Yep, that's right! We are one step closer to our dream becoming a reality. We went on a whirlwind road-trip for 18 days, spending 7 of those days in Nebraska looking for land. We ended up with a contract on a beautiful spread of 78 acres. We are excited beyond words, and yet also a little jittery as things start to take shape.
The land is all pasture now. Well, that's not entirely accurate, as it has other features as well. There is a large section in the back that is blocked off by a seasonal stream and a nice thick wooded area. For our purposes, this will be wonderful. We want to have a nice combination of wild & tame land, where we can build up the soil of the "farm" and also replenish trees, provide a habitat for wildlife, and generally be good stewards of this little plot of earth we've been blessed with. And so, that pasture-area that is blocked off by the woods will probably be left to re-wild itself, as it's already begun to do by sprouting a lot of cedar trees through it. The land also has a few ponds, one of which is the only real feature of the land that you can see from the road (the pond with a big lone tree) because of the rise of the land. That pond is filled with frogs! We heard them plop, plop into the water as we walked up.
There are lots of deer & wild turkey on the land. We saw deer tracks all over it & Don also scared off one while walking. The neighbor told us of the turkeys. We also witnessed a large hawk swoop down and catch something from the field.
Speaking of the neighbor...the land does not have a house on it. There are a few options. #1, we'll just build. #2, we'll purchase the neighbor's house. He told us he was planning on moving in the spring, so we looked at his house & left our name & number with him. We will most likely make an offer on it soon. #3 would be to purchase the neighbor's house to live in while we build another house. In that case, Don's parents would take the house when they get there in a couple years. They are currently seeking 2 more years in the mission field, but will move to the land with us when they are done. Anyway, the neighbor's house is on 4.5 acres. It's a cute little 1925 farmhouse with a 2000 square foot barn, a chicken house, an outhouse!!, and he is in the middle of building a 1.5-car garage. (Unfortunately, we don't own any half-cars!) It would be nice to have that to move into when we get there, but any way God sees fit to work things out will be fine by us!
We are trying hard to come up with a name for the farm. I've sent out emails to most of our family & friends, posted on the Sonlight boards, and Don & I have brainstormed our hearts out. We are finding it harder than naming our children was!
Now that we are home, we are trying to figure out a way to get Don's parents up to see the land when they come back for their training this winter & spring. We are so excited & can't wait to show them! We are also busy trying to learn as much as we can. And, save as much as we can, so we have the resources to begin work when we get there.
The dream is taking off!