The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


Mark winching a fallen treeWhen I had to put my farm dream on hold, I ended up moving back in with one of my inventory families, to help with those same kids.  The family matriarch had plans for me, though I didn't know it.  She (Sue Ella) and her sister (Rose Nell) were playing matchmaker and believed that Rose Nell's son and I were perfect for each other.  Sue Ella tried every trick in the book to get us to meet, but I scurried the other way just as quickly as possible.  He'd be coming down for Thanksgiving?  Sorry --- I have to go visit my father!  You want me to help him drive your son's possessions across country?  Are you nuts?!  Even though I'd traveled the world, I'd never kissed a boy --- women in my mother's family tend to be late bloomers --- and I didn't particularly see why I should start now.

When Sue Ella finally pinned me down in 2005, she and Rose Nell didn't trust us to go on this first, blind date on our own.  Intead, Sue Ella put me in her car, Rose Nell put Mark in her car, and all four of us met at a restaurant in the middle.  After our date, we browsed for a while in the Dollar Store, and went our separate ways.  In fact, Mark fled all the way to New Mexico, but he emailed me and slowly wiggled his way through my defenses and into my heart.  Four months later, we kissed for the first time while listening to a chorus of spring peepers.  When we kissed again in a cave, my knees went weak, and 17 months later we moved onto the land.  Mark had been the missing link in my farm dream, even though I hadn't known it at the time.

Looking for the missing link in your chicken coop?  Check out our automatic, poop-free waterer!

This post is part of our Decade in Review series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Great story :) I'm a New Mexico girl myself (southwestern region), where was Mark when he was here? Hope that you all are finally drying out after all that snow! Happy January!

Comment by Stacy Wed Jan 6 12:17:19 2010
Mark used to live out there, even before he was fleeing from me. :-) He lived in Albuquerque (and maybe some in other nearby areas like ??Santa Fe??) I thought it was stunning countryside when I went to visit him to lure him "home", although I couldn't imagine living with the lack of moisture and the heat!
Comment by anna Wed Jan 6 12:44:04 2010
Cute story. Courtship is one of the strangest things we go through in life. Congrats to you and Mark.
Comment by Anonymous Sun Nov 13 12:01:43 2011
Yup, definitely a very unique period of our lives. Mark and I are glad to still consider ourselves in the "honeymoon period" but I think I don't mind doing without the angst of courting.
Comment by anna Sun Nov 13 17:22:20 2011

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