FARMERS NOW?

Today we bought a farm. Not “the” farm, “a” farm.

And we don’t quite own it yet, and we actually started the process several weeks earlier, but I want to record the process, so I’m calling the indefinite period of time from then to now “today.”

So we’re now farmers now? Larry doesn’t want to name what we will own a “farm.” Let’s say “property,” then. On Llewellyn Road in Corvallis, Oregon. One hundred and one acres. There are cows grazing on the land, but they are not our cows. A field of grass seed ripens along the road, but it is not our grass seed. These farm-like appendages have been leased from the former owners, and we will see if we continue these relationships.

And what will we call this place? I think it’s like a baby, just born, who will have to wait for its name. Right now, we’re not sure what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Tonight, Larry said “it’s Jane’s place,” and I said No. Please don’t say that. It makes me fear that, in his mind, it’s one more madness I’ve dragged him in to. Maybe it is, but . . .

How to understand what has happened? Start back at the airport in Hawaii after seeing David and Caroline, where, having gone through security and steeled myself for the plane trip home, I suddenly knew that what I was returning to, my gorgeous condo in the Crane, was somehow not home. Home would be a small farmhouse on a country road with an apple tree in the front yard, a covered porch, comfortable old furniture and a real fireplace.

I spent the hours on the plane comforting myself with this fantasy. And for the next weeks, I talked about it, laughing, to friends, maybe to the kids, though I can’t remember that. I did say something to a friend, sitting in a theater for Chicks, and she astonished me by saying she understood. “I’m not home yet, either,” she said.

Of course, I also talked to Larry about my little vision thing. To my surprise, and deep pleasure, he got it. We had, as it happens, long discussed the idea of finding a piece of land somewhere, learning it, restoring it, in a sort of Nature Conservancy paradigm. This is what we might talk about while driving through Oregon landscapes, but don’t imagine we’ll actually execute.

And let’s face it. We’re pretty old to be leaping into — okay, we’re seventy-four. Each, that is. Seriously? Friend Tommy Thomsen said this what you do in your fifties. But we didn’t, so here we are.

The land, which we have now named The Hundred Acre Wood (plus one), is profoundly beautiful. As I hope you can see from the header photo. Ancient oak trees, grasses. Oh yeah, thistles and blackberries, too. A resident red-tail hawk. A fox! Lots of birds, as yet unidentified. And of course, the cows. There’s a derelict house on the property, which will have to be torn down (Will has begged us to wait until he can be there to watch).

My intention is to record this adventure as it happens, but I’ll have to warp time a little to bring the events up to the present. This is my first blog on a new site, new manager, and I’m not sure how it will look. I just clicked “preview” in order to proof read, and the header photo did not appear. Will it show up when I check “publish?” We’ll see.

Next issue: We try to plant stakes and meet the cows.