Homestead Progress

One of the on-going discussions that Miss Mercy and I have is about progress on the homestead. Sometimes it seems that nothing is going right, things we planted last year have died or are failing to thrive, all of the bird feeders we put up are full because a hawk moved into the neighborhood and has eaten or scared off all the birds. The first year I attempted to keep bees I was generously gifted two hives, equipment and about 60,000 bees. I was desperately attempting to learn how to keep them alive, attending meetings of the Kansas Bee Keeper Association , reading books and then suddenly, small hive beetles! I understand that small hive beetles are a natural part of the world, I understand that they only do what they do because they must – but I dislike small hive beetles with the same passion that I dislike squirrels.

The slow progress we seem to be making seems overwhelming at times. Sometimes we sit on the deck and discuss the lack of progress. The interesting thing that we discovered while discussing our lack of progress was that we were discussing it on our deck. Five years ago when we moved in to the Mad Farmer homestead there were two decks. One deck was what we called the “Fire Deck”, that was an existing deck in one corner of the yard that had been created to facilitate “fire pitting”. The second deck was a smaller deck that extended off the back of the house. The Deck that Miss Mercy and I were sitting on, drinking our morning coffee, discussing the lack of progress on the homestead was a deck extension we built three years ago about 22 feet by 17 feet of deck extension that wrapped around the house. The same year the Mad Farmer built his lovely bride a Pergola on the old portion of the deck. We are literally sitting on an example of progress.

When we bought the property it had many trees, it had weird bushes in strange places, the earthworm activity was good but lots of bare soil. Five years later we now have four decks, The Main Deck, The Deck Deck, The Fire Deck and the Dock Deck (actually this build is in progress). We have a scenic pond, a partially completed decorative pond (waiting until the rains pass and we can finish it). We have removed the dead trees, the scrub trees and weird vegetation in the easements. We have the Pub Shack and the Hugel mounds. We are clearing space for a Green House and Miss Mercy’s Flower garden is starting to bloom – the Hollyhocks are amazing! When you look at pictures from when we moved in until now the changes are actually amazing. Miss Mercy has dug a lot of post holes. Your humble Mad Farmer has moved a lot of wood chips and dirt. We have a plan on where we want to go. We’re working on it. I’m not sure who initiated the phrase “Every step in right direction is a progress”.

Every movement forward is in the right direction. As long as it’s forward, it’s progress. Life is like that – every moment is either forward or backwards, always pick forward and you are moving in the right direction.

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