This past week, my husband and I fulfilled a decades-long dream to return to New England. We were both born and raised in Massachusetts, but after a career in the Navy for him and a career on Wall Street for me, our paths crossing in the middle of all that, and settling in Virginia for the last 12 years, it was time to go home.
So last week, we packed up our 12 ducks, 11 chickens, 2 dogs and cat along with our tractor and all our worldly possessions and began the 16+ hour long trip from Virginia to Maine where we bought a beautiful 125-acre farm, complete with a small barn, gorgeous native flower perennial garden and rolling fields. We had been looking for two years for a home that would be perfect for us and our animals, and we finally found it.
With the help of a few good friends who drove up with us in a four-vehicle caravan. the trip was uneventful and everyone arrived safely at our new farm. The chickens and ducks rode in our horse trailer. Sadly at the last minute, we made the hard decision to leave our horses in Virginia with a friend. Sundance, our paint horse, is 26 years old and would hardly have enjoyed the trip, much less the harsh Maine winters or black flies. Neither horse likes to load into the trailer, and we thought it in their best interest to leave them in Virginia where we know they will be well cared for and happy. So the trailer was packed with dog crates, straw, feed and water and the flock rode in style all the way.
We do hope to get some more horses eventually so my husband can go trail riding in the woods, and bale hay from the fields for them, and I really want to add geese and bees to our menagerie at some point, but all in good time.
The last 10 days have been a flurry of unpacking and organizing and getting used to things. Much as we enjoyed our time in Virginia and made some lifelong friends, we were not sad to leave behind the black snakes and copperheads, heat and humidity and my husband's hour-long commute.
We are so excited to be back in New England. We sleep with the windows open, something we haven't done in years. I've already had lobster twice, an ice cream cone with 'jimmies' and bought some fresh Maine blueberries to bake a pie this weekend. We're looking forward to glorious fall foliage and then to a white Christmas. Maybe we're overestimating our stamina and grit, but we are really looking forward to seeing snow again on a regular basis (of course, check back with us come February!). All of our animals are settling in quite nicely and seem very content so far. Of course, we haven't mentioned the "S" word to them yet!
We have a brand new coop coming soon - until then the chickens and ducks are set up quite nicely for sleeping in the horse trailer and during the day are sticking close to the house where our dogs keep an eye on them. We've seen two snowshoe rabbits, a few wild turkeys and some field mice - no bears or moose yet!
Enjoy these photos of our new place. We couldn't have chosen a more beautiful state in which to settle. The unofficial state motto 'the way life should be' certainly hits home with us. Proof that good things come to those who wait....
As the weeks go by, I'll be sharing more photos, especially on Instagram, so be sure to come follow me there. And thanks, as always, for joining me on this wonderful adventure we call life - with chickens!
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