In the course of this conversation, we agreed that our future home would have: solar panels, a composter, a flat backyard, and a sun room. A bit crunchy perhaps, but nothing unreasonable.
Than, fueled perhaps by the unnatural goodness of Ranch-flavored pretzel bites, we began to discuss our theoretical land.
Paul said "We would have a least ten acres."
"Oh, yes," I replied, forgetting the fact that ten acres of land usually means living far away from essentials like grocery stores that have neither the words "Food," "Lion," "Piggly," or "Wiggly," in their titles.
I added, "And, we would have a chicken coop. With at least ten chickens." I imagined the fresh eggs each morning, the gentle cluck-cluck as I sprinkled the feed from my apron. (Of course I would wear an apron).
Paul considered the idea. "Well, if we had a chicken coop, we would need a big dog. To scare off the foxes. Some kind of herding dog."
"Like the dogs on Babe!" I replied, revealing in an instant my entire knowledge of farming culture. "And, oh! We should get some sheep, too! That way, you wouldn't have to mow the lawn! And (brother) Tom's girlfriend could spin the wool. It's perfect."
"Yes," Paul said, seriously considering the idea, "But you would have to do the shearing."
"Of course," I said. "I love me a good shearing. But you're cleaning out the coop."
"Hmmm," Paul answered, his standard non-reply.
"You'll have the time, since you don't need to mow the lawn," I countered.
Paul nodded, "That's true."
This conversation continued for a good while, our utopian farm becoming more natural and beautiful. It finally petered out when we discussed making our own organic goat cheese, and expired completely when I suggested bringing a donkey into the mix.
"The chickens," he replied.
Ah yes, the chickens. Our neighbor, Jimmy, had gone and built himself a chicken coop last weekend. We now have three chickens thisclose to our backyard. Despite my hysterical reports on Facebook, he did not add a rooster to the mix. I stand gratefully corrected.
So, our daydream has become a reality, and the jury is still out about my feelings about all this. It's easy to imagine the graceful agrarian life, but what will this look like one day to the next?
All I know is that Owen goes outside each day to say hello to Dora:
And while I never expected to live this close to livestock (at least this soon), I appreciate that there is now another wonder for my little scientist to explore.
We could do a lot worse.