Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rainbow Language

One day, I'll tell our kids about the power of rainbow language. 

I spent the morning of April 25, 2013 near Anderson, Indiana taking field photos for use in a promotion set to launch in late summer. It was nice visiting with the local salesman, learning about the work he'd done over winter to prepare the soil for spring planting. Later, I reached my car to head south for the office and checked my phone; I found a message from Cody telling me that the place we had our eyes on fell through. 

The dream of having our own farm to run cows just wasn't in the cards for us - again

That familiar knot in my stomach made it's presence known and I started the 55-minute drive back to Richmond. I shut off the radio about thirty minutes into the drive and began praying. I found myself talking (venting) aloud and cautiously observing every farm - large or small - that I passed on the highway. It wasn't long until I came across one that caught my eye. Then another. And a third, and fourth. 

But then there was the 12th or so. With the sun shining down on the young, green grass and a few black cows grazing behind new fence I asked God (kind of rudely?), "God! Why can't anything like that be for sale?" Quite frankly, I was tired of Cody and I striking out in the search for a farm to run cattle. Did we deserve a place to move our cows, weed whack thistles and pick up trash?

I did the mental checklist in my head as I drove by:
Several outbuildings. 
Good fence. 
Big yard. 
Rickety farmhouse. 
Modest homestead. 

Feeling sorry for myself, I proceeded to eat an entire Grab Bag size of Cheetos in the miles that followed. I reached the office and began sorting through emails received during a morning away from my desk. My mouse turned orange. What a drag. 

Within the hour Cody called me again. This time he told me that the realtor we'd been working with - a real treat (and if there was a sarcasm font, I'd sure use it there) - just learned of a farm that is likely going to go on the market very quickly. A co-worker of her's just got the call and was going to meet with the owners within the next day. 

"Well, it's worth looking into, I guess," I said, already feeling defeated before we started the process again. "Where is it?" I asked.
"Not sure, but I have the address written down. I'll text it to you," Cody said just before hanging up.

I copied the address out of iMessage and pasted it into Google maps. 
Then, I sat in front of my computer screen and stared blankly. I didn't know if I should puke, cry or go to Square Donuts and buy everything out of the case. 

I didn't do any of those things. 
Instead, I asked God if he was kidding. And wiped the chills from the back of my neck. 

The farm Cody directed me to via text message 
was the exact same farm 
I had just called out to God about 
less than an hour ago. 

When I saw Cody later that evening I told him all about it. He was as taken back as I. We waited out the weekend and looked often (like, really often) for the For Sale sign to go in the yard. It never did. Five days later, after work on Tuesday we met in my kitchen and decided to grow guts. He and I put on clean jeans and headed north. I also put on lipstick and a pair of turquoise earrings. 

We pulled into the farm and shut off the truck. Cody made his way up the sidewalk and I closely followed. I felt like we were about to ask to adopt someone's child right out of the blue. He knocked on the back door. A pretty blonde gal about Momma's age greeted us. 

"Hi ma'am, this is really random, but is your farm for sale?"
She stared at us. Then she put her finger in the air and asked us to hold. She called her husband. "Are you close? There is a couple here asking if the farm is for sale........."

That Tuesday evening they gave us a tour of the farm, completely taken away by the fact that this young couple showed up on their doorstep less than 36 hours after they met with the realtor. The farm hadn't yet been listed. There was no sign in the yard. How in the world did we even know it was for sale?

In the weeks that followed Cody and I visited the farm quite often. We walked the pastures. Got our boots stuck in stray wires. Explored the old barns.  Dreamt about two bathrooms in the old house. And tripped over a lot of cats. 

But on visit number four we found the answer we were looking for...

When I was young my parents discussed - endlessly - the idea of buying the farm that bordered our property line. They prayed for a sign. It wasn't until one day when Momma yelled for Dad to come out to the road that they realized that the place was meant to be their own.

Dad barreled through the door and saw the sign that Momma had discovered. A rainbow over the farm. Immediately, they made the phone call to buy. 

One day our child will marry and move away to create a life of their own. And in a defeated, broken voice they'll ask us how we had the courage - how we knew - to buy our first farm. At first we'll encourage the lottery. 
And then we will reveal that the only thing we knew for sure was the language we learned from our parents. Because on the fourth visit to the farm, Someone made it quite clear the direction we needed to go.  Double time. 

We will tell them that we understood rainbow language. 

This big world can sure be crazy. And during our entire lives we'll each experience languages that influence, teach and guide us. Some confuse, some lead astray and some guide with pin point accuracy. I prefer the ones that arch. 

On April 30 we visited the farm for the first time and tripped over kittens. 
On August 6 we closed on the farm. 
On August 10 we got married. 
On September 11 we were given the keys and the "kittens" from the spring had just had babies of their own. 

On our second date ever, Cody asked me if he could teach me how to play golf. 
On our second month of marriage, he asked me if he could load me into the bucket loader to  reach the high spots on the house. 
That my friends is how poor, happy, people live. 
Even in mom jeans and Meijer tank tops. 

Today the tall-as-house shrubs are gone and we work to make the place our own. I have yet to touch golf clubs but rain or shine, everyday I scope the sky for a rainbow. 

I guess that's the life of a homesteading optimist.

Anyone need a cat? 


  1. I definitely believe in the language of rainbows. God (and Tim) have sent me several when I ask for a sign that I am making the right decisions.

  2. I know the exact language and we were given a blessing as well! Wonderful job reliving your blessing! I am so happy you will be close...maybe not around the corner, but it will do!

  3. I love this story! Somehow, it's always been the FIRST house we have looked at that has been The One. Isn't it funny and amazing the way things work out! Congratulations on your new home and new life together!

  4. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your story. Best wishes on you your new farm! My husband and I have a similar story about buying our mini-farm. It brought back a lot of memories! Keep sharing your stories...I sure enjoy them!

  5. my mom is one of your neighbors and i just happened to drive by as you were up in the bucket loader scrubbing the side of your house that day. it warmed my heart -- big time! i love what you are doing to the place and look forward to seeing your next phase.