This is it. My family is going to pursue our dream of greener pastures, literally.
When we bought our house, we thought our 900 plus square meter block was HUGE. We quickly set about major renovations, taking out asbestos walls, completely re-painting all of the interior and exterior, major landscaping – a blog entry all of its own really. It took years. A little over three years to be exact.
Whilst that was being done, we also set up trying to create a lifestyle we wanted for our children. We’d barely begun our renovations when we bought our Rhodesian Ridgeback. Soon after our daughter was born my husband expertly created a veggie patch and built a chook shed. Then Wilma and Betty, our two Isa Browns, joined our family much to our daughter’s delight.
We wanted our children to understand where their food came from. I wanted to re-create some of the fond memories of my childhood, such as picking strawberries from my grandfathers garden that never quite made it to the kitchen – yum! I wanted my children to know how much better food tastes when it’s fresh, to understand the seasons and to experience the joy of watching things grow and learning to cope when things don’t work. But as we accomplished each of these things, our massive block started to feel small. We began to notice that we really enjoyed spending time together as a family in the garden. I loved cooking with our produce. In an effort to ‘live locally’ and eat fresh, we started to source farmers’ markets to buy the things that we couldn’t grow. We began to buy entire cuts of meat that we would cut into more manageable sizes, thereby being able to afford nicer, more expensive cuts as well as better quality. At the same time my husband and I were growing increasingly frustrated with various aspects about our jobs. We had gotten to the point where we realised that our jobs were not going to change for us, so we had to change instead… As time went on what we used to joke about started to seem like an option that should be given serious thought. Why not move to the country?
So as a way of relieving our stress and to mentally escape, we looked at properties in the country on various real estate sites – just to see if it was feasible. We talked to family friends who lived in the country and I started to read different blogs, just to see what we would be getting ourselves into. Slowly our joking started to become serious. We took weekend trips to different towns, to see if we liked them. Viewed a few properties.
Then a problem occurred.
We found a block of land that we both liked. The land was small enough that we could get financing with a regular loan (it had to be under 10 hectares or you have to get a commercial loan), yet large enough so we could do everything we wanted. It even had internet access. Of course the irony is that it doesn’t have electricity, sewer or water…
So the day after our son was born, my husband spent the day negotiating the purchase of 23 acres near the Yass River. I remember holding our new born son, less than twenty four hours old, and watching my husband negotiate over the phone the purchase of a property that will potentially change the course of our life.
We’ve kept it all ‘hush hush’ partly because we are still coming to terms with it. It’s almost as if, if we talk about it we might wake up from this glorious yet scary dream. We also haven’t talked about it with many people because until our house sells, we don’t truly know if we can move… If we can afford it. But in the meantime, we own 23 acres in Gundaroo, a tiny little town 35minutes north of Canberra. Gundaroo has all the essentials, a small primary school with 60 students (actually 3 classes of students is quite big for a country town), a church that has services every second Sunday, a large sports oval, a general store/post office/irrigation supply store and two pubs (this is Australia after all).
So now we wait in nervous anticipation for the sale of our house, to know if our dream will indeed become reality.