I seem to be the only one in my extended family of actual relatives, friends, and fellow horse addicts who is not bemoaning the beginning of winter. This was the first day that snow actually accumulated, and I spent the morning standing in my bare feet in the open doorway, awed over how snow can even make the ugly apartment complex Boyfriend and I currently live in beautiful. Boyfriend spent the morning cursing the snow and the cold and me for standing with the door open.
I’ve always loved winter. And not “I love being inside with a cup of cocoa and a fire” winter (although I love that, too). As a horse owner and a farm worker, I spend my winters working outside. For at least twelve hours a day, I am outside breaking ice out of water buckets, blanketing horses, cleaning stalls in a freezing barn, hauling hay, skidding full wheelbarrows over ice, working unruly horses… Everything that I do every single day of the year, except with additional layers of clothing. And I still love winter.
Winter would be my favorite season if it didn’t go on so long. Here in northeast Ohio, it sometimes feels like six months are dedicated to snow. And too much of a good thing always makes it bad.
The only thing I hate about winter is driving. I hate driving to begin with, and driving with snow and ice on the roads is even worse. Last year, I had the benefit of living on the farm where I worked and kept my horses, and I never drove once. I didn’t even have a functioning car all throughout winter. That’s the life I’m striving for at some point in the future.
My first few posts of this blog were dedicated to my hunt for a new house/farm, and while that search hasn’t ended, it has sort of changed.
At the beginning, Boyfriend and I were looking for a regular house with five or more acres. We planned to live there for a few years and then upgrade to a larger farm. But I was greedy. I wanted the larger farm immediately. I didn’t want to put a ton of effort into a place we would only live in for a year. I wanted more than five acres. We found a house that had twenty acres and a cute little barn. But the house was in bad shape and so was the land. It was a foreclosure and the previous owners had destroyed it before they left. There were problems with the electric and a well that didn’t work and miscellaneous pipes were missing from the walls and various other problems that made the property undesirable. Boyfriend and I wanted a fixer upper, but it needed more fixing than we could handle.
In that time period, as I wondered how we could make it work, I considered living in a trailer while we were rebuilding. Then, I found the Tiny House Movement.
The Tiny House Movement is all about- you guessed it- tiny houses. Most of the houses I found were about two hundred square feet. Some, of course were bigger- up to six hundred square feet and sometimes even more- and some were smaller. I saw a Tiny House that was ninety six square feet. I loved each and every Tiny House I found, and I felt my plan changing. Not only did I fall in love with Tiny Houses, I fell in love with what the movement was all about. The houses all leave a much smaller ecological footprint. They’re environmentally friendly. Some are even made with one hundred percent recyclable materials. They’re about living simply and not needing stuff you never use. They’re about everything having its place.
My plan has changed drastically. I am now looking for the perfect twenty plus acres to build a Tiny House. I want to live simply. I want to homestead. I want to live off my land. I’ve always been an advocate in horses living more naturally, and how it makes them healthier and I think that living in a Tiny House and raising my own food will make me healthier and happier as well.
Boyfriend thinks I’m nuts. But I’ve never been so excited. I’m already drawing out my house plans and researching building materials. With every Tiny House I find, my own house plans are added onto, changed to include some new aspect. I’m picking out paint and looking at clever storage options, composting toilets and how many solar panels I would need to go entirely off grid. I’m reading about harvesting rainwater and growing plants and canning. I’m subscribing to so many homesteading blogs it’s ridiculous. But I’m excited for this adventure. I’m excited to start it and see where it leads me.