It has not yet been a year that I’ve lived here.  Not yet a year of waking up in the farmhouse’s largest room.  Not yet a year of living with only one drawer in the kitchen. Not yet a year of Meander waking in the night and having to check for a skunk before letting her out.

The farmhouse last year.

The farmhouse last year.

And yet. . .

And yet . . .

In this near year, I have met the love of my life, my partner, the man with whom this place will thrive.  He wields a chainsaw with acumen and gladly mows the entire farmyard when I have to edit a manuscript late into the evening.  He sketches plans for the terrace, and his hand will design our farm logo.  In 46 days, he will be my husband in more ways than I knew that word to mean.

In this near year, we have mowed back Andi-high stands of grass and cleared trees left bereft on the land. We have planted a garden and have seen it through most of its first season. We have added nandina and mahonia to the front and geraniums and celosia to the back.  We have a chicken coop nearly done, and a retaining wall for a rustic patio begun.

The farmhouse now.

The farmhouse now.

In this near year, my daddy has almost moved nearer and has decided it best to stay home. He has battled depression and grief and come out strong, if not healed all the way. He has, still at 66, lifted railroad ties and constructed tool sheds.  He has proven, once again, why he has and always be my hero.

In this near year, friends have shared this place for afternoons and walks. They have slept on the floor and couch. They have helped barbecue and roast marshmallows. They have cleared the deep scattering of trash that decorated the land, and they have helped gather the sticks that make the bonfires.  They have begun the legacy of visitors to this place.

In this near year, we have discovered that our plans to build a barn and timber frame will require much of us – much in money and much in energy – and we have committed again to the plan.  We have begun to create ways that you – The Whisperers – can join us in building this dream – mugs and journals, concerts and workshops.

In this near year, I wrote a book about this dream and watched hundreds of you buy it and appreciate the vision.  I had a friend hold a book launch for me, and I got tweets from those of you who loved it.

To all of these things all I can say is thank you.  Thank you to Philip and my dad. Thank you to all the friends who carry this place in your hearts and hands.  Thank you to a loving God who gifted me with a dream and the chance to live it.

Nearly a year . . . and all gratitude.