The Simple Life

The SImple Life by Allison Irwin at Homes by 1962

Aaahhhh…the simple life. It’s like a warm bath of Xanax and I’m happy to soak until the water’s cool and I’m a shriveled raisin. This simple life I’m referring to is farm life. I welcome the scene of a red barn, white farmhouse, woods and fields beyond, like kids welcome Christmas. Walking barefoot through thick grass to lay in the hammock, is just what I need to clear my mind. I’ll get lost in the dancing leaves above me, close my eyes and let the wind put me to sleep. Who am I kidding? I never nap. But I do love riding horseback through hidden trails, trusting sweet Blue as we cross a creek, head down a steep hill or navigate over a new fallen tree. These adventures with him make for meaningful days. Give us the chance to kick up a deer or wild turkey and both our hearts skip a happy beat. Sitting on the dock, I’ll laugh at the obnoxious bullfrogs and their loud, insistent bickering. And every once in a while, if I’m very lucky, I’ll catch sight of a newborn calf hours or even minutes old; the world’s loud chaos quiets and it’s complicated problems fade away. In that single precious moment, life is simple.

This past weekend I was able to share this treasured spot with some of my favorite people. That’s not an exaggeration for either. For the past 13 years, farm life has been a welcomed addition to my life. And for over 20 years, these people I refer to have been the kind of girlfriends one can only hope for. We started our friendships as college newbies and now we’re hard working, busy moms sprinkled across the country. Between us, we left 14 kids in good care while we recharged. Together we slowed our pace, laughed are heads off and got serious talking about life’s challenges…all with a heavy dose of nature, Midwest kindness and wine.

Back in Arizona, Mr. 1962 and I are working towards “official”. Our dates have been more frequent and time together is more meaningful. He’s getting real about the price to pay and I’m sharpening my pencil. We’re in that, “meet the family and friends” kind of phase. I’m getting comfortable with second base and if the chemistry is unstoppable, I’ll sprint to third. This practice of patience, waiting for the right pitch, may actually pay off.

As always, songs run through my head constantly. Back at the farm it’s a heavy rotation of Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. Cue “Fly Over States” for the plane ride there, “Green Grass Grows” on repeat and “Wild Child” loud as I’m driving fast through fields and just can’t get enough of the beauty around me. I’m a cowgirl version of Maria in “The Sound of Music”. Back home, Calvin’s “Feel So Close” starts the minute I walk through Mr. 1962’s doors…and I most definitely feel his force field. If all the cards fall into place, we’ll have the chance at a real love story. A hot, heavy and well timed one. Getting back to the farm in Indiana and sharing a slice of the simple life with friends whom I adore, was just what I needed to calm my fluttering butterflies. Third base is a big deal people!

Farm life is not always so simple. There are fences to mend, animals to care for and stress will find it’s way up the step and through the screen door no matter how fast it closes behind you. There’s just something about looking across a freshly planted field that totally captivates me. I get lost in wonder. How thick will the beans be and how high will the corn grow? The gamble farmers take to time it all just right, relying on an unpredictable Mother Nature, is thrilling. It’s just as good, if not better, than rolling the dice on a crowded craps table with cheering strangers rooting you on. All the while, there’s the pillow of faith around the fields that most rest their heads on each night. At some point, they have to throw it up and know that they’ve prepped, planted and are poised for prosper. It is what it is; whatever will be will be. You know I have to get my Spanish plug in somewhere, (see “Hola”). Hopefully you’re hearing “Que SerĂ¡ SerĂ¡” too right now.

Being at the farm reminds me how important it is to take in nature and it’s overwhelming beauty. It’s the hike we climb when we live by the mountains, the walk in the park when the city gets to us, the run we ski down when we’re snow bound and the surf we ride living by the ocean. I completely buy into connecting with nature. When I’m home in Phoenix, don’t get me wrong. I marvel at the mountains and stare at the saguaros; but at the same time, I’m driving up and down streets with a robotic head turn to the right and left. I take in each house and spot the one guy who needs to be redone…the neglected or forgotten one. The Ronald Miller of the block. The moment you take to real estate is the moment you commit to a wandering eye. You can be anywhere in the world and find yourself house gawking and checking a neighborhood up and down. It’s a blessing and a curse and just the way we real estate people think.

At the farm, I take pause from square footage and lot size. How many fresh eggs we’ll have in the morning and will it be omelettes or over easy is on my mind. The next decision is when and what trails to ride. And after that, will it be porch rocking, hammock resting, vegetable picking, woods exploring, dock lounging, fireside reading or will I be thinking about the what’s for dinner making? And as the day starts to wind down and the heavy sun falls lower in the sky, the cows move up the hill to say goodnight and I’m asking if it’s that time for cocktail sipping?

Good quotes are swiped across our screens daily, but my thumb stopped for one the other day. “Two things you will never have to chase: true friends and true love”. This hit home as I was just about to gather with my friends and take a break from Mr. 1962 obsessing. The friends are true but whether or not Mr. 1962 is a true love, we don’t know. After having a good dose of the farm, I’m going to take a nod from the simple life. I’ll continue the prep, plant the seeds of a great design and palette and hope that the yield is worth all the effort. If it’s meant to be, we’ll have a love affair to remember and a crop worth celebrating.



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