I coined the phrase “Homeville Homestead” not long after I moved into my home. It came after about eight years of living in a small apartment with my three children and sleeping on the sofa so that they could have the bedrooms. I didn’t mind the sacrifice, but I didn’t notice how much stress the small living space added to our family. I found the apartment to be a blessing while I pursued my master’s degree and tried to raise my kids.
The house was a major step, and happened very quickly. Fortunately, Heavenly Father watches over me even when I am impulsive and naive, and the home has been very good for us. It was supposed to be a place for the whole family, but my two daughters have since gone to live with their father. My son and I find the house to be more than large enough for our needs. We have a living room and an informal TV room. I have a bedroom (and my own bed!). My son has his own bathroom, a bedroom and an “office.” Lately, he has been using his office to express his inner engineer. Wow, thirteen year olds are a paradigm shift in parenting!
I have discovered that I love yard work and gardening. Strangely, I give most of my vegetables away. I don’t mind. It’s cheap therapy. I do all of my outdoors work with hand tools. Even my lawnmower is completely human-powered. Only my weed eater is battery-operated — I couldn’t find one that wasn’t gas or electric.
I find the yard work to be satisfying and “grounding” (bad pun, I know). It gives me my alone time after a long week to recover my inner balance. I feel closer to God, and feel like I am sharing in His work, at least a little bit. It also helps keep me active.
We also got a dog a couple of summers ago. Chief is my son’s dog, and has worked wonders for him. A boy really takes steps toward manhood when he becomes responsible for another living creature. Although I still take care of the heart worm medication and give him his monthly bath, the day-to-day care is up to my son. My son has learned that true care of another creature is more than food and water. He has learned that he also has to care for the psychological well-being of someone else. He’s learned to make some tough calls and be logical when his heart wants to give in and be a “softy.”
So, I guess the “Homeville Homestead” has been worth the time and investment. We’ve survived an improperly inspected and leaky roof, a six-month mold removal project in the master bedroom, moles and rats, and leaky drains. We’ve learned that hard work really does pay off. God’s blessings come in all shapes and sizes.