It was during one of our warmer weekends this winter that my husband and I took a walk by the water. On the drive home, I posed a question to him: where would you want to live if work and money were no object? I imagined his answer would be down south somewhere, where the weather stays warm most of the year and snowstorms meant an inch of snow blanketed the ground. He said he wanted to move out west. I asked him, “West like California or Oregon or west as in western New Jersey?” I was surprised when he meant western New Jersey. Apparently we share the exact same dream.
I used to think if I somehow become an overnight millionaire–a dream in itself–that I would want to move near the ocean. To wake up and go to bed at night by the sound of crashing waves seemed heavenly. I’ve had some of my best sleeps while breathing in ocean air. But let’s face reality–Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore and although we don’t experience many hurricanes, that experience was a nightmare to live, to see and to hear about. To live anywhere else where hurricanes are a common occurrence made me change my idea about my dream home. So the beach will remain a nice place to visit during summer months.
When my husband told me his dream home would be somewhere in western New Jersey I asked, “Like where my brother lives?” He lives in an area where on the main road to his house farming is a way of life and at the roadside market, everyone seems to know their neighbors who stop in for feed. Maybe experiencing the simple life in Lancaster made my dreams of beach bumming get swallowed up like the waves tugging at the sand, but I kind of like the idea of settling down on acres of land. I like the idea of going from a raised garden bed in the backyard to sprawling fields where we could plant rows upon rows of crops. As we planned our farmhouse dream together, I even asked “Can we get chickens?” He said, of course. I would probably throw a couple goats and a horse in there, too. You’ve got to start somewhere. I would want a wrap around porch and a porch swing where we could spend warm evenings looking up at the stars and admiring our land. He’d build me a farm table made from reclaimed wood and we would keep a lot of the aspects of the house original to pay homage to those who lived in it before us. And when it was time to harvest our food and flowers, we would sell our goods to local markets and passersby.
So while winter turns to spring, we’ll keep dreaming of our spacious farmhouse sitting somewhere on acres and acres of land out west. We’ll work on sprucing up our current home with some fresh coats of paint and new window treatments. This home sweet home’s not so bad. It just needs a little love…a garden…and a place for a chicken coop.
Okay, okay. I’ll keep dreaming.