Someone once said that to be truly happy in this life, you need to love, you need to be loved and you need to have something to look forward to. I don't know how true that it for you, but it's pretty spot-on for me. I find that I slip-slide into dark murky places my soul has no business lingering when one of those three is lacking. Most especially when all three were (as they were for most of my twenties).
But now, the golden trio are mine, in spades. I love. I am loved. And I look forward to biting into my big, juicy dreams.
These are the dreams:
I want to learn all I can about homesteading, actually be good at it. Know my soil ph and nitrogen when to plant the cool-weather crops and how to make hanging gardens and all that good stuff. Know how to raise my poultry, skin the rabbits. Have divine recipes up my sleeve for our fresh eggs and meat. Drum up wickedly yummalicous batches of cheese.
And I want to travel – I want us to have a truck and a trailer. The truck, I'm thinking a '94 or '95 Ford F150 XLT (4×4); the trailer, something suitably vintage, that we've happily tricked out to our hearts' delight. The point of the travel is to find a place to have our Inn – bed and breakfast – and also just for fun, explore this here land mass we stride upon. And by "land mass" I mean the Americas: north, south and central.
For the Inn – this is what I dream of: a large house that looks like the Cohen-Bray place in Oakland. With lots and lots of land surrounding it. Upon that land I'd like a kitchen garden and larger farm. A small barn for bicycles and bicycle maintenance classes. Another barn for our cow (s) and perhaps goat(s). A large chicken coop. Rabbits. Yet another barn for an art studio.
I want us to offer training for those with (developmental) disabilities in the hospitality industry, farming and/or bicycle maintenance. I want us to offer bicycle tours.
With the Inn, I don't want a lot of rooms – perhaps 5 – and I want each room to be completely unique, with a theme. I want our food to come primarily from our garden; the eggs, milk and cheese to be made by our own hands.
This dream, percolating for so long in my mind, my heart, simply gains clarity with time. Where I could only once just see bits and pieces of it, I can now see most of it – it's all neatly integrated, like a gorgeous puzzle that makes sense. This would be our place, a place for Moxie (should she need one), a business for our kids to have and hold if they choose. It would be a venture that would fully utilize the combined talents and passions of Mikey and myself. A place where our parents can come and live, be with us and grow old. Especially our mothers, Mikey's and mine.
I once wanted to have this Inn in South America: Peru or Bolivia. Now, I'm not sure. The pull of family is strong – I want nothing more sometimes than to be able to open my kitchen window and holler that I need me some flour (or something) and one of Dana and Toni's tribe will pop by, cup in hand. I want my kids to grow up rooted with family, knowing in a way I never did that they belong.
These are the bits that are not neatly arranged in the dream-puzzle yet. The where's. And the which-comes-first: the trip or the Inn. I don't put much energy to these questions, however, as I firmly believe in this new incarnation that if I follow what makes us most happy, it will all come together most nicely. It's useless to bend over backwards trying to answer questions that will answer themselves if they are just given some time.
I lay the pieces I know together, study them, enjoy the picture that is forming. I spend time trying to develop the skills that will help me form the next pieces.
I dream. Big.
And. Why not? Isn't that what this is all about?
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.