Farm Soul

Ever since we bought this old farm, I’ve wondered about its “Heart and Soul.”

I’ve looked and I’ve listened.

I’ve wanted to find it so we can be true to it. The farm was in the same family for 150 years before we had the honor of becoming the new stewards and care-givers. The house provided shelter and warmth for many generations of children; the land provided food and income. We want to do it right. We want to honor its heart and its soul. I think we’ve done that with the house; now it’s time to figure it out with the land.

Oh, this?

This is my crazy angel baby.

There is no reason whatsoever for his photo here.

I just took this pic and when I uploaded it and saw all that soft fuzzy neck fur, I thought you might want to kiss him. Yes, go ahead. It’s as soft as it looks. kiss, kiss, kiss.

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  1. Jamie says:

    It sounds to be like you and your family will be creating the soul of the land by bringing the life and love of your animals and family to it.

  2. Rene Foust says:

    Rebekah I find so much enjoyment in following your farm girl progress;you are really living it. I find a connection to your actions because as you probably know I too have started my dream. It will be a while before I can really truly live the dream because right now I have to drive 11/2 hours and back every day in order to pay for it; but hey it is a start. I have always wanted to be able to adopt horses and donkeys that are no longer wanted by their owners and hopefully that is my next step in farm girl living (probably wont be for a while ) I think you have already found your farm’s heart and soul; I think you and your family are your farm’s heart and soul. You are breathing new and happy life into it and allowing its legacy to take on a new and happy life. For me deciding to make the jump at (age 50 and single) to move to the country into a house that was falling down and a barn that was falling down in order to live my dream has taught me alot about life. Sometimes you just have to jump in! If you fail so what you fail but you will never know if you don’t try! Following you along on your journey just gives me so much inspiration and gives me hope for my dream. Just remember you are your farm’s heart and soul

  3. Diana Henretty says:

    Your farm has wonderful stories buried in it’s soil!
    When we bought this 70+ yr. old house on the edge of town, I didnt really want it, I wanted the "out in the country life".
    But, as the years have gone by, we have figured out, our life in this house was was meant to be, and we have everything we wanted right here, it was waiting all the time!
    We found a antique piano in the basement, sales tax tokens buried in the driveway, a 1937 Seven Up bottle, an antique wooden toy top, and a beautiful milk glass vase filled with quarters hidden in a cupboard for a rainy day.
    Thanks for warming my heart this morning as a blizzard is all about us!
    Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana

  4. Maureen says:

    The reason you only find the soles to those shoes is that the critters eat the leather. That’s a word of warning too. Don’t leave leather shoes outside the back door to dry; fox will come along at night and steal them. Many hikers have fallen "prey" to this by leaving them outside their tents. It’s a long hike home without foot gear!

  5. Diane Van Horn says:

    Sounds like you are the heart and I am sure the soul will reveal itself soon! Look up The Gentle Barn. It is an animal rescue farm. May be just the soul you have been looking for! I could totally see you giving neglected farm animals a home. The Gentle Barn is a non-profit that runs on donations and good Samaritans can sponsor an animal. They also do farm days for visitors to come and love on an animal. Just a thought but think of all the kisses!

  6. Shery says:

    You are the heart and soul of your farm. And, if you’re seeking a broader purpose for it, perhaps it’ll come to you in a way that didn’t involve figuring it out. Mayyyybe like a bird suddenly showing up on your windowsill … aka opportunity or a need that you see unfolding … followed by willingness. I bet things will fall into place when the time is right and other needful details are too. We don’t have to plan everything for a plan to take shape. Sometimes the best plans (in my experience) have happened when there was enough room for serendipity to breathe.

    Oh, and what a smooth ride your Rocky Mountain boy is gonna be. They’re like riding a gliding rocking chair. Love the color too.

    The different ‘places’ in our lives sometimes involve a move to another locale … or not… but, even if not, as WE change, our ‘place’ does too. Periodically, we face reinventing ourselves … again 🙂 Least-wise, that is my take after 54 years.

  7. Marian Luther says:

    you are such a kind sensitive soul, your love of animals and wanting to protect them is wonderful – Kiss, kiss to all your fuzzy lovable babies! And I must say I agree with Diane Henretty’s lovely note above, you don’t need to look for your farm’s soul, it is you. You are very much the soul of your farm and your family, you are what makes your home and your farm real and alive. Whatever purpose you decide to give the farm you are the one who brings it to life. I so look forward to hearing your stories, the good and the bad, as you move forward (and hopefully sometimes just sit and enjoy what you have in the present).
    And a little side note, my home was a run down dump previously owned by another lover of al-key-hall who chucked his glass bottles off the back porch into the backyard…for 20 years. 12 years after purchasing I still find broken glass when digging in my garden and yard, it helps me to remember what it used to be and what we have made it now 🙂

  8. JoEllen says:

    What a wonderful post and comments following — I love how you pick the topics and the words just seem to flow out of your heart to us!
    I guess the heart and soul of our home would be that we determined after moving here some 35 years ago, that we would have an open door to the needy. We took in foster children, adopted two of them, sheltered a recovering alcoholic with her dog, took in numerous friends of our children for a time and at present are caring for my elderly mother and a young man and his son. Heart and soul are what you make of what life has given you to the best of your ability, preparing your home to be lovely and comfortable, and then hold that door open for what comes your way with joy. Sounds like you have been doing that all along — many blessings to you and your family of humans and animals!

  9. Brenda says:

    I want goats too! Hubs says not. Sad face. I will be content with my chickens, they do not need much and Ladybug and the old mean cat that won’t come out of the basement anymore (don’t feel bad for him it is a walkout). It is a process. We have been here 5 years now. Ten acres. Seems we would fill it up but it is mostly woods and already filled up. Continue to have a wonderful time figuring it out and sharing your journey and we will keep coming back to see how it ends!

  10. Cindy says:

    Guurrrl…you are the sweetest lawyer I know! I think the soul of that farm is going to find you. It will. Just go about your business on the "what’s one more" farm (that’s what I’m going to call it! I remember that issue with the third dog!) and that farm soul will find you. Here’s the thing! Maybe, after 150 years of a lot of al-key-hall, that farm wants a new soul. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why you are the new farm family for it. Relax with it, go on doing what you are doing. It’ll happen.
    You need to get three goats if you get any though. Why? Well, there are three of you, three dogs, three horses….three goats. Hmmm…Three’s a a charm farm! Do you have a name for that farm?

    Cindy Bee

    PS – I should be on my own blog right now. I have some exciting news I need to get posted. Stop by when you get a chance…I bought an old camper-soooo excited-but I can’t pull it to your farm..sorry…it’s in bad shape…it needs a new soul!

  11. Carol in NC says:

    I saw a t-shirt once that said, "I don’t need another horse, I don’t need another horse, I don’t need another horse…" I get it! A friend who boarded with me had a Rocky Mt horse. He was drop dead gorgeous and oh so smooth. I called him Fabio, not his name, ha.

    I’m guessing you’ve discovered Wendell Berry by now. He delves right into the heart and soul of land and you can see pretty clearly that we’re just the stewards.

    Glad things are going well!

  12. Adrienne says:

    You’ve probably discovered by now that the heart and soul of a farm is the land. Otherwise, your house would be on a city lot with limited landscaping and no room for animals. You’re making beautiful improvements to the house and making it your home. You’re discovering what the land can provide and the animals that inhabit the land. You and yours are good stewards to the soil.

  13. Nicole White says:

    Ahhh… thank you for kissable horses. As you know MaryJane has had some great articles on chickens. They aren’t that hard. I love to watch them cluck and peck around, very soothing to me. We had goats (before our move to suburbia) They were so fun. We choose pygora goats, smaller like pygmy goats, with fleece like angora goats. In Organ they eat everything but thistles. Another nice thing we didn’t have to milk them everyday. Once a year we’d sheer them (hire someone the first time and get trained on how to do it- not as hard as it seems)and get this wonderful fleece to play with. Hugs!!

  14. sue margetts says:

    You and your family and the love of this land are the heart and soul xoxo

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The Snow Lady

Out of the bosom of the Air,

Out of the cloud-

folds of her garments shaken,

Over the woodlands brown and bare,

Over the harvest-

fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow

Descends the snow.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

and then I smile.

Yes! I build a fire. I make soup and bread and cookies and hot chocolate and I smile. Because I AM the snow lady.

If you’ve hung out with me for any period of time, you know how much I LOVE winter weather and snow. And, usually, after I make that particular proclamation someone will casually ask me, “Now how many winters have you spent with snow?” And I stammer and say, “Many… but they have all been inside my head.”

You see, outside of my head, in reality, that number is zero.


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  1. Joan says:

    So happy you get to enjoy the JOY of snow. I too was a snow baby when a much younger person and living on the farm. Just seemed right to go out to tend the animals and a few snow angels were totally called for. And ahhhh the crackling fire, hot chocolate and warm slice of bread was LOVE. But now at my advanced age and health conditions, I look out the window and REMEMBER, SMILE and go sit by the fire with a hot cup-a something good. Thanks for sharing your JOY. God Bless

  2. Mercedes D'Antona says:

    Dear Rebekah,
    You definitely have a gift with words. I love your posts and this one in particular is lovely.
    I’m a city farmgirl still in the city. Happy Valentine’s day to you and your whole family, including the animals of course. Mercedes

  3. Adrienne says:

    Something else I learned about snow as a child in New Jersey and other places as an adult: sun may shine, wind may blow, rain may patter on the roof but snow whispers. You must turn your ears from other sounds of nature and humanity to hear it, but it is a sweet enticing whisper that beckons you to join the concerto silently to appreciate it when snow falls.

  4. Sukochi Lee says:

    I feel the same way you do about snow. I love to get out and walk in the fresh, falling snow. The flurries tickle your nose. It is so peacful and so quiet. God is cleaning the earth. It is like fresh linen. So crisp and smells wonderful. Then it turns to dirty, messy slush. But, that is later. After we have walked in it, felt the tickle, enjoyed in the wonder of it all. Ah, snow.

  5. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    SNOW is a favorite of mine too! Watching the snow fall softly, quietly, sooooo beautifully covering our everyday somewhat hum-drum world is relaxing and magical to me. In Dallas we get snow maybe once or twice each winter. This year we got snow on Christmas after lunch (we were ecstatic for the 3 inches especially to have a white Christmas!) and again one January evening a dusting, but maybe we will get a bonus snow yet!
    I am so glad you, family, and the animals are getting to enjoy your lovely farm in the snow! Hugs, Mary Beth

  6. Rhonda Lane says:

    I loved your post and I especially loved the photo of your long furred dog with the snowy legs!I grew up riding horses in the snow and ice. You’d be amazed at how great and peaceful it is to ride in the snow and horses don’t think twice about it… Have fun always!

  7. Louise Marie says:

    Thank you for this post and all the beautiful pictures. i am from a small town not too far from Houston TX. Sometimes we will get a little smattering of snow. When we do, i get so excited. My camera comes out. i feel like a child again. i do not know what i would do if we ever got snow like yours. i think i would lie down in it too. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. God sure blessed you this winter, Snow Lady!

  8. Kim says:

    So funny to read because I grew up in the country in Northern Wisconsin and I hate the snow and the cold. I had more than my share growing up. I have now lived in the South for nearly 20 years and would never go back to snow and cold. My blood has thinned!

    Your enthusiasm is fun to read though!

  9. Pamela says:

    I am in love with the view from your bedroom! Unbelievable! Not like looking out on houses and a street, eh? Hey, Rebekkah, I wanted to advise you to get some leg gaiters to save your pants from getting so wet. Try REI online if you can’t get any locally. Also you will love flannel lined jeans or maybe snowpants. Here in Utah we are really having a great snow season in the valley, and I too love to go out in it, but being dressed to stay warm and dry will keep you happier and out longer, I promise. Enjoy!

  10. kay says:

    Winter has always been my favorite season…as my family rolls their eyes. I grew up in Spokane and loved all four seasons but winter best….especially the really snowy winters. Now adays, I snowshoe and hike in the snow and don’t pay attention to the snow pile in the front yard that is less than white…….

  11. Laura Denton says:

    I was a California Girl for 50 years before I got dropped off somewhere in the middle of Montana! I too look forward to the snowfall every year. I will often get up in the middle of the night in the winter just to look out my window to see if it is snowing yet. When it is I am more excited that a 4 year old on Christmas morning. I never tire of it. Enjoy your snow days- may they be many!

  12. Pam deMarrais says:

    Hey Rebekah….or should I say "snow lady"! Your farm is beautiful without the snow, but it is magical when it is frosted in white. I would love to sit by the mountain stream during a snowfall, when everything is so quiet. I am imagining it like you used to imagine having snow. 🙂 Horses do love the snow….do you think that they have hot flashes too? Enjoy the beautiful season, and thanks for your great blog!

  13. Deborah says:

    I love the snow too and we have only had 1 decent snow, but I would like one that came in on Friday and left on Sunday. I love walking in the snow and it doesn’t feel as cold as the temperature says it is. Cats love the snow too. You have a beautiful place.

  14. JoEllen says:

    Besides all the above, one reason I too love the snow is how when you go to bed at night in a ho hum looking neighborhood and wake up to snow, your neighborhood magically looks BEAUTIFUL!

    Love your pictures and your enchanted farmhouse and land. Thank you for sharing it all with us!

  15. MaryFrantic' says:

    Oh Rebekah, you didn’t say, but have you experienced nighttime, a full moon, no wind and snowflakes drifting down on your face? For me it is a magical experience. The stillness, the peace, the feeling of being surrounded by gentle loving "snow kisses"…ahhh, nothing like it!

  16. Carol in NC says:

    Beautiful capture of winter. I could hear the silence and feel the crunch under your boots. Lucky you! We’ve only gotten a few flurries SO FAR! Here’s hoping!

  17. KimberlyD says:

    Get a pair of long johns, carhart bibs the winter ones, and boots that go to your knees. And layer your clothes. Than enjoy the winter, oh also get hand warmers and socks with the warmers in them! And good earmuffs so you can wear your cowboy hat!

  18. Judy E says:

    One of my favorite things is shoveling snow at night, everything is so quiet, you dont hear hardly anything. Wonderful!!!!

  19. Brenda says:

    Too funny, I have a picture of my boots in the snow on the way to the hen house on last Fridays blog post. I kinda thought I was looking at a picture of my own boots on Facebook and then looked again, nope not my picture. Lovely pictures, love the mountain stream! Glad you are enjoying your snow, I on the other hand may not be even able to think of one year in my life that there was none. Maybe as a child in Indiana, maybe one.

  20. Christine says:

    Beautiful description of my favorite season. I have lived in Michigan all my life and could not imagine life without the four seasons.

  21. Nicole White says:

    Rebekah- I wish there was not most of a continent between us because we are kindred spirits. Thank you for your kind words on my facebook post about the passing of my grandmother. They touched my whole family. Hugs!

  22. Sukochi Lee says:

    Rebekah, have you ever run a metal detector over the grounds around your property? My hubs does this. You would probably find all sorts of things from that old house, and the families who lived there, for so long. I think you would be amazed. Imagine finding a fork that was eaten from 150 years ago. Or, a brooch from so long ago. Now, that speaks from the soul of your house.

    Also, have you search the old documents for your property? That would tell so many stories, when it was built, by who, how much property was with the original purchase. And, those old documents like so great framed in an old, old house.

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