Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

The Beginning of the Dream of Going Green

Sam, my cowardly standard-poodle puppy
Sam, my cowardly standard-poodle puppy

Pauline HyltonSam sat his furry bottom down by my unsmiling face as I lay sprawled on the blanket.

“You’re blocking my view of the poplars, Sam.”

Sam is my cowardly, black, standard-poodle puppy who weighs about 60 pounds. The reason for his cuddling—he was terrified. Terrified of falling leaves. Terrified of bleating donkeys. Terrified of working tractors.

But this will be his life and I think he likes it.

I am like Sam.


Terrified of making new friends. Terrified of failing as a farmer’s wife. Terrified of having to drive 45 minutes to reach the nearest Starbucks.

But I think I'm gonna like it.

I like seeing my husband drive the orange tractor across red clay. I like tilting my head all the way back and marveling at towering poplars with bright yellow leaves against a clear blue backdrop.

Aniversary present tractor
Me on my anniversary present tractor.

Tom and I have a dream. We’re over 50 years old, live in a tropical paradise of several million people, and run a charter fishing boat.

But we want to be farmers.

I didn’t always want to be a farmer. In fact, when I first traveled to Mt. Airy, North Carolina (aka Mayberry) to visit Tom’s mother on her family homestead, I couldn’t think of any reason why anyone would want to live there.

Quiet wouldn’t describe it. It took fifteen minutes of a nail-biting drive down twisty roads to reach the small town. The Main Street was adorned with old-fashioned storefronts, advertising The Andy Griffith Show. No chic stores with expensive brand names I couldn’t afford. Pity.

When Tom’s mother died quite suddenly five years ago, we stopped our yearly trek to the farm and I missed it. So when we visited a few years ago, I fell in love. With the people, with the town (which now boasts a Ruby Tuesday’s, a Chili’s, and a great Thai restaurant) and especially with the land. A collage of my Creator.

I love the smell of it. The feel of it.

We’re cultivating a dream. In fact, we’re learning to cultivate.

I’d like to take you along with me and tell you about it. Maybe you’re living the dream, or maybe it’s become a nightmare.

There have been a lot of funny things, and even some hard things. I’d like to tell you about them.

Probably you have a lot to teach me. We need all the help we can get.

It’s making me smile just thinking about it.

Question of the week:
What is one piece of advice you could give us besides DON’T DO IT?

(We’ve already been told that.)

A view from the yet non-existent porch
A view from the yet non-existent porch.