Living Where I'm Planted
This week's journal entry was contributed by Diane Peterson (@diliving). In this blog, which feels like a warm conversation shared between friends, Diane describes snippets of her current daily life on the family's 3-acre property in the Redding foothills. After ten years of living on this property, she is pleasantly surprised to see it in a new light. :)
The Redding heat hit us hard this week. It jumped almost 40 degrees from last week to this week. So needless to say, it was quite a shock for all of us! Plants and critters included. My husband, Mark, gets up at the crack and lets out the chickens and feeds all the animals. He makes sure all the automatic water feeders are working everywhere. About mid-day I like to go and check the chickens and goats. Sometimes a little chick gets out and I get him back into his mama. I also turn on the hose and make a little river for the hens and rooster to drink from and play in. We have water in the coop they can get to and also water out of the coop but I like to make extra sure they are hydrated. A friend lost 3 hens the other day from heat and no water. It doesn’t take much time in the Nor Cal heat to kill a critter.
So this is the norm for the next few months. It came later this year than usual and we are all grateful for that. With the sun and longer hot days comes the fruit. We have different varieties that come off one after the other. They overlap a little but not too much so we can keep up with eating it all. This year started with the nectarines, now the apricots are coming and a few plums. After the plums we have another plum tree and then peaches. It’s about two months of a fruit feast. We love it. Every morning I wake up to a basket of fruit. It’s so very happy.
We only live on 3 little acres. It's hilly and rocky and there are lots of trees so it's not like it's all flat and full of green pasture. If you were to look at it you would think there’s not much useable land. But after a year of crazy ups and downs and trying to figure out if we were going to move, we have decided this is home, and unless it becomes apparently clear that some place else is calling us, we are staying right here. Over the past five years, we have made three offers on properties just a little south of us on the Sacramento river. We looked at places in Colorado, and Mark even made two trips to look at farms. All of this is to say, we have wanted a bigger piece of land. We wanted a farm and had a lot of dreams and plans for it. But it’s not looking like that’s going to happen any time soon so this is home. We love our house and our location. And since deciding that we are staying here, we have come up with all sorts of great plans for our 3 acres. You would be surprised what you can grow on just a little bit of land.
Already, we’ve planted about 30 more fruit trees and 20 blueberry bushes. We are going to plant the entire hillside. Trees don’t care if they’re on a hill. We put blueberries along the driveway and they did great this year. I can only imagine how many berries we’ll get next year.
Another project I’m working on is transforming my patio room into my happy magical place where I want to host cozy intimate dinner parties and so much more. I started the other day with taking down some ugly shades that had been up since we moved in. We have never used them in the ten years we've lived here. They were just pulled shut and hung up high collecting dust. My son helped me pull them down the other day, and it opened up the entire room. I couldn’t believe the change. Our view of the hills and trees became glorious. Mark and I looked at each other and laughed, wondering why we hadn’t done that years ago.
This is often our dilemma. I know when the yard is ripped out and redone we’ll say the same thing. And we’ll probably laugh and be so happy.
I’m amazed at what I can see when I’m looking. I see a home and a little piece of property that has so much potential. But even more than this, I have a content heart. I have vision for the future and for what I love. It feels so good to use what you have and to be grateful for it. Not that we weren’t grateful before but it definitely feels different now. This isn’t to say we can’t still dream of something bigger someday, but what it means for us is that we make use of what we do have now. We live where we are planted until we get uprooted and planted elsewhere. We won’t ever regret making our home and life here better. But we do often regret not doing things when we can or using what we have. It’s sometimes the simplest little things that can make a huge change.
--Diane Peterson (@diliving)