I cheated on the farm today - went and looked at some other land. It's what I do. Without even being one year into things I see how easily this place could be bursting with animals and vegetables and minerals. Well maybe not that last one, and probably not even that second one either since I have yet to turn this brown thumb green. But the innate, intense, inherent desire for more wide open or even densely forested space sits eternal within me. I just can't quiet the little beast. So occasionally I do a casual search for places in this area -morbid curiosity is what it is, actually - whether for affirmation or to my detriment. Never has such a gem emerged as I found recently, and oh how it's troubling to covet what you can't have.
Regardless, I needed a peek. Just down the road, around a bend, is a 100 acre wood for sale. It's stocked with ponds and barns, a little old 1940's bungalow - the type of house I hoped to move out here in the beginning. The property's been unplucked for a century at least - longer? The old growth makes me think it's Texas, untouched, and absolutely feral. We trekked through woods, along the creek beds, tossed some stones into the pond. I sat in one of the many old wooden swings that dangle off the arms of oak trees. I showed up in my cowboy boots but the realtor, a sweet woman who never
sells country property, was walking sock-less into high grasses. In
shorts. I finally pulled her back gently and explained the concern over
snakes and such. "SNAKES?!" she gasped, hand to her chest, suddenly
breathless, "but we're so close to Austin!!" Yes, but - I explained -
they generally pay no attention to city limit signs. I remembered my first visit to our land, in a cotton skirt and flip flops; the realtor eyed me suspiciously. He was concerned about my safety, and the poorly chosen attire made my subsequent land purchase dubious, at best.
Driving home, the windows were rolled all the way down. I had the dial tuned to a country station, music I never publicly enjoyed before, but all the songs about tractors and trucks aren't really stereotypes anymore. Hell, they're sort of relatable! (You know, I really DO like cold beer on a Friday night. And jeans that fit just right. I mean - truly.) The wind blowing through the car kicked up small funnels of alfalfa, remnants from my last trip to Callahans. I got out of the car with shoulders burned from the sun, bits of hay in my hair, a rogue cactus thorn on my boot tip. The visit was worth the memory of standing under an ancient oak tree, looking out across a 30 acre prairie like it was our place, a big rugged canvas I could paint five different ways. But the car brought me home, right here, to this slice of the pie that remains the sweetest, albeit, toughest decision we ever made. No, I can't purchase a 100 acre parcel, but I'll be damned if I won't scheme and plan over the thing. That's the sort of thinking that brought us here in the first place, proof that the practice of dreaming big gets you somewhere. I'll take it.