Dear Lady with the perfect house and yard,
I'd love nothing more than to invite you to work your magic here. Although I don't think it would last.
You see, my yard is host to live animals, nearly year round. There's always a dog or two or five; the border collie who had a stroke is a permanent fixture, the corgi needs extra supervision and there's always a few more dogs running around on their way through the yard to help with the day's work.
There are small children; my son and his friends, who run and play and terrorize things the way small boys should.
Come calving season there always ends up being at least one calf or two in the yard who need to be bottle fed and bucket trained, three times a day. On occasion, a whole herd of replacement heifers have made their way through, grazing on the remaining bits of grass. I may or may not have had a horse in here for the same reason...just a time or two.
So, you see, there are limits on the amount of landscaping we could handle here, but if you've got some ideas, I'd surely listen!
What about the house? What about the house...
Well, the mismatched paint job and peeling stucco tell the stories of those who came before us. The porch with the rotting posts, doors that aren't quite square, floors that slope, pipes that freeze in the winter and questionable electrical wires are testament to her age.
Why don't we just get it all fixed? Because the house doesn't make the ranch.
Maybe you wouldn't notice, but the last few years have been busy as far as renovations go. However these things, for a ranch, start on the outside and work their way in. Fences, pipelines, ditch structures, corrals, and barn roofs all came first. The condition of the meadows, the range and the animals are priority. The next order of business is a shop, some new feed panels and a round corral.
Someday the house will get the make over she deserves.
But, the calf check only goes so far each year and those above mentioned priorities get the attention.
Oh sure, the house and yard are important. We have to live somewhere after all! These things aren't what ultimately lead to the success of the ranch though. Those meadows and the range land, the springs and water structures, the condition of the animals; those are the things that earn most of our time and use most of our resources. Those are also the things that pay us back year after year, if we do it right.
Oh I've got no doubt that the house fixes will happen. I just know that it will come later. Maybe when the mortgage is paid off, maybe before. I'm not going to lie though, I've spent plenty of time watching DIY Network, marking pages in Pottery Barn catalogs and messaging Nicole from Addicted to Rehab. But, I've also come to accept the fact that those projects will have plenty of planning time.
This old house is over 100 years old and she's holding up pretty well. In a way I'm glad for the mismatched paint, the peeling stucco and the creaks and groans the floors make announcing our footsteps like they have for over a century. Each piece tells a story and I do truly wish these walls could talk. I think this old house would say she's pretty happy to wait her turn and watch how things are coming together so nicely.
So, Dear Lady with the perfect house and yard, I wish you would come on out. We can sit on the old porch and appreciate the history together.
All my best...