THE FORK IN THE ROAD
The auction started and it was like a blur.....everyone was bidding and it was happening so fast I could barely keep up with who was bidding and where the price was at. Josh, my dad and I were standing toward the back and Josh was in charge of bidding. I am sure my memory is flawed but it honestly felt like 30 seconds and the price was already above our budget! I quickly accepted the fact that our budget had never even been in the ballpark of what this farm was going to sell for. I leaned over to Josh and said "Go ahead bid one more time so the bid will go higher and the family will get more money for the farm." At this point I think we were $25,000 over our max budget, but I told myself it wouldn't matter because the bids would keep coming in and we would just stand back and watch as the auction concluded. The moment I accepted the fact that we wouldn't be buying the farm, Josh bid again and the auction came to a halt. I was so confused! I looked at my dad and asked what was happening and he informed me they were taking a break. WHAT, A BREAK! We have only been bidding for a minute....or a least that is how it felt! One of the auctioneers came up to us and informed us that we had the highest bid and and if no one else bid after the break the farm would be ours.......well that is exactly what happened. In the blink of an eye, sort of by accident, we bought a farm and Josh's dream had become a reality. We had no idea what lay ahead for our family or this beautiful farm but God had opened this door and we were excited and willing to walk through it.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
At the Ashland County Fair in the fall of 2015 Josh pulled me aside and told me he heard that the farm was going to be sold at auction on October. I remember arguing with him and insisting that there was no way they would sell the farm not alone sell it at auction. I sat down and searched on my phone and found the listing and dates it was to be sold. Although I had a bit of excitement I was also quickly bringing myself back to reality. We had just moved a year ago into a new house and we had also just finished plans with an architect to remodel a majority of the house and that work was supposed to start in the spring. I also had no idea what a 60 acre farm was going to cost but I was pretty sure it was going to be way out of our budget to even consider. The worst part was because it was selling at auction we really had no idea what it might sell for.
Well Josh could not stop talking about the possibilities of owning this small farm. It had been a dream of his ever since we had gotten married to purchase land of our own so we could raise our children where they could learn and experience lessons that can only come from living on a farm. We had looked at many different properties over the years and had been in contract on a few but it had not been in God's plan for us to own them. After lots of discussion and prayer we scheduled a time to view the farm and started crunching numbers. Of course Josh and I fell in love with the farm at first sight and set a budget for what we would be willing to pay for it at auction. I had decided that I was going to let Josh and my dad go to the auction and I would stay home and wait for the call that it had sold way above our budget. Honestly I knew I would be disappointed and heartbroken and didn't want to have to keep up appearances after losing another farm we now had our hearts set on.
Josh and Lindsey the morning of the farm auction in October 2015 in the newly built barn
The view of our hay field our first summer on the farm in 2016
Our son Brady helping Josh bale hay in 2017
When my dad showed up to ride with Josh to the auction it was very clear he was not going to let me stay home. So begrudgingly I got in the truck with them to head to the auction. It was a beautiful cool fall morning and the farm was clean neat and tidy and ready to sell. My hopes fell a little when we arrived due to the number of cars and people that were in attendance. Yes, they were selling other farm items like equipment and gates but were all these people here to try and buy the property as well? To my dismay the answer was yes. There were lots of interested couples and businessmen and we knew some of them personally. As sad as I was for Josh and I in that moment, I was so happy for the family selling the farm, who we knew personally as well. I was confident they were going to get a high price for the farm and I was thrilled for them. The owner had been Josh's principal in school and his son was a classmate of Josh's so we only wanted the best for their family and this beautiful property they had cared for and loved for so long.
I will never forget the day that my husband Josh, told me the farm was for sale. This was a farm I had driven by a hundred times and always admired its beauty and nostalgia. Although the only time I could really admire it was during the winter when all the leaves were absent from the large old trees that surround the property. It sits so far off the road I could only see brief glimpses of it as I drove past. I had been in the farm house one time when I was in high school and would search my memories every time I drove past to remember what the house and barns looked like, but that visit was over 20 years ago so they were fleeting. My husband had told me several times how much he loved this farm and it would be a dream come true for us to own it. And honestly that is what I thought is was......a dream. One that would never happen because this beautiful piece of history would likely be passed down from generation to generation and we were sure it would never be sold on the open market.