Seeking Simplicity

Nov 12, 2008

#Balance#Depth and Faith#Life#Working Mom

My husband regularly tells me I am the most ADD person he knows. I tell him he doesn’t know a lot of people. He tells me he can’t know too many more people because I’m all the people he can handle.

Then he kisses me and slaps my ass in fun and turns on the TV.

Lately I’ve had this urge. I often get “urges” or “a bee in my bonnet” or “any sort of cliche you can think of here that is a nice way of saying totally lost my shit.”  Sometimes I crave my favorite city Bellingham. Sometimes I need to fly home to Texas. Sometimes I ache to hike or camp or kayak. But not in the way you think of a normal person missing things she used to do before kids. No, it’s more like a lady with PMS being told chocolate is NOT AN OPTION and then watch the unleashed crazy in her eyes as she sits in front of Ghirardelli. 

Lately, I’ve been craving a farm. Now, I am not a farm girl. In fact, I grew up in the suburbs of South Houston where every fifth house was the same and our grass was manicured to perfection with not so much a dog off leash. But as I drive to drop off my son at his daycare, I pass farms of cows and barns and sheep. We talk about the animals and the types of trees. We watch the horses. We say “Moooo” a lot.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up on 5 acres of land with a turquoise barn. He’s talked about that barn and its role in his childhood as he and his brother jumped from the loft in to a pile of hay and spent hours hiding and shooting each other with pretend guns as cops and robbers.

It’s hard to buck the years of habit in your life. It’s nearly impossible to change a city girl in to a country girl, although Ree makes a convincing argument. My husband laughs as I talk about wanting a farm house. A barn. A BARN!

Finally after much discussion we found out it comes down to this: Simplicity. A symbol. That barn? It’s real, but maybe it’s not a barn, per say, but a choice. A lifestyle. A decision.


The sub-urban lifestyle of running to swimming, day care, meetings? It’s not where we thought we’d be in our early thirties. It’s our life, and we love our life, our jobs, our kids, our schedule. We’re happy with extra-curricular activities and working out at the YMCA. We love our friends and our new towels and our fresh couch and granite counter tops. But there’s something missing… something .... space? time? a yard? Or perhaps, a barn.

We want that life, the simple life, of kids running and jumping and going outside. Of teaching chores and life lessons. Of opening our curtains to see grass instead of twelve other houses. Of hearing frogs in the summer and the rain in the winter.

We’re starting to crave simplicity and balance. Balance: The always sought after holy grail of motherhood. We’re all looking for it.

For some reason, I think mine is in a barn.

A turquoise barn.



  1. Amen.

    Good to know we aren’t alone grin I would love to see a turquoise barn.
    I adore ya.

    By Rachel, A southern Fairytale on 2008 11 12

  2. I am the same….drives my husband nuts.
    Like a dog with a bone.
    First it was a Greyhound, then the mutt, then the kittens…..jobs, vacations, and now houses…

    By crunchy on 2008 11 12

  3. I’d love me a turquoise barn.

    By Jessica on 2008 11 12

  4. I harbor a secret urge to escape to the country with a barn of my own. Complete with cows to milk… And chickens to lay eggs. And alpacas to spin yarn from their soft locks. And, I do have a fat girl-crush on Ree… but still.  I am too lazy to live the farm life.  Sad, but true.  There are days (like today) I can’t even manage to shower, and load the dishwasher.

    I hope yoy find your true happiness, Les… Just remember, there ain’t a Bucks or DSL for miles whereever there be turquoise barns!! wink

    By Christine on 2008 11 12

  5. I’ve turned our little suburban lot into a little mini-farm - no barn, but a cute little shed.  If you had a backyard you could get creative (but I don’t think you have much space to play with - my sister just bought a small 500sf apt in Ballard for double what we paid for our 2180sf house on 1/4 acre).

    Or if I grow the balls and can handle the poo, you can come visit if/when we get chickens in our yard or the neighbor’s yard (but I’ll put your kids to work with the Squeezo during harvest time).  A slower pace to life is certainly fun - you even get used to and prefer putting down the 25mph main drag rather than the highway a few blocks over.  Plus then you can drop everything for a day of huckleberry picking when you want to.  smile

    Hey, you have a coop or CSA or something you guys could hang out at and get a farm fix?  Or I could offer up my aunt and uncle in Everett - they’ve got goats and everything.  smile

    By Lanna on 2008 11 13

  6. Yep… I do this too.  Usually I end up saying to my hubby “I want to go DANCING!” Or “I want another dog!”  We don’t do either, by the way.

    We did go through the “Maybe we should live in the country and learn to live off the land and give B a chance to experience the natural side of life,” but everyone we talked to that had lived “in the country” was vehement about how much work it is, and how the commute sucks, yadda, yadda, yadda.  So, we stick to car trips and picnics to satisfy that urge!

    Oh, and as for being the most ADD person ever?  People say I have ADD, but they don’t know what they’re talking… oh LOOK!  A chicken!

    By Katie Kat on 2008 11 13

  7. As a country girl, and former farm girl, I understand your yearnings.  To make you feel better, there a quite a few homes & parcels of land for sale in our part of TX where people who desperately wanted to live in the country got there, then realized it wasnt’ all they thought it would be. You have to be willing to spend most of your spare time maintaining it - mowing, fencing, etc. If you have cows, you have to worry about feeding them through the winter & getting up at all hours to fix fence when they get out. The only decent internet service you get is via satellite & it usually doesn’t support streaming video & it completely fizzes out on stormy days. Land & space costs money & time, and it doesn’t mesh well with the soccer practice/dancing/little league rigor of modern children’s activities. Is it worth it?  To me, defintely.  But to most of the people I’ve seen move out to the country, it doesn’t (unless you’re weathy enough to hire people to take care of all that other stuff). Maybe this will make you feel better about your suburban life.  smile

    By Christy on 2008 11 13

  8. Ironically, I think mine is a skyscraper.

    By Miss Britt on 2008 11 13

  9. Bellingham is my favorite city, and part of me wishes I could live there (Mallard, Fiama Burger, BBB&B;, the water, Fairhaven), but M’ville will have to do for now. I do get the travel urge though. I like to think it’s because I moved every year as a kid, so every three years or so we just have to get out and go.

    By Angel on 2008 11 13

  10. Damn, you too girl?  I thought I was the only one cursing at Ree about making me wanting to move to an even teenier town than I already do.

    By Darla - Sassy Homemaker on 2008 11 13

  11. You write so beautifully and make it sound so appealing.

    I spent my childhood in a small town yearning for the excitement of the city - I wonder if it’s just in our makeup to yearn for what we don’t have…?

    By Don Mills Diva on 2008 11 13

  12. Hubs are I have always talked about moving to the country.  And just this week, more seriously than ever.  Though the thought of trying to sell a behemouth 5 bedroom 4 bath house in this economy - AHHHHHHHHH!

    But the thought of a turquoise barn melts me.

    By Amy@MilkBreath on 2008 11 13

  13. i could definitely get in on that idea.

    i’m all about the desire to have a private place to be outdoors and in the quiet. simple sounds so good lately.

    By Sarcomical on 2008 11 13

  14. I love the city. I really do.  But I live in the country.  Only an acre, but every morning I hear donkeys braying and a rooster crowing. 

    My barn, though, is red.

    By Ree on 2008 11 13

  15. gorgeous photo.

    By Aimee Greeblemonkey on 2008 11 13

  16. I crave the same thing… and as a result we now have 17 chickens living in the back yard.

    By fidget on 2008 11 13

  17. You’re in good company.

    The more turbulent the times the more I crave a simple, quiet life.

    By MariaV on 2008 11 14

  18. I’ve been craving the same thing lately.  Maybe for the open spaces, for the kids to be free and explore, for the fresh air… But mostly so I can take beautiful photos like yours.

    By Jan on 2008 11 14

  19. I want a barn too.

    By syd on 2008 11 14

  20. We rent a house at our duty station rather then live on base and the perk is we have a beautiful barn, five cows, a beefalo, three horses, and one deranged chicken. And the best part? we get to run around on the open land, play with the animals, and yet someone else cares for them. Its a sweet deal (if I could just get them to take my kids!).

    Your right about farm life, even though we just rent ours its a slightly different pace of life. And watching the sun hit the barn is a great part of the day. Even if we occasionally do have a stray cow on the porch.

    By the mrs. on 2008 11 14