In the past, Geoff and I have worked demanding jobs with long hours and high stress which only left us with conflicting priorities, poor communication, and always a desire for more time, more money, and more things. Our focus has shifted. We now desire to draw closer to God by being more connected to His creation.
God’s plan is first revealed in the Garden of Eden when He picked up the dirt and breathed life into it creating Adam. We do not have God’s power, but we can tend the land with the same care and compassion. The soil can be maintained to bring life to fruits and vegetables and, in doing so, provide sustenance for our family and our animals.
Geoff and I often joke that my extra rib was originally part of his body. However, we both know that is not actually how I came to have one more rib than him. But, like Adam and Eve, we were created to work together: Geoff, as the leader and me, as his helper.
God gave Adam dominion over the animals and after the fall he added the arduous task of working the land. Geoff is the mastermind of this new life. The planning, the preparation and, to be perfectly honest, most of the actual labor will be his doing. Of course, he will have Anastasia around to help him during the day.
After the fall, God punished Eve with painful childbirth. I have done that once and, thankfully for me; we are now past that point in our lives. God also gave Eve the responsibility of being her husband’s helper. My responsibility is to help him achieve the desired outcome through financial backing and to occasionally assist him around the farmstead. I am to be his cheerleader and his strongest supporter.
We have almost 3.5 acres of beautiful Pennsylvanian land. To do nothing would be a pure waste of what has been provided to us. We are jumping off the hamster wheel and returning to a more agrarian lifestyle. We are a family focused on God’s plan for our lives while working together to care for the blessings that He has provided.
Geoff works on the farmstead full time. Daily animal husbandry chores, equipment maintenance, home remodeling, and farmstead improvements fall under his purview. He occasionally does home improvement projects outside the home, as time allows. He spent six years in the Navy as a mechanic, six years in new home construction, eleven years in manufacturing, and has a Bachelor of Business degree. These experiences taught him nearly all of the valuable skills needed for life on a farmstead. He enjoys target shooting, fishing, motorcycle rides, researching, challenges, and finishing projects. He is extremely focused and driven, and can always find a reason to make a detailed Excel spreadsheet.
Casey works outside the home to keep sane and help the farmstead get established. Despite popular sentiment, small-scale farming requires considerable capital outlay. She is a retired Navy electrician, and has Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Nuclear Engineering Technology, and Master of Divinity degrees. She enjoys her employment, as it is in a downtown office building (a childhood dream) and requires frequent travel (an extrovert’s dream). She is also an online collegiate adjunct professor. During her free time she enjoys running, writing, and fundraising for the American Cancer Society. She has a keen eye for interior decorating and a love for experimentation in the kitchen.
Anastasia is a junior in high school. She attended public school through her sophomore year, but is now home-schooled. This affords her the opportunity of spending more time with Dad, helping with the animals, setting her own schedule, and avoiding the chaotic lunacy of the public education system. Like many young girls, she loves going to the mall to shop for shoes and make-up. Her dream is to obtain an accounting degree and work as a forensic accountant for the FBI or some other law enforcement agency. She loves to bake, and always has a word of encouragement and a hug for anyone who needs it.
As Geoff tells it, our story began with the purchase of a John Deere lawn tractor. But, in reality, our journey began almost twenty years ago while stationed onboard the USS NIMITZ (pictured here). He was a mechanic and I was an electrician. We each worked in one of the nuclear power plants that provided the electricity and propulsion for the rest of the ship. Life on an aircraft carrier is like living in a small city of 5,000 people. Even though we worked in the same department, we had never met until two of our friends decided that we might be perfect for each other. Surprisingly, they were correct!
We were an unlikely pair, or so we were told. I liked having all the attention and he wanted none of it. He was a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I was a vegetarian. I was a city girl from California and he was a mid-Western boy. Oh, and I will not even try to explain our differing views on politics and religion. We did, however, agree that lemon flavored yogurt was our favorite. This leads to a funny story about how I knew Geoff was the one for me. Stop by sometime and ask us about it. We have lots of funny stories including one about Geoff peeling shrimp for me.
The years have gone by, and we have grown together. Many of our differences have become similarities. Now, the areas where we still differ have become areas where we complement each other. And, for me, that is what Second Journey Farmstead is all about. It is our life after retiring from the military. Our focus is completely on God and the life that he would have us lead here on 3.5 acres of his beautiful creation. This is our second journey….
When we moved into our current home, with 3.5 acres, it felt like a national park compared to everywhere else we had lived. Shortly after we moved in, a gas pipeline was kind enough to clear nearly an acre of it for use as a temporary easement while the new pipe was buried. Now that we have possession of the land back, we have plans for using it as an orchard, garden, and source of food for our livestock. I know, a farmstead is technically over ten acres, but we liked the name and had purchased the domain before learning that minor little fact.
This website is an ongoing chronicle of our pursuit to provide for more of our own needs, reconnect with God's creation in a more authentic manner, and supply food to local residents that appreciate the little guy. What you are reading is more akin to a diary than anything else. We are rookies. It won't be easy. But, anything worth pursuing requires copious amounts of hard work, determination, vision, hope, and a little luck. Follow us as we begin the second journey of our lives.