidding, no beer) and lots of family dinners and holidays. I dream of long snuggly chats about his or her parents and what thier Daddy was like growing up in Guilford. Hearing all the old Yankee stories of his Grampy Walston and my roots of Capri, Italy. I look forward to reading lots of books and open thier world to art through paints and canvas so they can let thier imaginations soar. So yes, I have dreamt a lot and yes this all sounds “very Hallmarky” but that is what daydreams are, right? We all look forward with great anticipation to March when we can meet this little one and I can hold him or her in my arms and begin to make my dreams come true. So thanks Ed and AB for giving me something to daydream about!!!! xo You both are going to be great parents and we will help any way we can.
    Mimi xo

  10. Kim

    You just described the life my kids are living minus the honey…no bees yet. We have 93 acres and we were just joking that most of our farming activities are done on 2-3 acres. Not counting the hay & wood we harvest. You have more than enough land to provide all that you listed.

  11. What a lovely post, Abbie. I go through this all the time with my kids but, like you said, you do what you can when you can and when you do, it’s wonderful!

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