Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ten months ago

Someone recently pointed out in the comments that ten months ago I was in such a scary place. I was anxious and confused—unsure of where my life would lead me and what the fate of Cold Antler would become. When I came home after last Thanksgiving vacation to a note on the cabin door warning me that my days were numbered...my life changed forever. I can still feel that empty spot in the corner of my gut. A few weeks later I received my official Notice to Quit and the countdown to find a new home was ticking like a bomb.

Today I look around the Jackson Farm and am so grateful for that note. I am happy I saved it. Hell, I plan on framing it. It's the reason these six and a half acres are mine. It's the reason I forced myself to buy. It's why lambs will be born on this ground for the first time in generations. It's how I was able to grow up. It's a puppy and riding lesson. It's a garden and a truck. It's home.

Now the only one posting notes on the door is me.

Looking back, it is unbelievable the circumstances and luck that had to happen to make me a freeholder. An eviction, a random USDA program, a desperate/retired couple who wanted to skip down and were willing to drop the price. The luck of a friendly and willing mortgage broker, a kind and loyal realtor, a new state, a fresh start. It all happened less than a year ago and that time as flown by so fast I am barely keeping up at my own clip. Today I was going over plans for the sheep's new pole barn we'll be raising in the next few weekends before the weather starts to turn. I know exactly what I need to buy, build, and with the help of some friends and power tools: we'll raise that shelter. I have a little red barn full of hay and getting fuller. If my posts this month seem shorter, or far-between, it is because I am preparing this new farm for its first winter and for the new soon-to-be mothers arriving later this year. Five Scottish Blackface ewes will be delivered, pregnant, to CAF's new fenced pasture and hillside. Gibson will have a few months of training under his belt and possibly even help gather them in from winter snows and for grain feeding and hoof-trimming.

I'm taking a break from the blueprints, lists, and lessons to say thank you for coming along with me. Thank you for helping with advice, phone calls, donations, and support. Thank you for building these fences, coming to visit, or writing me emails and comments. Even if I can't write back, know it's not about anything more than a wild life in a tame world and farm that wins over email 99% of the time.

A lot more to come. Tonight, just some tea. Thank you again for checking in and keeping up.
photo by sara stell


Blogger Delena said...

I am always in awe how just one little event in your life can change the whole course of the future. Your note, ..and for us it was seeing an awesome cabin on the internet, a drive out to the country and me getting a knot in my stomach, crying my eyes out wanting to move to this cabin and forest and knowing at that moment the time was right.

October 5, 2010 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

And thank YOU for allow us to come along for the ride!

October 5, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

It's been a fun journey coming along with you, Jenna. I had my gut drop when you found out you were getting evicted, and I felt your joy when you gathered the courage to seriously start looking to buy and when you found your farm. It's been a wonderful evolution to read about and feel a part of!

October 5, 2010 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger T said...

An thank you again, as well, Jenna. You've made our commonplace lives so much moreinteresting because your in it! Many blessings on you, yours and the farm.....

October 5, 2010 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna! I feel like we're friends just from reading your posts. So much in common . . . you're doing what I'm dreaming of (and saving for) at this point.

It's encouraging to hear about both your struggles and successes. Because if you can make it - maybe some of us can, too! I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Best of luck. I enjoy following your journey.

October 5, 2010 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yikes, I remember that. Didn't realize I'd been reading CAF so long. Thank you for opening the door of your life and sharing with us.
You are a terrific writer.

October 5, 2010 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

How utterly cool to be able to look back and see all that behind you, and have all the rest of it before you.

It occurs to me that I still have the spirit level and framing square I promised you, but the problem is finding a box in which to ship the square. I can never find one with the right dimensions. Can you still use the spirit level? It would be a LOT easier to ship by itself.

I still have your address so let me know either way. Good luck!!

October 6, 2010 at 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how true is the old adage "When one door closes, another one opens". Many times in my life "bad news" has turned into an opportunity I would never have imagined. It's been lovely sharing your journey, and I'm so very happy for you and where you've ended up!

October 6, 2010 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger damnyankee said...

I love reading about your journey. You have awakened new life in what I thought were my mundane farm tasks. Thank you....

October 6, 2010 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger miz hannahlu said...

thank YOU, for the marvelous vicarious ride! rock on,maam!

October 6, 2010 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

I say thanks for letting us into your life. Your struggles and determination are an inspiration. You are one of the reasons I believe I will get my own little space!

October 6, 2010 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

The fulfillment of your dream opens the door to the possibilty for ours. Thanks, Jenna. daisy

October 6, 2010 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger sash said...

Jenna, You have rocked your own world along with your readers! Thank you for your honesty - as a single woman trying to make it on my own, it's refreshing to read your ups and downs (some blogs make me want to gag)...yours is real - your ride takes us on your journey with you - and I'm able to envision what you're talking about - now that's some darn good writing. Keep up the good work.

October 6, 2010 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

It makes me feel so good to read this post. We're living in this crappy little apartment (our family of six), desperate to start our own family farm, sustainable and green. We're SO ready but circumstances are not - it makes me feel better seeing how things worked out for you :) Thanks for sharing it all - you should be so proud of yourself and what you've accomplished!

October 6, 2010 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Wow. What a difference ten months can make. As others have said; thank you for allowing us to take this journey with you, it's been an unbelievable joy.

October 6, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I also remember the blog when you received the note on the door! Congrats on coming this far....We are all very proud of you and have enjoyed the ride with you!

October 6, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

When you were going through that period, I felt as though someone who was so nice and honest and earnest shouldn't have to be treated that way; it was unfair, but now, and even then, I thought it might lead to just where you are now. In my life, whenever anything has happened that was just so awful I didn't know how I could bear it or get through it, I've looked back later and have seen that it moved me in a direction that ultimately I needed to go. I didn't feel that way at the time or see how it could be alright, but it was alright in time and, even better in some instances, actually. So, I was optimistic underneath my feelings of sympathy and unhappiness for what you were going through. Heck, go ahead and frame that letter, girl, you can smile every time you see it!! And, thank you for sharing your thoughts, hopes, efforts, disappointments and triumphs with us. We love you for you--not just when you do something so great, but also when you admit to maybe not hitting the mark on something--it's OK, we all have those experiences. What is so great about you is, you share it with us and I know sometimes you get criticism, but you deserve a great deal of praise. Mimi

October 6, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love your blog, love your book, love your life! just a teeny itty bitty bit of a suggestion? the caf icon on the right hand side of the blog makes it difficult to read the sidebar info. maybe make it much lighter? and add a search box for your blog - that way when you talk about a past event (like in this post) it's easy to find how things started etc. (it took me a while to find it, and i wonder if everyone would be as committed to finding it as i was :) wishing you the best. kate (ps - i don't know who i'm more madly in love with - sal or gibson. they are beautiful!)

October 6, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you all!! What wonderful things to read on a rainy day!

if the image on the lower right is too big, your screen resolution might be really huge! Mine is pretty small. It never overlaps it, but all computers are different so this blog is designed for a 1600x1200 screen.

There is a search box at the top of the blog, you can search all the archives here anytime.

October 6, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger jules said...

You are an inspiration to me, Jenna.

October 6, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

So many steps in such a short time - an interesting journey it has been and continues to be. I'm so eager to read about your first winter at this farm. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Cheers~

October 6, 2010 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger K. said...

Jenna, I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm so happy for you and also feel some hopefully not totally misplaced pride for you because you've done it! Being that you've crafted the life for yourself that you have envisioned. It's really awe inspiring when we meet circumstances that test our mettle and we have to stare ourselves down and see where we want to go and we make it happen.... good for you! Looking forward to many more
CAF updates (and so glad I have found your blog when I did because you do inspire me with your honesty and striving.) Many blessings, Kirsten A. in nearby NH (who can only comment anonymously for some reason)

October 6, 2010 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...


October 6, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

We are all excited for the ride you are taking us on! Keep up the wonderful work and many more years at CAF!

October 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

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