Hello from the Heartland
By Mary Murray
Hi, and welcome to my first post…I’m excited to be able to join the other blogs here at GRIT! Since I’m new, I’ll start by telling you a bit about myself.
I was born and raised in the Midwest. Over the years we moved often; however, the fond memories I had of my grandmother’s home in the country always stayed with me. Her home was set on a grassy hillside bordered by a long row of fragrant lilacs and a creek running nearby. The woods on the hill provided endless chances for me to explore, and each night, the songs of the whippoorwills would sing us to sleep. Even though I spent most of my growing up years in the suburbs, her country home always held a special place in my heart.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m off to college. I traveled to the Rocky Mountains for five years, returned home after graduation, married my sweetheart, and we settled into our first home. It wasn’t long, though, before our apartment felt small … we needed to stretch our legs! That was the beginning of many Saturday mornings we’d pack a map, along with a picnic, and head out looking for a few acres of our own. My husband had grown up on a 100-acre farm, and I still had those warm memories of my grandmother’s home, so it was decided that a farmhouse outside of a small, Mayberry-like town was what we wanted.
We finally found that home … an 1864 farmhouse on 10 acres. Although it needed quite a bit of renovation, the mahogany, chestnut, and red oak woodwork sold us. It was filled with craftsmanship from another time … a hand-carved banister, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 9-foot arched front doors with old glass.
So, we dug in our heels and began making changes. Carpet came up, flocked wallpaper came down, and plaster was repaired. As we continued to make this farmhouse our own, we named it Windy Meadows Farm, and welcomed a sweet girl and boy to our family.
Our farm is what’s commonly called a hobby farm, and our 10 acres were originally part of a 1000-acre land grant for Revolutionary War service. We’re so fortunate to be surrounded by family-owned farms that have been handed down from generation-to-generation. With room for kids to roam, space for gardens and animals, it’s now our turn to call this house our home.
Along the way I’ve worked in the corporate world and had my own design business. Once our children came along, I was fortunate to be able to work from home as a lifestyle & cookbook editor. These days I’m home full-time, chasing kids, gardening, making wreaths, weaving baskets, and tinkering with spinning and weaving. I usually have a camera in one hand, a cookbook in the other, and wish-list for our next home renovation. On our farm you’ll find a small flock of chickens and a few barn cats, along with a trusty farm dog and rabbits. And by the way, that wish-list above also includes the hopes of adding goats, bees, and a llama to the mix!
I love old houses, wooden barns, and simple, old-fashioned ways. It’s the country pleasures that mean the most … tying on an apron for Sunday dinner, barn sales & auctions, farmers’ markets, county fairs, porch swings, and slow train rides. Add to these things the laughter of children, and we couldn’t be happier.
And so, on this snowy winter day, I welcome you into my life as a wife, mom, and wannabe farmer. I’m so lucky to be doing what I love each day. I’m happy you’re here and I hope you’ll visit often. When you do stop by, you’ll read my thoughts on country living and take a peek at what we’re doing. I’ll also share some of our favorite recipes, family traditions, and show you the changes we’re making to our farm along the way.
Welcome to our farmhouse … life is good
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