Hi, it’s us. Jon & Phyllis.
Today, we find ourselves living a challenging and rewarding life that neither of us ever believed possible and for which we both had only fond dreams. After successfully raising a herd of show quality and seed stock alpacas on 20 acres in the country, we are now in another transition.
Buying the acreage and building a working farm was the last thing anyone that knew us would have guessed we would do, but then again, they all snickered at us when we announced our engagement after knowing each other a mere 3 months, they snickered when we sold everything we had, left our families and moved to Missouri from Maine & then they snickered when we announced that we were going to buy some acreage and build a farm. Having celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary in January of 2014, they’re not snickering anymore. Having lived in Missouri for 15+ years now, they’re not snickering. Having spent 8+ years breeding & raising alpacas on the farm in Lathrop, Missouri, they’re not snickering. In fact, some were even envious and often said we were “living the dream.” We have to admit…when we dream, we dream big and we do whatever it is we have to do to realize that dream. The farm was a huge learning experience, one we would not trade for anything but, after more than 8 years, we decided on a change, once again.
The several years before we sold our farm, so much in our lives was changing. Our son was out of school and struggling to find meaning and a purpose for his own life and seemingly caught in that place between what he wanted in life and where his choices thus far in life had brought him. It was a difficult time for all of us. Anyone that’s raised any type of livestock or other live animal has probably felt the sting of death. You work your fingers to the bone and do the best you can for those in your care and still sometimes, it’s just not enough. Then, realizing the true frailty of life, whether it be our domesticated furry friends, the livestock we raised, the birds at the bird feeders, or the elderly neighbor up the road with cancer, not to mention the long, cold, dreary Midwest winters were taking their toll. Strokes, hearing & heart problems, cancer & such were some of the realities that helped to make the decision for us to sell the farm, all of the alpacas & horses and move closer to Jon’s parents in Florida. Family is important to us and Jon’s desire to move nearer to his dad was overwhelming.
Jon managed to find a job that would allow him to relocate to Florida all within the same week of his dad’s open heart surgery in March of 2013. While we were visiting him, we found a house that we could rent for a year while we decided exactly where we would put down our roots once we moved. So, we rushed back home, packed up what little we had left after selling the farm and dreamed of sunshine, fishing trips with dad, picnics on the beach and big family dinners once again. Then the phone rang.
March 31, 2011: As we packed our things into the truck for the drive across the country, Dad, still in rehab after surgery, took a turn for the worse and once again, the sting of death strikes with the hardest blow. The pain numbs you and for the longest time you wonder if you’ll ever feel normal again.
But, chasing our dreams is something that Jon and I have done, together, since day one. Nomadic dreamers that we are, we find ourselves loving Florida as if we had lived here all of our lives. With so much to do and so much to learn about and see, we’re constantly moving, exploring new places, tasting new foods, and enjoying learning new things to do outdoors. Fishing, canoeing, boating, swimming, hiking, etc. There’s never a lack for something to do to keep us on the move and once again, we are “living the dream.”
All of these new experiences have created an abundance of topics for me to write about to scratch my creative itch. Writing is something I’ve been doing ever since I could hold a pencil and only now, as I’m cresting the proverbial “hill” am I making the time to write for others, not just myself in my private journals but getting my voice out there and writing for others.
I’m glad you found your way to my blog. This is the first blog I started way back in October 2007 (on the 4th to be exact!) Check the archives and get to know us even better. Our lives are pretty much an open book.
We would love to get your comments below.