Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Here We Are!

Hello, and welcome to the Second Act Farm blog. We're happy you're here.

"We" are Mike and Mary.  We've been married for 36 years, raised three great kids, and have maintained a great sense of adventure throughout our life together.  Early on we struggled to make ends meet - two 70's liberal arts majors with no readily marketable skills.  But we have been blessed to live our lives in an America that offered great opportunities to anyone willing to work hard.  We have worked more jobs than we can count, sometimes more than one at a time, and have learned valuable lessons from each one.  Over time we found our niches and built our careers.

We have traveled together to many areas of America and Europe - exploring them on foot, looking for the unique experiences that are missed by the tour bus traveler.  In our travels we have experienced the comfort of hot soup on a damp London afternoon.  We have tasted local wines made at small Tuscan vineyards.  We have snorkeled in Hawaii.  We have hiked through Boston, New York and San Francisco -savoring the unique sights and smells of each major city.  Every place we have visited has taught us something, and we have tried to bring that learning back to wherever we call home.

We have lived in small towns and medium-sized cities, in apartments, houses and condominiums.  They have been interesting places, but have always had an underlying sense of impermanence.  We never lived in a place that felt like "the" place - the home of our dreams, the place we would grow old in.  There was always a sense that this place would do for now, but the next place would be better, closer to the ideal.  That missing element kept us moving.  We've joked with friends that we keep cars longer than we keep houses.  (Both of our cars are over 10 years old...but each has been parked in 4 different driveways.)

Last year, in our last house, we spent several months contemplating a major remodel.  We had some great plans drawn up that would have transformed our 1960's vintage home into a magazine quality space for entertaining.  The prospects were exciting, but the cost estimates made us think twice...or three times...or four.  What was it we were looking for?  We realized that we weren't interested in living in the latest space from Architectural Digest or Dwell, nice as that might have been.  The house was on a quiet street, on a beautifully landscaped lot.  Out the back, we looked over a pool and across a city park - a view guaranteed not to be spoiled by development.

But something was missing.  Something kept gnawing at us, just below the level of consciousness.  Nice as it was, we found that we couldn't grow a vegetable garden - the back yard was too shady.  Was that it?  Really?

Then, late last fall, Mary had an epiphany.  She saw an article on Facebook - a reflection by a hospice worker on the regrets she heard her patients express on their deathbeds.  There were numerous variations on a theme:  I wish I had done this or that when I had the chance.  Now it's too late.  I'll never get to do it.

Mary listened, and reacted.  "Look", she said, "We used to talk about wanting a farm.  I still do.  If we're ever going to do it, it needs to be now!"

"Yes", Mike answered.  "I remember.  We used to talk about it all the time.  OK.  Let's do it."

Thus the search began.  This spring, 2012, we moved to a six acre farm outside Columbus, Indiana.  We've named it Second Act Farm, a name we'll explain in a future post.  For now, what you need to know is that it represents a dream deferred, but not forgotten.  If you're reading this first post in the summer of 2012, you have probably been in conversation with us about our vision and objectives for the farm.  You have been incredibly gracious and supportive - not one of our friends or family members has called us crazy, at least to our face.

We are creating this blog to document our experiences.  Through it we will report our successes (cheer us on!) and our failures (learn with us!).  We hope you will enjoy the posts that follow.  If you have stumbled on the blog through a referral at a later date, we hope you will find something instructive - some information that will allow you to move forward without making the same mistakes that we did.

Either way, we welcome your comments and value your opinions.  Thanks for going on the journey with us.  We expect it will be a lot of fun!

Mike & Mary
Second Act Farm
Columbus, Indiana