Once Amy and I decided that we wanted to pursue this simple yet complex, fun but tedious, and exhausting regenerative lifestyle, we had the dream to formalize it. Make it ours. A title which would allow both name recognition and humility while still expressing the important facets of our existence.
We moved to Maine in the summer of 1988. My father had found an excellent opportunity at a regional hospital here that covered a large section of this very rural state. Unfortunately, that meant leaving behind true rural living for suburbia. We moved to a “city” of about 30,000 people, the closest large city was just over 60,000 folks and 2 hours away. I only just now realize what my family and especially my father gave up to do that. His gentleman’s farm was now run and owned but some other gentleman. I applaud my Dad for continuing in what ways he could by having a decent sized vegetable garden. Memories of those gardens are fond. Pulling plump large carrots, hosing them off and pretending to be Bugs Bunny while eating them with greenery still attached. And for the record, nobody made better Dilly Beans, Bread and Butter Pickles and Sweet Pickles than my Mom. I still remember the large black with white speckles canning pot sitting on the stove for what seemed like days. The juice was worth the squeeze when it came time to delicious Dilly Beans and pickles as part of the appetizers before Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. We look forward to them in our stockings at Christmas once we moved out.
The garden seemed to get smaller and smaller each year, it finally disappeared once we children had our lives filled with sports, high school band practice, scouting activities and friends. My parents sacrificed of themselves (and their suburban homesteading) to provide the time and energy for the extra-curricular and social outings for my siblings and I. I had all but forgotten about those times until Amy and I had started exploring how to care for our nuclear family.
To be continued…