As part of our Harvest annual review, I declared that I wanted to improve on my writing ability in the coming year. Other people showed a similar interest and so the Harvest Writing club was born and this is my first entry for it.

About 3 years ago my wife, son, and I were living in a suburb of Columbia, South Carolina. It was a nice town and we had nice neighbors that we enjoyed spending time with. We even joined the Citizen's Police Academy, which I recommend. Even so, we felt somewhat unfulfilled. After work, there wasn't much of anything that I wanted to do other than mow the lawn or wash the car. My wife and I both grew up in rural areas and we reminisced about what it was like there as kids. We wanted our son to be able to have the same experiences and freedoms. We wanted to live in the country again.

So we started shopping for some land near where we were living. Of course, being near a city, raw land was not affordable so we expanded our search. This went on for about six months but we didn't find anything that fit the bill. Then, during a holiday spent with my family, we found out that roughly 55 acres were for sale next to my grandparent's. Even better was that the sellers were asking a reasonable price! We hadn't considered moving back to my hometown before but then the idea took root. It helped that at the time my grandfather, whom I've always been rather close to, became ill.

Even though 55 acres was so much more than we ever thought we'd want, it was just what we were looking for. Secluded enough to be peaceful but with some civilization within a half hour drive. The land also bordered my grandparents and a couple other family members' homes. As if that weren't enough, my mom also owns a vacant house that is within walking distance to the land.

My grandmother spearheaded the negotiations with the seller and drove quite a hard bargain. They accepted our offer and we made plans to move into my mom's old house. In December of 2011 we made the move. It was an easy transition and felt great. We were able to ride ATVs and enjoy being outside.

A few months after the move, we had some land that was becoming overgrown with weeds. Based on my cousin's advice, we purchased five goats to help clean up. We fell in love pretty quickly. They were so cute and curious. Pretty soon we had a herd and we started a business around breeding them. Some time after, we rescued a horse, got a herd guardian dog, and bought some more horses. At this point we have about 12 goats, 4 horses, and 4 dogs. We love them all and can't imagine life without them.

Immediately after the move, we began saving and making plans to build a house. We must have gone through hundreds of house plans, at least a couple dozen banks, and three home builders before we decided. Then we spent the next couple of weeks trying to squeeze everything we've ever wanted into a house within our budget. In November of 2013, we broke ground.

As of today, February 28th, 2014, we are within 30 days of moving into our "forever home." I'm full of pride at what we've accomplished, how hard we've worked, and how long we've waited. I think that it's a great start to a happy rest of our lives.