Sometimes my husband and I daydream about buying a huge plot of land out in the middle of the woods far away from any signs of civilization. It’s a romantic vision. Peace. Quiet. Privacy. Freedom.
Sure, we’re pretty “out there”, as far as living rural and private. We can’t see our neighbors through the woods, but we still hear traffic on the road, and four wheelers, and other noises that come with neighborhoods being developed around you.
But then days like today come along and we realize how grateful we are for the people around us. Our family. Our friends. Our neighbors. And we discover once again how much we need other people in our lives, and how much we enjoy being in their lives as well.
When I realized that it’s potato planting time and I only had a handful of seed potatoes leftover from last year’s “volunteer” garden, I knew I’d have to find seed somewhere.
The local mill has seed potatoes for sale, $5.99 for a 5 lb. bag, but that’s pretty expensive to us for the amount of potatoes I’d like to plant. I decided to see if my good friend/neighbor up the road might happen to have some extra seed potatoes leftover from her garden that she wouldn’t be using. Sure enough, she invited me over to her basement where she had a huge spread of sprouting potatoes on the concrete floor- all extras that she didn’t have any use for. She was glad I could use them, and I was extra grateful to take them off her hands.
I promised to look through my seed collection and bring her some pea seeds- which she herself was lacking.
A little later we visited another neighbor to borrow his tractor to dig holes for some fencing we’re putting in. It would have taken us FOREVER to hand dig the holes with a post hole digger in this hard, red clay soil, so we were extremely grateful to be able to borrow such a useful tool. While we were there I offered the gentleman some of the seed potatoes I’d gleaned, which he was happy to accept.
Before we left, another neighbor (whom I’d never met before then) drove up on a four wheeler. I introduced myself and got to talking. I asked him if he had a garden and needed any seed potatoes. He said he did plan on gardening this year but didn’t have anything going yet. He was glad to take some potatoes and asked me lots of questions about how to plant them. He’s pretty new to the area and will be starting his first garden this year. It was my pleasure to be able to share with him what I knew. He seemed like a really nice guy to get to know.
We just felt so blessed to be able to give and receive today.
As much as we’d love to live in a more secluded area, we really do love and appreciate being surrounded by such good people. There have been so many times that we’ve been able to call on others for help, and we’ve been able to answer that call ourselves to go and help others in need.
It would be awfully hard to do it all ourselves all the time. If it came to sheer survival, I’m not sure we’d be able to make it on our own.
With this fresh on my mind, I’d encourage any of you who are interested in homesteading to consider finding property at least in the vicinity of other like-minded folks. I promise you, there will be times when you need a hand. Friends close by are good to have.