I promise, this isn't Covid. The other day, I turned to Zach while he scoured the internet looking for a Jersey or Guernsey Dairy cow for sale (even though we are a ways away from actually getting a cow). I asked him sassily if he thought we only want a cow because we're cooped up at home due to Covid. He answered, "Oh, for sure," and then immediately returned to his browsing. But that's the kind of man I married. One that will play the joke through to the bitter end.
Zach has ALWAYS wanted a cow. But, not being a big animal person myself (I'll tell you my feelings for chickens later), I can safely say that owning a dairy cow has never been my dream until Zach came along. He filled my head with the notions of homesteading early on in our marriage and those notions made themselves a cozy home up in my mind. For years, we have been dreaming about starting a small farm and homesteading with chickens and bees and gardens and.... dare I say it.... even a cow. These dreams have sustained us through many challenging years and even more dark days. So no, it's not Covid.
There was about a month this summer where we thought we would be settling in Calgary. We looked and looked for a home with a bit of land to buy there. We almost bought a "fixer upper" that would have been the end of us but were ultimately snapped out of our stupor by a backyard full of septic discharge (YUCK!). Following that disaster, we went to look at a property north of Calgary. It was a tiny but beautiful house on one or two acres about fifty minutes outside the city. I loved it. I loved it so much that I almost convinced Zach we should buy it. That would have been a disaster equal to the Septic yard fiasco, I'm sure. We wouldn't have been able to fit our couch inside that house, let alone our kids (who are ALWAYS here and NEVER leave). But, in the yard was a little vignette that is the essence of my dreams. There was a small grass field with a happy cow, standing, munching and a big tree fit with a tire swing in front. The stuff of dreams, I tell you.
Eventually, we ditched the Calgary idea and settled in Edmonton. We found a house on a small acreage, bought it, and went on evening hikes through the thicket that was our new yard. We found a pond, no tire swing or cow as of yet, but there was a pond. The weather turned, the little pond froze and I took my kids out to explore one afternoon with ice skates. I went back to the house to start dinner and as I watched my 9 and 7 years olds skate on that little pond, I saw another dreamy vignette. That day, dreams I didn't even realize I had were realized.
It's not about Covid. It's about the life I have imagined for myself and my children where we are able to unplug and explore, swing, skate, and work together. It's the dream. And we are ready to get to work.