The year of living at the ranch was a beautiful and tumultuous experience. We learned a lot about each other: what we wanted, what we were ok settling with, and what we absolutely were not. I went back and forth to the Springs a lot for appointments, which was good because we missed Daisy terribly. All in all it was a good and ease-ful transition for a mother and daughter as close as we. She began by moving out on her own, a little further each time, and when we moved in with Angie we were even further. And now 5 hours away we practically live in different states which I know will happen eventually so this is all good practice. But the fact that once a month I got to see my daughter and the girls got to hang with their big sister was great. The drive was a lot but it was worth it. I knew it wouldn’t last so I enjoyed the moments.
Niko and I quickly learned we were not renters. Though of course we were grateful, still we didn’t like it. The property was absolutely beautiful and there was plenty of space for us all, still, there was a sense of limbo that remained~ of not being able to fully root in. Spending piles of money we’d never see again didn’t help either. The Yaks were completely amazing. Hairy hippie cows with their massive and intimidating horns, they were majestic and magnificent. I loved watching them. I was nervous to go near them, whereas Leelu of course had no fear. I kept my distance unless there was barbed wire between us. The owner was there a lot with her 2 little boys which was nice most of the time. The girls had built in friends for the most part. The winter months were wild, so much snow. It was beautiful, but wow~ so much snow.
A few months in and we’d begun to look around for land. There was still too much snow to do any serious exploring so a few properties passed. And then as it happens when we pay attention~ magic. Niko’s cousin, Abi came to visit for a weekend. Niko had been pretty inspired by the terraced farming he’d seen in Peru and I could tell it was influencing him. While Abi was here we decided to walk over to a piece of property that Niko had stumbled upon recently and check it out. Yes, walk to. It was a trek over the fields out back and through the woods, not too far. But for its close proximity it couldn’t have been more different from where we were renting. Basically the side of a mountain (enter terrace dreams), it did however have some decent plateaus and buildable sites. It was completely raw, not my ideal~ yet I wasn’t opposed to it. I usually have a very clear NO when I know and I didn’t feel that. I could see the possibility of what was before me. A lot of work. A LOT OF WORK. But, still… we three, (Abi, Niko and I) planted some dream seeds and decided to purchase the property together. Since we still had over a half year to rent, we had time to ponder. It was raw land after all, where were we going to live? Of course, talking this step also added a bit more stress to our plate. We were in debt again, and not just that~ we now had rent AND mortgage, on top of everything else. And you know the saying, “When it rains, it pours”? Yeah, it did that. Daisy totaled her car. Leelu had dental bills in extraordinary amounts. I had my own health problems that kept rearing their ugly heads. It was a trying time in our marriage. Thankfully, we came out loving each other harder than before. Marriage is work, y’all. Don’t be fooled into happily ever after. You have to work for that shit.
Deadlines were upon us. We had decisions to make. Our year was almost up. Niko had been working so hard on the water, the driveway, a storage shed~ but we still weren’t sure where we were going ot live and we were broke. We talked tiny house, but the time and expense to built it were still an issue. We talked just living in our little vintage trailer~ all 14 feet of it. We talked Yurt, but again, out of our budget. We decided to take a drive to the Colorado Yurt Company in Montrose and look at their teepees. We were at that desperate point again. Sure, the idea of living in a teepee was intriguing, but not at all practical. We certainly did not have the skills the First Nation’s people had to make that work in our lives. We were considering staying month to month in our rental which just heightened our stress. Just too much output.
While I was in the Springs for an appointment Niko got a call from the Yurt Co. with an offer. Would we like to purchase their floor model? It was used and weathered but plenty of warranty left, and WAY more equipped for winter living than we’d anticipated being able to afford. We said yes. It was still a crazy investment but it was an INVESTMENT. And though it was a home we could look forward to, there were still preparations to make and money to spend. A deck needed to be built, phone lines installed, waterlines redirected.
To make a very long story reach its point, we persevered. We are here. The deck was built, though not completely finished, but enough to set up the Yurt (which holy hell was an adventure all on its own~ maybe Niko will jump on here one of these days and enlighten you.) As of this writing we have been here for a month and a half and are still working through the kinks. We are building as we go and working everyday to make it more comfortable. We have a roof over our heads and a floor beneath our feet. We have a kitchen sink with running water and wood for our stove. We have a little more financial breathing room without the hefty monthly rental payment weighing us down, which has significantly reduced our frustration and anger and increased our kindness and patience towards one another and overall lovable nature in general.
We are in one room, all of us together~ and it’s actually quite sweet. Eventually we’ll build a loft to separate a bedroom from the living space but right now we’re so grateful to be in our space on this wild land and look forward to dreaming again. There is a future here as we steward this place. There is a life to be lived. And we are living it. Fully inspired the whole way through.
And now, for the most part we are caught up. I hope from this point I can share with you the things we are DOING and how we are actively BEING in this life. Thanks for sticking with us. Onward, ho.