Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A mountain cabin and hairy legged chickens

We've always been mavericks to some degree. If our kids ever told us they were about to do some of the things we did when we were their age, I'd be mortified! We took risks we weren't even smart enough to know were risks and just forged ahead. Whether elated with triumph or miserable in failure, we always felt alive and if we ever got in a rut, we just climbed out and took off.

We moved from state to state, experienced different cultures, met new people, bought, remodeled or restored some very interesting pieces of property. Some worked out great - others not so great. Either way, we moved on to the next dream.

One of my personal dreams was to move to a cabin in the mountains, raise hairy legged chickens (feather footed bantams), tend to a small garden and write whatever my heart told me to write. Mike would continue to do the artwork he's so genius at and life would be quiet and good.

Well, times have changed and our dreams have too. I've shoveled all the snow I care to in our thirty years together and having to drive more than 20 miles to get groceries or go to Wal*Mart is out of the question, especially with gas prices where they are. As long as someone is bringing organic veggies to the local farmer's market, neither of us feels compelled to bend over to weed a garden, fight the insects or run up our water bill.

I have the hairy legged chickens and love watching them take off in that hysterical chicken dance, legs splaying out from side to side as their fat little bodies run across the yard trying to catch a bug out of mid-air. And the grandkids love collecting the eggs, at least one of which always ends up on the driveway on its way to the fridge.

We're both dedicated and loyal to our artform because without it, we would shrivel, but we're finding there's so much more we want to do. Our new line of products, featuring the Y-ME Ranch Hands are being released this month and we have two small gift books and two calendars to finish in the next few months. All of which is very exciting - but we're ready to expand the dream.

So, we've been looking for just the right place to open a storefront - an actual physical Y-ME Ranch Company Store. The store would have all the Y-ME products along with some very cool western and cowboy decor PLUS a funky cowboy wine and gourmet coffee bar. It may take us a few months to find the right place and another month or so to get it ready - but that's okay - it will all come together.

Perhaps it's because we're both in our 50's and we want to make this second half of life full of everything meaningful. We're anxious to learn, eager to experiment and willing to listen. We're much more aware of what we love, what we loathe and what we can and can't live without. We ask more questions now, run the numbers and determine how it will impact our quality of life.

But when it comes right down to it, we still get a rush out of standing on the edge of a dream, holding hands and jumping in.

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