Let's be clear ... this is not easy. We often have guests staying with us talking about the 'Simple Life' with a reverence that suggests Kristy and I are gentleman farmers whiling away our idyllic days while the sheep and goats wander peacefully taking care of themselves.
While there are many days where we are able to do the basic chores of feeding and cleaning pens, there are also many days of hard, dirty and unappreciated work.
The sheep don't thank us for clearing out a year's worth of straw so that when the new lambs come, there is clean fresh bedding in the lambing barn. The goats don't thank us for reconstructing the shed and the climbing structure they love so much (to play on and knock down) for the tenth time. The chickens don't thank us for the days, hours and weeks it's taken us to build a new chicken coop to provide more room, more nesting boxes, and roosting bars with automatic doors to keep the fox out. And the donkey doesn't thank us for his daily carrot fix!
But that is not why we do this. So why then?
We do this because we get to wake up every morning to a beautiful vista that still after six years of seeing it, takes our breath away.
Because hearing the sheep and goats call out for their breakfast and dinner is music to our ears. Hearing Oti (Donkey-Oti) bray with joy when he sees us come out and the chickens squawking and cackling like laughing ladies is some of the funniest sounds we've heard.
Because greeting new guests to our little slice of heaven and sharing our special place makes it all worthwhile.
We do this because every evening when the animals are fed and quiet we enjoy a moment of peace knowing we get to do it all over again tomorrow.
There are many times when we beat ourselves up for making stupid mistakes, and times when we have to show ourselves a little grace for simply not knowing. We've had countless sleepless nights because we go out every few hours to take care of bottle babies, and early, EARLY mornings of babies being born, and of course they're always born on the coldest wettest mornings on the books!
We often joke that the 'simple life' isn't so simple, and it's not, but it's worth every second of dirty hands, sweat, tears and exhausted muscles. If we had it to do all over again we wouldn't change ONE SINGLE THING. We've learned so much in six years of taking our dream and turning it into a reality, and we look forward to the lifetime of learning ahead.
If you have a dream, follow it. Failing is nothing compared to never trying at all. Is it simple? No. Can it be done? Absolutely. And this, my friends is why we do this.