Tree Change that Enriched our Lives

DSCN1744Our Mountain retreat

If you are thinking of making the move out of the city and into the great beyond, take it from one city slicker to another, you won’t be sorry.

To say the beauty that surrounds us is beyond description. Yet we did not realise, how important the change would be  for our family.

MY CHILDHOOD HOME

I grew up on five acres, in a small village outside of a large inland town, on a hobby farm. My Dad enjoyed bringing different animals home to watch our excited reactions. We had many dogs over the years, oodles of cats, guinea pigs, chooks, rabbits, two rescued baby cockatoo’s, sheep, cows, horses and even one stinky ferret. We did not keep all these creatures at the one time but the pleasure of caring for them gave me a  reminder later in life of what I wanted for my own children.

I recall the organic smell and feel of the rich coffee coloured earth under my bare feet. Running free in the churned up fresh moist dirt when my Father ploughed the paddocks. Clod fights and the odd upturned witchetty grub placed back in the soil, was the order of our days. We helped plant corn or tomatoes, there was always something growing in our paddocks.

The memories of feeding baby lambs, or watching brand new chicks pop out of a warm egg spring to mind. I guess with nine children there is no better place to grow up, supported by loving parents and the space to do what ever our wild, barefooted imaginations could muster. I laugh thinking about the time we made mud pies in the back yard. My father dug out a deep hole filled it with water. Many hours spent with siblings covered in mud and giggles of delight, this is forever embedded in my happiness files.

As a I matured the city called me, I travelled the world and made Sydney my base to work, save my money and set out on a new adventure. After meeting my husband on a blind date, set up by my sister and his sister-in-law, our life together began.

One day my husband came home from work and said “Let’s move to the countryside.” It was not that simple. Selling the house was the first step. When I look back at our journey to find work, put a decent roof over our heads and deal head on with the pending issues of a diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome for our boy, it was all meant to be. I can’t imagine them going to a huge school with hundreds of children, when he does not cope with too much loud noise.

When my husband showed me the place we would be living, a farmhouse with the mountain view, I instantly fell in love and so did the children. I was a little worried at first about the fact we had no neighbor’s. This only lasted a couple of days and even now when I think of putting a house on our block of land in the next town, I know what I really want is a place like this. Just us, the cows and nature in all her splendour.

Today was a holiday Monday for the Queen’s birthday weekend, we did the usual trip to Nan’s beach side town on the Saturday. Ice creams and a walk by the river with visiting cousins. When I asked my daughter what she wanted to do today she said “I’m going to clean out the chicken’s house”. I watched on as she and her brother got to work. After they finished and the chickens clucked about scratching for bugs, I witnessed the proud smiles exchanged between the two and it brought back the reason we made this lifestyle choice.

chook pen-1

The job all finished, proud children, happy chickens.

DSCN2438

The choice to let our kids be kids, to get dirty and play for hours outside with only their imaginations to fuel their fantasy games. Sure they have Ipad’s, Ipod’s, WII games etc, etc. I believe we need a connection to both worlds. BUT it was great to see them choose something so rewarding. It made me proud that they could work together, with no help and finish what they started.

Yes I am glad we took the risks sold our house and moved to the countryside, I know my children will seek out the city as I did when they grow older but the memories of life on a farm will always be in their hearts.

Please tell me what risks you have taken for the benefit of your family and share in the comments, I hope you enjoyed your day on the farm with us.

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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35 Responses to Tree Change that Enriched our Lives

  1. my 9 kids were raised like you were and loved it

  2. Thank for a glimpse into what a childhood should be.

  3. Audrey Chin says:

    Kath, it sounds like you had an idyllic childhood. As for the gift you’ve given your children… They’re so lucky.

    Our risk was to move back to Singapore from California because we wanted our children to live in a multi-cultural Asian setting. Unfortunately, that meant living in a city and not an orange grove. I will never have children who can clean a hen house!

  4. Kath, I never wanted to live on a farm until I read your story, you make it sound like paradise. I can see why it is so wonderful for your children to grow up on a farm and spend so much time outdoors and around animals. We kind of went the other direction, moving from a smaller town to the suburbs of Washington DC to pursue a business opportunity and I’m glad we did it, it’s a wonderful, vibrant place to live.

    • Thanks for dropping in Kathleen I loved Washington DC it is one beautiful city and my two get a big kick out of going to the city of Sydney too. Each to there own paradise I say. My Mother still laughs at this little inner city chick who swore she would never go back to the country. Funny what kids do to you.

  5. mrsgillies says:

    That’s so cute that you met on a blind date 🙂

    • Hello Mrs Gillies glad you stopped by, our first date was at Bondi Beach, we did the walk around to the next beach and finished with dinner in an Italian restaurant in the city. One day when we are old I want to retrace my steps and have that date again.

  6. i have no doubt you have made the right and best decision for your family. We moved out of the city too, as you know, and have no regrets. My children are grown but they love to come visit and the grandchildren always enjoy their stay here.

  7. I am thinking of getting away from humanity. Love your take on it. Little by little, I inch my way toward that.

  8. Getting away from the people means lifting my anchor and sailing away. I know just how you must love living on a farm:). Your idilic description wants me to pack my kitbag and take off for the wilderness. Kids growing up barefoot without a care in the world, priceless. I grew up in a small farming community and remember with fondness the mud cakes, digging tunnels in dirt dam walls and playing in haystacks.

    • Patricia ah yes digging tunnels and jumping in the hay and on my fathers old car, we used it for a trampoline. He had plans to restore it but after nine kiddies bouncing and climbing all over it, he gave up on that idea lol.

  9. Thank goodness for the World Wide Web, where you can find definitions for “chook” and “witchetty grub.” I love the arc of this story — how it takes me from your childhood home, to the pull the city had on you and then ends with the fantastic choice your children make. You make me proud of them and proud of you.

    • Susan sorry about the chook, very Australian term, had to keep it real. I have a funny story about a cooked chook I will share on my blog one day for a bit of fun. Thanks for kind comments.

  10. diannegray says:

    What a beautiful childhood you had 😀 I grew up in the city,but during the school holidays would visit the family farm in central NSW. I took the plunge when my children were small and we moved to the sugar cane farm in QLD – they absolutely loved it 😉

  11. Sheila says:

    Really beautiful writing – I love how the memories all have such a relaxed feel to them. While growing up in Michigan, some of my favorite times were visiting my aunt and uncle’s farm. It was always an adventure to try to hold a squealing little pig. I agree we need to surround ourselves with nature as much as possible. It sounds like you made the right choice just for that view (and the chickens must be fun too)!

    • Hi Sheila I was an inner city chick for a very long time, so I value what I have even more. Although I still love to visit the big city and show the kids city living. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  12. Sheryl says:

    I also grew up on a farm–and then moved to more urban areas. Sometimes I think that my children missed out on some wonderful experiences as they grew up in suburbia, and think it’s awesome that your children will be able to experience some of the wonders of farm life.

  13. Admiring your gutsy tree change and the freedom you’ve given your kids. Just beautiful!

  14. Aquileana says:

    I found this post truly touching and captivating.
    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing part of your past with us.
    Best wishes, Aquileana 😀

  15. Desi Clown says:

    You had an amazing childhood… I envy you :p hahaha!.. Your children are lucky too, they will have some very good memories about growing up. Apart from what you’ve mentioned, your other blessings include breathing fresh air, consuming relatively less pesticide-laden produce, and not getting any sort of mental ailments most city dwellers seem to be prone to. I wish I had the guts to do such a massive change in my life how you’ve done

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