We did not have a glamorous or exciting 4th of July weekend.  Taking advantage of Tim’s 3-day weekend and the unusually cool temps, we decided to clean out our detached garage.  We tackled a job 17 years in the making  (or maybe that should be 17 years avoiding?) Whichever, I’ve just to to say it’s a miracle we are still married as this weekend wraps. 

As most of you know, 17 years ago we sold our custom-built home in the cul-de-sac and bought a 150-year-old farmhouse on 15 acres.  You’ve heard of weekend warriors?  Well, since 1998 we’ve been playing the game of “weekend farmer”.  Without owning a single tractor or knowing diddly jack about – well, much of anything – we started tending alfalfa fields, bailing hay, raising chickens, putting up with goats (cause there is nothing else you can do with goats!), raising pigs, boarding horses, etc. etc….

So many stories I could tell – long, sad, sometimes funny, largely pitiful stories – of the young couple that dove in WAY over their head when they bought a farm. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – think The Money Pit and you’ll have a fairly clear mental picture of our journey these last 17 years.  

Two major remodeling projects and four more children later, we are still living at Starkacres. The term “remodeling projects” seems too vague of a term to me, because I lived every day of the 16 mos. in my parent’s house while we PICKED IT UP THE FARMHOUSE AND PUT ON A NEW BASEMENT.  

People, at one point there was a lake under my house!  These were not simple cosmetic changes (although we had those too), these were significant structural changes that seemed to take on a life of their own.  The day I pulled in my driveway and found a bull – A BULL  – hanging out where our back door used to be I nearly lost it. They don’t make TV dramas (or comedies?) this good!

This home also came with a barn (where we stored said hay and animals) and a detached garage.  Two years ago we had to tear the barn down; another event filled with fun as only weekend farmers can bring it.  Throughout it all, we’ve basically used the garage as a storage unit.  Well, Tim’s used it as a storage unit while I was tending to our house and babies.  But, times, well, they are changing and it was time to address the only outstanding item at Starkacres: it was time to clean out the garage. 

I’m not sure there are words to adequately express the range of emotions I’ve encountered this weekend with my husband.  Nope.  I’d love to pull some of that “vague-booking” or “fake-booking” in this post, but I can’t.  Our garage (I have to say “ours” because my name is on the mortgage) was nasty business. I’m not entirely sure, but I think the show Hoarders could’ve filmed this space.  Just to give you an idea…never mind, words are failing me. I can’t give you an idea. It was simply out of control!

Thankfully, 3 full days of work later we are turning the corner.  There’s still an entire backside of the building that needs to be torn off, but the garage-proper is now cleaned out and organized.  It’s taken 17 years, but Tim and Dawn and our little people (and my father-in-law, Lord knows we’d be lost without him!) have just about taken control of this farming experiment.  We are down to 3 acres, a defined yard with some landscaping and a pool, an updated and modernized farmhouse, one dog, one cat, and now a cleaned-out garage.

We even found time for some traditional 4th of July celebrations with family including BBQ, firework displays, and ice cream runs.  Plus, I’ve bathed the dog AND  managed to stay married!  Here’s to a win-win holiday weekend!