From Sagebrush to Shorelines

Hello from the shoreline of “America’s Hometown” in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts. I’m Deb! Your new farmgirl blogger from the BEACH! It’s a dream come true to be here and a pleasure to meet you. I’m just like you and every other gal who’s caught the farmgirl spirit. Not long after discovering MaryJanesFarm magazine I joined the forum (as dandelion house), became a certified farmgirl sister (#1199), and started a new chapter called the Hometown Farmgirls. I’ve been inspired to try new things like writing, growing more organic veggies, and eating healthier. Best of all, I’m learning to romance my inner farmgirl into making her dreams come true one footprint at a time. I’m hopin’ this blog helps keep you sailing starboard towards your BIG farmgirl dreams, too!

I come from the land of sagebrush, silver, sunshine and wild mustangs. It’s been ten years since we moved east, and this wash ashore desert rose is finally feeling at home by the sea. I packed a good-sized helpin’ of western hospitality, so pull up a beach chair and relax. I’ll tell you how I got so far from home.


Once upon a time, I was a younger farmgirl with long curly golden locks working as a hairstylist in Nevada. One day a handsome Yankee just passin’ through with a twinkle in his eye and the warmest smile ever came in for a trim. I thought the Yankee was pretty darned cute (inside and out). Being the bold farmgirl that I was/am I asked him out! I didn’t hear bells exactly, but the words “he’s a keeper” flashed through my mind as I cut his hair. God was right and the rest is history.

Fast forward 23 years, two homegrown children, chickens, our corgi Max, a boat, a tiny solar-powered beach cottage, more than a few gray hairs and here we are.

I can’t wait for you to meet our “girls” and show you the Little Red Hen House. We’ll turn a few old so and so’s into “Painted Ladies” and share our garden dreams for the coming spring, too.

Right now, it’s deep winter here in New England, so let’s pretend we’re sitting by a nice warm bonfire on the beach. Here’s a blanket and some hot cocoa with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Comfy now? Good. I feel a story coming on…

My hubby gets a case of the winter blues every year when beach season ends. I feel for him! We all do! It’s a little harder on him than the rest of us that’s all. You see, he has had an ongoing love affair with a special place since he was a small boy…

This is no infatuation, no small time fling. This is BIG LOVE I’m talking about. I have learned to live with the fact that he has a mistress and that he must go to her when she calls. He first explored her beaches and waters as a young boy during summer vacation from school. His parents were both teachers which allowed them to stay at the beach for most of each summer. Many long, carefree summer days of sand and sun laid the ground work for a very lengthy courtship.

The cottage was small, rustic and right on the water. What we call GREEN LIVING these days was common place in this beach community (still is) when he was a boy. He remembers gathering water from a community well, playing games and reading by the light of gas lanterns mounted on the wall, looking out for skunks on the way to the outhouse at night, and the warmth of a wood stove on chilly evenings. He slept on the screened porch. Her waves, gently lapping on the shore at high tide were his lullaby.

He learned to fish for flounder and crab with a handline, row a boat, and later graduated to being allowed to drive the family motor boat when he turned 12. We don’t call him “the fish” for nothing. He loves to swim, and to this day spends most of his time in the water or on it, in his boat or kayak.

He has spent 45 summers with the “other woman” and 45 winters waiting to be re-united with her. He continues to be lured by her mystery, beauty and everchanging scenery. His photo library consists mostly of her portraits which express her many different moods, seasons, and how she has etched her way into his heart ever so slowly, one wave, one sand pattern, one sunset, one sunrise, one lightning storm, one snowfall, one glorious moment at a time.

This mistress of his isn’t so bad once you get to know her! I have had the pleasure of being by his side in his special place for many years. He invited me there early in our courtship and it was love at first sight!

Each cottage has its own personality. Many started out as small fisherman shacks built of washed-up materials from ship wrecks. Cottontail bunnies hop in and out of briars and beach roses and sneak nibbles at the grass when they think no one is looking. The mourning doves welcome us back each spring and sing their song all summer long. The fog horn lets us know when we should leave the boat on the mooring and snuggle up with a good book, do a puzzle, or go visit a neighbor. Low stone walls separate properties today which were once open farmland. Some of the families that make up this small beach community have been there for generations. I remember feeling as if I had come to another world. Indeed, I had — one filled with wonder and beauty as far as the eye could see.

I later learned that my initial visit there was a test of sorts. Turns out, if I had not fallen for his special place, I wouldn’t have been deemed “a keeper” and more than likely would have been tossed overboard without a second look!

The moral of this story is, if you’re going to be a farmgirl, be a BOLD one. Listen to your heart for rowing instructions and keep your eyes on the horizon. It’s o.k. to rest when your arms get tired, but don’t ever quit. Remember, you are never rowing alone, so be prepared to change course, if needed. You might just end up awash ashore, too!

Do you have a place that lives in your heart or one you imagine? I’d love to hear about it…

Until our next shoreline visit,

Make each day your masterpiece.

Beach Blessings
Love,
Deb

Leave a comment 47 Comments

  1. Pat says:

    Deb is is great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your story….I am looking forward to many more blogs from the beach!

  2. Julia says:

    Yay! I am so excited to be able to read you here as well! Congrats to you my friend!!!

  3. Rebekah says:

    Deborah! Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!
    Maybe what I should say is WELCOME HOME–Right where you belong!!
    Love your first post and can’t wait to read more!
    I’m so honored to be in the company of you wonderful, creative, amazing Farmgirl Bloggers.

  4. Shery says:

    Dear Debbie, Your new blog is dee-licious. How romantic that your beau courted you by taking you to his beach cottage. Oh, swoooon!

    I look forward to enjoying your cheery way with words, great photos and creative offerings. Lovelovelove the beachy farmgirl "mascot" image and the Mark Twain quote on your page. Absotively perfect.

  5. Luanne says:

    Hi Debbie!

    Oh, how jealous I am! I spent vacation every summer at the beach in Maine. I think I’ll always be a beach girl a heart and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to return too like your hubby.

    Love the blog – keep up the good work!

    Luanne
    (beekeepersgirl)

  6. Diane Van Horn says:

    Welcome Debbie!
    Love you first post, can’t wait for more. Isn’t it amazing how MJF has brought so many people together. I love reading all the blogs and now we have an East Coast Farmgirl to share with us. Years ago I took a road trip East and fell in love with Mystic, MA. The historic ports and restored sailing ships just spoke to me. Thanks for sharing your blog with us.

  7. Cissy says:

    Hi Debbie,

    It’s nice to meet you. I’m a born water sprite from Virginia. I love living on the water and I can’t wait to hear more of your stories.

  8. Tana says:

    Welcome…..
    Enjoyed my hot chocolate and bonfire by the sea as you told your story. What a lovely story it was. Thanks for sharing it. Wishing you a day filled with joy and laughter.
    Tana

  9. Abiga/Karen says:

    Look forward to reading your blog. Oh my, a beach cottage, you are so blessed!

  10. Debbie says:

    Love your blog. I am from Texas but I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 21 years. Coming from a landlocked home in Texas to Washington I have developed a passion for the mountains and ocean. My dream is to own a cottage by the sea much like the one you talk about here. Until that happens I will live through your blog. I look forward to reading more.

  11. Debra says:

    Hi Debbie,

    That is a wonderful story, hope to read more.

  12. Marie says:

    It is so nice to meet you. I understand how your husband feels about the ocean – my heart is there too. I grew up on the NC & SC beaches and long to go back. I look forward to reading more of your story.

  13. Brenda says:

    Welcome! Just my kind of blog since the ocean is my favorite place to be!

  14. CJ Armstrong says:

    What a lovely blog! Thanks!
    Nevada to Massachusetts . . my, now that is quite a change! Looking forward to your future posts!!
    CJ . . . barefoot farmgirl from SW Colorado

  15. Peg Schoenfelder says:

    I too hear that ocean calling from Tucson and am privileged to answer it for four months this year. Love your photos.

  16. Kim Jackson says:

    What a perfect place! This is a blog after my own heart.

  17. Tammy says:

    Welcome. I have always wanted to come to the beach. Nebraska doesn’t have much beach so I someday I hope to visit out east and walk the beach and look for shells. looking forward to more of your stories.

  18. Genevieve says:

    Welcome, Debbie!

    Loved your story and I’m sure I’ll love all the ones to come–you have a garden AND a beach? No fair!

    Genevieve
    MJF’s Urban Homesteading author

  19. Amy J. says:

    Welcome! Our family drove from North Idaho all the way to Plymouth last May/June for our older son’s graduation AND wedding. We actually stayed in Stockbridge, but made the trek to Plymouth to see ‘the rock’…which wasn’t much of a rock, but we loved your town!! We also visited Plimoth Plantation while there…one of the highlights of the trip for my 9 year old daughter and me! Looking forward to reading your posts!

  20. Kristy says:

    What a lovely, inviting post. I too long for the beach. I have a love affair with the water,beaches,sand and all that only the beach life can give you. Thank you for sharing your voyage…can’t wait for the next one !! Hugs.. KRisty..eggfarmgirl from Kansas

  21. Joan says:

    Welcome Debbie! you and your lovely story has me hooked – well I’ve always been a Farm girl – born and raised – although I have scattered my seeds in many different areas of the U.S. and England and now I am hooked on the sea side. Look forward to many more posts.

  22. Rosalie in NH says:

    Having lived 12 wonderful years in Falmouth MA, raising the 2 best kids on the planet there, I share your love of the beach. I loved your pictures. I can almost smell the salty air. Looking forward eagerly to your next posting and getting to know you even better.

  23. Kelly says:

    Glad to hear from another farmgirl at the beach, I’m just a couple miles inland myself, work snugged right up next to the Atlantic. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Cat says:

    I’m here on the other coast (SoCali near LA), but it’s nice to have a beachy blog! LOve it!

  25. Maria says:

    Wonderful post! I live in Newport, RI, and Plymouth is one of my favorite places! I look forward to reading more.

  26. Marji says:

    Bless you!!!Living in the Interior of Alaska, there are no shores for me. I do miss them terribly coming here from Seattle many years ago. I look forward to all your mariner stories and beautiful pictures and life adventures.

  27. meredith says:

    Welcome Deb! It is so exciting to have you! I grew up in a similar cottage, only on a lake. I will completely enjoy your posts! I loved your photos- keep ’em coming! So glad to meet you! Meredith (hereford girl)

  28. Karin says:

    Welcome Deb! While my heart belongs in the mountains, the shore is a very,very close second. Whenever we visit our daughter-in-love’s Grammmy, she puts us in the guest room on the back of the house on the ocean side of the Outer Banks. It’s so wonderful to fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Love your blog and am looking forward to sharing many more.
    Karin

  29. Tess Sole says:

    Dear Deb: Loved your first post! I am a west coast girl and I have the ocean and sand in my veins. No matter which coast you come from, it’s in your blood. Thanks for sharing your stories with us! I’m looking forward to more. Tess

  30. Debbie ( Beach farmgirl) says:

    Hi girls!
    I couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome! It’s so nice to hear from ALL of you…( makes me smile )I just knew there were other Beach farmgirls out there! I’m looking forward to our time together *here* very much also! My husband is the eye behind the beautiful photos in this post. I’ll be sure to pass on your good words to him!
    Beach Blessings~
    Deb

  31. Virginia (Badlandsgirl) says:

    Deb – I love your blog! I have lived in south western North Dakota for all but one year of my life. That year was spent a few miles from Padre Island, Texas. My first visit to the
    beach was so exciting! There is something magical about the sea and the sand. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories!
    Virginia

  32. Louise Marie says:

    Hi Debbie:
    i am delighted to meet you. i am a water-lover, what else can i say? The beauty of oceans, lakes, rivers, creeks, bayous, puddles is immeasurable. The joys of swimming, fishing, sailing, jet skiing, and other water sports are unlike any i have ever known. When i was a single mom to 3 teens, i bought a lake house in a lovely community. i knew i could not afford it, but i prayed that God would give us just one year there. He gave us three! Three wonderful years of lakeside living for myself and my children. We all have our wonderful memories and pictures. i will never regret that decision. Anyway, enough about me. I am so glad that you are a part of MJF, and i look forward to your next post.
    WELCOME!

  33. diane says:

    i’m also a beach girl – raised in michigan along the lakeshore – so i understand your passion for the beach and waves. can’t wait to hear more! love the photos too!

  34. 'Tina says:

    My tears of joy are not just for you! I grew up on a beautiful barrier beach on Long Island, and I can still smell the ocean and feel the sand between my toes (I don’t even need to close my eyes…), though it’s been nearly 30 years. I love my Rocky Mountain home and the life I’ve built here, but the ocean will always call my name and tug at my heart. I am so happy that you know of your fortunes!

  35. Brenda says:

    Hey Deb, I have been you follower over at Dandelion House for a while now, that is how I found out you were going to be writing for the Farmgirls. I have already let you know this over at the other blog but I wanted to say it again. Just love all of you farmgirls. I am a wanna be beach girl. Live in Michigan and myself and my three daughters spent many of a Sunday after church setting on the beach of Lake Michigan. Have always wanted a beach house. Have only visited the sea once but was in love with it also. Of coarse I am in love with Shery’s ranch life and Rebekah’s city farm life and all the other’s farmgirl homes. I myself live on 10 acres mostly woods. So I am a Farmgirl in the Woods. Have a great week!

  36. REDGATEGAL says:

    It just goes to show that no matter where the winds of life take you, your farmgirl spirit is never left behind. So glad to see this blog. I enjoyed it as much as reading your Dandelion House posts. REDGATEGAL!

  37. Claudia says:

    Love your world! Welcome! Can’t wait to get to know you!

  38. Tauna says:

    Hi Deb
    Always happy to hear blogs and meet new friends.
    I am a newcomer to MaryJane’s, but certainly a farm girl, tried and true. I lived in Idaho as I grew up, about 7 miles from Boise, but that was 61 years ago. Eagle, my home town was stictly farm people. I was raised by my grandparents. They are no longer with me in this realm, but the things that they taught me and the rules that monitored my life, were almost Victorian times. Good values where in a man’s, or woman’s word was all that was needed, and a handshake sealed a deal. I wouldnt have had it any other way, We had a huge garden every year and waised our own beef, and summers were filled with canning and harvesting the crops. We always went to the First Baptist church at holidays and thanked God for the abundant harvtest. Home made pies and dishes by women who really knew how to cook! I will never forget how we once dropped a crayon through a upstairs vent, to see it flop into a cream pie with whipped cream. ,,enought said….LOL
    I hope to come back often and visit with the other gals often. So happy to read your blog and find another gleaning facet that makes this reader so happy pn these blogs. God Bless……Tauna

  39. Michelle says:

    Love the Blog. Hope to read so much more.

  40. Sharon says:

    Welcome Deb! I loved your introductory blog. I have yet to participate in the forum so this was my first introduction to your writing style. I am currently sans computer (by choice) so I can only access email and websites via work or the library where time is limited. It’s so nice to know I am not the only farm girl out at the beach! I live in Saco, Maine and spend as much time as possible at the beach! I am not fortunate enough to have a family place on the water, but live near several and always have my pick depending on my mood. My two particular favorites are Hills Beach (In Biddeford, ME) and Goose Rocks (in Kennebunkport, ME). I look forward to reading about your farmgirl beach adventures!

  41. carol Branum says:

    Hi,glad to meet you!Seems like I have read your blog in the past someplace and commented but,I can,t remember where or what it was named?,but,I liked it when I read it,am I right or just dreaming???Your a cute girl,I like your hair,but,I notice hair coz I do hair,do you still?I am useing CHI,s new Orbit iron like a crazy man woman,I would love to do all of the staff at Mary Janes Farm and Rebeccas sometime in the future.Have a great day!Blessed Be, Carol Branum Lamar Mo.

  42. Cynthia says:

    Deb your first entry is absolutely delightful. I have lived in Kansas all my life, and 2 years ago at age 49 finally saw the ocean – the beautiful turquoise carribean waters . All I can say is that I was breathless and would love to spend much more time with the sand and sea. I look forward to visiting there with you.

  43. Raynita says:

    Debbie, I will truly look forward to your future blogs. You have definitely grabbed my interest in your shoreline life. We are Okies but my husband longs to live by the ocean….it just calls him:) After visiting Kauai last year, I now know why, it is calling both of us now. I thought I knew what my husband’s best was until I watched him walk a shoreline. It brings tears to my eyes right now. He is at his Best there. I found myself feeling reborn in a way. So, for now I will live through you and your family’s beautiful days and nights on the shoreline. Of course, I will continue to dream for my family………..Raynita – Farmgirl looking to grow something tropical now:)

  44. Aunt Nan says:

    Well my dear, you have once again transported me to that beloved beach you call your backyard. I’m still out here in the sagebrush but wild flowers are beginning to bloom in Six Mile Canyon where the Mustang run free. Springtime is on its way! Your blogs have gotten me through winter, each one brought a smile. I look forward to all your future creations!
    Big hugs from Aunt Nan:O)

  45. Louise Marie says:

    Hi Debbie: You did my heart good this morning. i know exactly how you feel. i wasn’t born near the ocean, but the Brazos River in Texas was nearby. When i was about 5, i was taken to Galveston, and i remember riding the ferry. The feeling i had then, and still do, is a congenital longing for large bodies of water. A lake is second only to the ocean. I’ve spent many days fishing for flounder………i could just go on and on, but all i have to do is re-read your blog, and i am there! i love your little Corgi! i have Doxies. i also love your Mark Twain quote and the beautiful photos. You’ve got my heart!

  46. Michelle says:

    Oh My! A fellow Nevadan who has followed my dream and lives on the ocean (wrong side, but that’s ok! :) ) Can’t wait to follow your beach/garden blog!

  47. Fran says:

    I also love the beach. We have a small cottage in northern Lower Michigan, near Higgins Lake, deemed the seventh most beautiful inland lake in the world. You can see fish swimming down in twenty feet of water..really clear…( and we don’t have to worry about sharks and jellyfish!!)… But I do love the Maine coast also. We were there on vacation and would love to go back in the fall….Fran

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