Saturday, October 4, 2008

Living My Dream

If I could pick the perfect life for myself, this is what it would look like: I'd live close to a small town and about an hour away from a large one. I'd live in a small, quaint cottage with a white picket fence smothered in red roses. I'd have three cats, a dog, and chickens. I'd have a fireplace to cozy up to in cold weather and screen doors to let the cool breeze in when it's warm. I'd have wood floors with no carpet, handmade quilts in the bedrooms, and stacks of books everywhere.

Outside would be cottage gardens and boxwood hedges. A huge woodpile would be close by to heat the fireplace and stove. There's be brick walkways everywhere leading to outdoor rooms and secret gardens. There'd be fields beyond the gardens with large oaks here and there. Underneath the trees would be black and white cattle. A river would run through the fields where the children could splash and catch minnows. There'd be a huge tin-roofed barn where square bales of hay were stacked for cattle feed and childrens' hideouts.

I'd spent my days hanging my laundry on the line, preserving food from our garden, cleaning and scrubbing, teaching my children, cooking everything from scratch, weeding and planting, making our clothes, and being thankful for such a wonderful life.

I'd stay home enough so that going to town is a treat and not a chore. I'd look forward to church on Sunday instead of dreading it as "another trip I have to make somewhere." I'd have young mothers over for tea and inspire them with my knowledge and wisdom about childrearing. We would have other families over for Sunday dinner and linger long around the table until almost time to go to evening worship.

So this would be my ideal life. How close is it to the real thing? Pretty close. Here are the differences: House- My climbing red rose died and hasn't been replaced yet. Everything else is just like I dreamed it would be.

Gardens-I need to work here and there to make it my dream garden. Gardens are so hard, especially in South Georgia, because things keep growing! I get one bed perfectly weeded, but it'll only stay that way for a week or two. My dreams when I laid out the gardens are WAY too high maintenance. I'm looking now to simplify things. But I do have good bones in boxwoods and old brick pathways.

Outside-Our barn is just a pole barn; which means it's open on all four sides. Not my idea of a proper barn, but most farms down here have them. Besides, that's what my husband wanted. Since he let me have my way with the house, I figured he could have his pole barn! It's not very attractive though. There's no hay in it either. I was describing the barn and fields of my childhood. I'm very thankful that at some point in my life I got to play in the hayloft with my cousins. We also don't have any water flowing across our land; also a memory from my childhood. We have fields but no trees in them; just around the edges. And we have no cows, but we can hear our neighbor's mooing and can smell them, a pleasant sensation to me.

My days-I do spend my days doing all the things above that I love only not as much as I'd like. I have to make too many trips to town; about seven a week. I can only think about one of those that I can eliminate right now. They all involve taking Darcie to her various activities and my weekly shopping.

Hospitality-I've gotten out of the habit of having people over on Sunday. I want to have families and young women over. I'll have to do it enough until it becomes easy again.

So the bottom line is.....I pretty much have the kind of life I want. I am very thankful to God for blessing my husband with a good job so I am able to stay home and be a full-time wife, mother, and grandmother. I'm also thankful for having a stubborn will and hard head that enables me to see what I want and then go for it. Our country is so rich, and most people in it live better lives than the rest of the world. I'm truly blessed to have choices.

I guess that's the thing-I chose what kind of house to build and where to build it.   I chose the furnishings.  I chose to stay home and for that to be my only job. I also know that many women don't have choices. I hate that for them. I can't imagine a world where I have no choices, because I've never had to.   And for that, I thank God, really.


Sian Draycott said...

We are truly blessed with the choices we are able to make.
Welsh cake recipe now on my blog... Enjoy!

Shannon said...

I remember all the Sunday afternoons I spent at your house as an adopted college student of yours. I hope your church is still doing that program, what a great opportunity! We are going to start doing that here with a public boarding school (11th and 12th grade students)... we already do it with our college students.
Thank you for your hospitality to me! It's been almost 10 years since I left GSU and your family still resonates with me.
I love you!

Susan L said...

Debbie, you are truly blessed! I liked reading about your ideal life and then seeing that you have it! You indeed do have an idyllic sort of existence, but, still, having eyes to see your blessings is what makes you so content, and that's a choice. Many people can't see the riches that are right in front of them! And I know what you mean about hospitality. I used to have a houseful of people all the time, but because of various circumstances, I've not been busy at that lately. Must get going! :-) Thanks for the nudge.


Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I loved this post. You know I have 'Living the Dream' in my blog title. I really believe you sound like you have a wonderful dreamy life. We are so blessed and the Lord has been so good to us. I love your blog.

debbie bailey said...

Ya'll are very sweet with your comments. Shannon, I spent too much time while you were here worrying that I wasn't spending enough time with you. I'm glad it was a positive experience for you; me too! You've been the best 'adopted' student we've had.

Trish, I'm going to check out your blog right now. And Susan, thanks as always. I wish you were my neighbor!