day 11 - dreams - land and farm / by Carey

He grew up in "the meadow".  A large, open, rolling field full of waist high grass, wildflowers, and plenty of critters I'm sure I don't want to think about.  His Granny's house was right next door, affording all the luxuries of a good grandma.  Before dinner ice cream snacks and Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies, as well as built in babysitting that allowed the watching of movies that the mom did not allow.  Behind his house was a forest, full of tall pine trees and "the spring".  A small creek for finding salamanders and crawdads.  Endless dead branches for erecting forts and other military paraphernalia that all boys create.  Boyhood utopia.

Over the years, whoever owned the land in "the meadow" divided it up.  They sold it to a developer or a builder.  And the builder started to erect nice little cookie cutter houses on it.  Slowly but surely, "the meadow" is now almost all full of these nice homes.  Which is all fine and well.  It doesn't bother me much, one way or the other.  I'm really not much of an outdoor girl.  (In fact, photography is really the biggest prompt to GET me outside).  But the death of "the meadow" has been a hard pill to swallow for him... for his sister, his mom and his dad.

They long for the old days.  When it was just those few houses, and that beautiful sprawling meadow.  It didn't belong to them, per se, but it was the beauty that awaited their eyes every time they looked out their windows.

I think that's where his dream began.  I don't remember when he first told me about his dream to have land and a farm.  I am quite sure, however, that I dashed it... hard.  I'm sure I said "no way".  I'm sure I said "are you CRAZY?"  I'm sure I said "what on earth would you want THAT for?"

Thankfully, since those first days of marriage, I've learned a lot about what it means to be in a relationship.  What it means to be in a marriage.  What it means to have his dreams become mine, and what it means for my dreams to become his.

It's not all about me.

I still feel that way.  Why would you want that?  Why would you want that responsibility?  Taking care of what we do have is all we can manage as it is.   We already feel like we have no free time.  We already feel like we hardly get to spend any time together.  Having that would only mean more things that require managing and taking care of and less for us.

I don't relate.  At all.

But he wants, and has always wanted, land.  Space.  Boyhood utopia.  A place for the kids to run and explore.  Go and do.  A barn and a tractor.  I honestly cannot remember if he wants animals, too.  (And I'm afraid to ask to remind myself!)  A few years ago, I let go.  I let go of trying to control him.  I let go of trying to talk sense into him.  I let go of all the negative things I saw that came with that dream.  It is HIS dream.  It just is.  And if he wants it that bad, then go for it. It'll be my dream, too.

I don't think he really believed me!  For a long time.

Now he casually looks for land.   Some day.  Some day he'll have what he wants.

Our elderly neighbor is just a delight.  He and his wife were never able to have children, so it is just him.  He has been a tremendous blessing to us as we've lived in this house.  He's helped Shawn with countless house projects and outdoor endeavors.  He seems to relish in passing on the things he knows to the younger generation, and relish that he's found some young folks who care what he has to say.  He's enjoyed our kids, almost as much as we do.  He has any tool imaginable.  He grows a garden and gives us his tomatoes, zucchini and cantaloupes.  He checks our mail and rolls down our trash when we go out of town.  And when it is warm outside, he spends his first 10 minutes home every afternoon just talking to me and filling up a tiny bit of the lonely hole in this isolated stay at home mom.  He's just a delight to us.   He has land, and a farm... just 10 or so minutes down the road.  And he lets us go visit, any time we wish.

In fact, since the weather was so lovely last weekend, Shawn took the kids over there while I got some things done around the house.  For now, this will do.  Mr. Farrel's farm will be our borrowed farm while our kids grow up.

When I read the prompt for day 11 -- dreams  -- I knew instantly it would be this that I'd document.  His dream for land and a farm.

(And I would just like to say that, it IS a little bonus, now that I am into photography like I am, that farms and wide sprawling land happen to make just wonderful backdrops for pictures.  that had NOTHING to do with my change of heart, I promise!)