• Melinda Cusack

LIFE....Where is your life going to bring you?

You think of your most normal and typical day and most times it is totally uneventful and I won't use the word boring but nothing out of the ordinary. My life did used to be just that.  I lived in a small rural town population of like 400, we had a house with our manicured lawn and flower gardens, raising our kids with the family dog. Living life pretty routine except for my dark side: My massive vegetable garden hidden behind all the awesome smelling lilacs that lined our corner double lot.  Along with my secret flock of Ducks and chickens and rabbits and whatever animal I could fit inside or outside (hahahaha).


My secret desire to live in the country and homestead was really not such a secret to my neighbors. Guess I wasn't  fooling anybody. It had always been a lifelong dream. From as far back as I have memory for. My mother is always producing my strategically drawn out farm plans from 2-3yrs old. My Grandpa Barrett and I were very close and shared the same dream together. He always told me when he won the lotto him and I were going to buy a farm and live the way we wanted. Sadly he passed before "our"  dream happened.  I believe to this day he would have lived here us.


So one day I am driving along quite early in the morning going to fill our tank for our gas grill, cruising along sun is shining and just coming up, windows down. I happen to glance at an old farm house.  One that was in need of a lot of work. Grass is as tall as me. Some of the windows boarded up (actually kinda spooky really). As I get directly beside it the sun hits it and a huge ray of sunshine shines through out the entire house like a beacon saying, "You need to come here!" I am totally serious too! 


So I get my tank filled up and ask the clerk about the house and she gives me a name and jots it down on a little piece of paper for me. Heading home now I glance again and turn onto the gravel road in which it sits. I park on the road slightly intimidated by it's huge and stately manor. I eventually am overcome by curiosity and slowly make my way up the overgrown driveway. I wade thru the tall grass and make it to the Carriage entrance and look inside. My heart just tingled with sadness and joy - ohhhh the possibilities this beautiful house had.  The memories inside these once luxurious walls. I felt a draw to the house like it was waiting for me!   So I call my husband Joe and am telling him about this Farm house and he is like you want to move? I am like you have to see this place so after work I bring him out there and he pulls up and says, "Are you nuts"???  (Yep that is what he said.) But then I tell him look inside and his voice changed and he looks at me and said, "It is a cool looking house. Looks savable."


So to condense the story a bit..we called and got to get inside and fell in love with the house and barn and property. So August of 2000 Cherokee Winds was born. My lifelong dream had become real! I have learned and done so much more than I could have ever dreamed  during the past 15 years. Don't get me wrong I have always been active and done a lot and did crafty and DIY projects but this sent me in so many more directions. My food preservation skills far exceeded my expectations.  Canning,  freezing,  dehydrating.  Who needs a grocery store? Not us. Fresh Eggs from our lovable  flocks of chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, and gotta have Peacocks. Our Dairy goats that provide our milk, cheese, yogurt, buttermilk and my soaps and lotions thus creating Lulu fays Country Suds


Our llamas that not only protect of herds but we shear every spring and use their fleece for spinning yarn and making rugs. Raw honey from our own beehives. Our Donkeys and Horses are a fun addition. And our array of dogs and cats. We have 2 Great pyrenees that guard our farm, our two Aussies that herd our stock and our little dogs that think they do what the big dogs do. We have learned to make our own laundry soap and cleaning supplies. We can our apples from the orchard and make ciders and some delicious hard cider too! We have even made apple cider beer. 


Our lifestyle can be hard and tiring and stressful at times. Sleeping in the barn waiting for kids to be born or nursing a sick animal or chasing an escaped one also can be hard at times. But the stories I have to tell would take a lifetime. I can say I wish I had made this lifestyle change a long time before I did but I did do it and have NEVER had an regrets.


My crafty and homemaking skills have brought me so many ways that that is a whole other blog post (haha).  Now were looking into another farm in Florida where I can continue my farm life but without snow. Not sure what is going to come of it but it is a big  possibility. I am guessing it it is meant to be it will happen and if not we will remain here. I think the point of my story today is Life is so short and if you have dreams don't delayNobody is promised tomorrow. You have to make changes sometimes to be truly happy and fulfilled.  Those changes can be scary. Don't let it keep you from being who you want to be. Enjoy life to the fullest no regrets.

Cherokee Winds ~ Lulu Fay's Country Suds |  Dunnellon, Florida 34433 | Tel 815.257.4444

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