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Building Our Home and Our Life, Together

A photo of GaFarm Woman PamWhat are you!? Some millionaire that inherited a big place?

That comment left on my blog immediately brought this vivid image into my thoughts.

Our first home. The image didn't quite look like a millionaire's home.

Farm Woman's first home, a trailer

That was a comment I received once when I had posted this picture of the farm house after FarmMan had remodeled it.

Read more on the remodel here: Farm House Before and After

Remodel of the house Farm Man built

The little rough (well alright really rough looking) trailer looked like this in a year. The most beautiful home my 20-year-old eyes had ever seen.

Trailer after a year of updating

That was over 30 years ago and the road to here sure hasn't been a smooth one by any means, but it has been an adventure.

We haven't inherited any land or house. We got it the old fashion way. Through hard work and being very tight with what money we had.

You can read more about it here if you like: The Beginning

We saved and build our homes without borrowing money. (That's a younger FarmMan up there)

Building our homes ourselves

The early years were hard. Very hard. Saving and working. With 2 small boys. Buying building materials instead of new automobiles, instead of fancy name brand clothes. Driving older used cars, shopping at the salvation army and thrift stores. Sticking to a tight food budget.

In less than 7 years (7 long years) we were out of the trailer and in our first home we built. Together.

Georgia Farm Woman's home in 1984

And it was paid for, plus we paid off the 7 acres of land by then also. We were so proud.

Four years later we had sold the first house and land and bought 50 acres of land.

And were back in a trailer ( that is a slimmer, younger FarmMan up there).

Trailer with the new house taking shape around it.

While we built this house. Together.

The house we built

Then we decided it would be more practical to have less house and more land. So we once again we sold our home, bought 100 acres and built this house. Together.

Plan for the house

Side of that house

Which turned into this house after a few years.

Same house upgraded by Farm Man

So, after 30 years, here we are. Still haven't inherited anything. We didn't have any hand outs. We paid as we went. Still paying as we go. It wasn't and still isn't any easier. I still shop thrift stores. We still haven't bought new cars, trucks, or tractors.

I wouldn't trade the bumpy ride to here for anything!

It has been quite the adventure.

The commenter did comment again later after she saw the post I had written about where we started from. She apologized. Thank-you.

It is hard doing things your way. Hard to listen to relatives comment about how poor you look, about your old car, as you struggle along working and saving.

We did it our way . It isn't the way for a lot of folks.

I can't wait for the next adventure!

You can read more about our adventures on the farm here: Life on a Southern Farm

Have a great day.

7/10/2014 6:56:07 AM

When my niece moved in her new house the specialists from told her she must first get rid of mold before starting any work. She was very excited about the project and put all her efforts to make everything perfect, if the advantaclean specialists would not attention her about the mold all her work would be in vain.

6/1/2010 2:52:46 PM

Thanks Cindy! Like everything in life, we are still evolving and enjoying each new adventure. Have a great day. Pam

cindy murphy
5/29/2010 10:34:00 PM

Pam. You and Farm Man rock! What a beautiful house to show for all your hard work, and perhaps more beautiful is the inspiring story of how you got to where you are now. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend.

5/28/2010 4:56:55 AM

Thank-you Paul. I agree that people sometimes don't realize the work and patience that comes with getting where you want to be in life and that is what gets a lot of folks in trouble. Using credit cards and loans to get there faster. Slow is better in many instances. Think of it as an adventure. A life lesson. Be excited to think of what the next day will bring and it will be fun along the way! Thanks for the comment. Pam

5/28/2010 4:43:01 AM

Hi Nebraska Dave, I do know that the sacrifices made the end result that much more special.I admit that it wasn't easy but there really were a lot of fun memories along the way. It sounds like you have a lot of those nice memories from scrapping by beginnings, too. Thank-you for your comment. Have a great weekend. Pam

paul gardener
5/27/2010 3:06:37 PM

Pam, I can't say enough about the impact of a post like this. I've made my mistakes and wanted more than I could afford. I learned the hard way to save and be rugal. STill not perfect, but a lot closer. I think so many people today could learn so much from your story. I see a lot of folks that want the "farm life" with chickens and goats and a big garden and acreage, but don't realize the work it takes and the things they might have to choose to do without to get there. This is a story of not just success but of patience and hard work. Thank you! Hank... If you're reading, I think it would be great to see a story like this in Grit print. So many could be inspired and instructed I think. Just my two cents. Thanks again Pam. Paul~

nebraska dave
5/27/2010 10:54:02 AM

Pam, what a wonderful story. Most don’t want to sacrifice in the early years to live better in the later years. I think it’s an admirable thing that you have over the course of 30 years stayed debit free and have built a gorgeous house. I just love all the porches and 100 acres too. I’d say that’s even better than being a millionaire. You have accomplished something with time and hard work that you certainly should be proud of. You have overcome the evil love of money that always ends up in debt. People see the sweat of 30 years and never stop to think about lowly beginnings and the sacrifice it took to get there. I started out married life living in a third story two room apartment with the bathroom out in the hall. It was all we could do to scrape up the $48 a month rent and still have enough to eat. From those humble beginnings we worked out way up through cars and houses to a considerable better life. I can’t say that we did it debt free and I’m still making a serious attempt to eliminate the debt. Thanks for the trip down through your life.

5/27/2010 7:52:16 AM

Thank-you Shannon. It wasn't easy paying as we built and not running up debt. After a while though it just becomes a way of life. You buy what you need and only if you can pay for it at the time. Period. There are just so many material things that are not necessary. I am so happy to be where we are now. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Thanks for the comment. Pam

5/27/2010 7:44:29 AM

Hi MountainWoman, Thrifty is something my husband and I both are experts at! I imagine it would be easier to just inherit land and a house but I can honestly say I have had the time of my life doing it the "other" way. Thanks for the comment. Pam

s.m.r. saia
5/27/2010 6:17:36 AM

Wow, what an incredibly encouraging and uplifting story. It takes a lot of courage and fortitude to do what you have done - I speak as someone struggling to pay off debt and wishing I'd done things the way you've done them, and struggling to move towards it. You have a beautiful home and a lot to be proud of.

mountain woman
5/27/2010 5:14:21 AM

I remember that comment on your blog and I sure know they were passing through because if they knew you, they wouldn't have written that. There's something about being thrifty and putting the land first and keeping it in one large parcel instead of chopping it up and doing without to keep the land intact that I admire. It's so easy to sell acres and grab a profit. Much harder to live and pay for everything along the way to preserve a lifestyle. That's why I admire you and Farm Man so much. Hard work, thrift and a dedication to the land.