Our Redneck Family

We are a family of five and I am the only male in the house. I wanted boys but God thought it would be funny to give me all girls. I grew up on a farm in North Texas and married very young to my life long sweetheart (I call her the wife). Like all newly weds, I promised her the moon and stars and started off by building a little temporary 400 square foot shack back in the woods on my family's farm and we started making our plans for a life of travel and fun.

At age eighteen, I promised my new wife a complete life of ease. Fifteen years later she finally called my bluff and we moved off the farm. On the farm we started out in a two room shack we built pay check by pay check. This place was temporary of coarse, just for a year or so. Our temporary old farm house turned into fifteen years of living and making a home. I added on to it at least four times and by the end, the house covered the whole hill side. Being that it was built by me and friends over several years, It was so loose you could have thrown a full grown mountain lion through the walls and never hit a stud. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

We were so broke back then we could not afford propane or even electricity. We cooked outside in the pits for most of the year and when it was to cold or the rain kept us from starting a fire, we would cook off the pot belly stove in the living room. For power, we tapped into my dad's shop over 1000 feet away but could only run a small ice box (refrigerator) and a couple of lights. Anything else would pop a breaker and I would have to make the long hike down the hill the turn it back on. So for most of the time we ran oil lamps at night. When the kids started getting older and asking questions, we would just say we are play camping. A year or so went by and I ran a water line from the nearest barn after figuring out hauling water was really not my thing.
We did not have any type of sewer and the girls refused to use the out house after a small incident with my mother and a raccoon. I swear, I did't think anyone could run that fast with their pants around their ankles. We still laugh about it today. So for the sewer, I dug a hole and put some concrete culverts as my septic tanks and ran the lateral line on top of the ground way back in the woods. Out of sight, out of mind right. I never did tell my wife where all those tomatoes came from but that sewer water can sure grow them.

After fifteen years and the wife calling my bluff we bought a real home giving my family a better life and something to be proud of. The house was a brick house on a slab right in town. Now the important thing here is to know this was the first time I ever had neighbors. The very first weekend in the new house we threw a house warming party. All my redneck family and friends came up and we had a great time just like on the farm. Before long, we had our front yard full of cars and then both neighbors yards full of cars. I didn't really see a problem in this due to the fact I had invited them over for BBQ and beer. They did not see it my way. Needless to say, we made a great first impression. I told them I would fix all the ruts in the yards and pick up all the beer cans. We never did find the missing dog though.

It only took about three months before the newness of the house wore off and I started thinking this might have been a mistake. Now all the sudden, I had a 1500 a month house payment with all the bills to go with it. The good news was I had a good paying job and worked seventy hours a week. Thirty hours a week of overtime made for easy living. I told my wife one day while sitting on the back patio, I think we have arrived. Little did I know.

Like I said, little did I know just four years later my overtime would be cut off and my wife would get sick and not be able to work. Life lesson, never budget on overtime. We could not keep the house. I did the budget and made the decision. We needed to get out before the sheriff threw us out.
We found this little place out in the country and moved in over Thanksgiving break of 2009. A mobile home on two acres and a 30 x 50 barn on it. It's by far not the old farm, but I am determined to make it work. 

Looking back now, life on the farm was not as bad as I thought. It is hard to think I wanted to get out so bad. I was free, I was off the grid, It was paid for. I can look back and see now in the past few years I have been trying to recreate my life on the farm. Even while I was in the city. I had a rain water harvesting system, chickens, a green house, gardens, cooking pits. I heated the house with the fire place and not Central heat most of the winters because you can't back up to a vent blowing hot air out of the ceiling. I ran oil lamps some of the times because I love the light and smell they give off.
Now, I can have it all back. It will take a while to get everything the way I want it but we will push on.

If you go back and read some posts in the blog you will see the progress we have made to this little place. It is called JCF Mini Farm. I am home and I am a redneck.