Saturday, March 3, 2012


You have probably heard of the term “snowbirds.”  The slang term plays off of migratory birds like Canadian geese that travel south during the winter months.  A snowbird is a person who moves to a warmer climate during the winter months to escape the brutal weather.  Many times these people are retired. 

Now, have you noticed how there haven’t been very many farm-related posts on the blog these past four months?  Well, that’s because we haven’t exactly been on the farm full-time this winter…

Travis & I have created a new word based on the same principal: farmbirds.  A farmbird is someone that relocates from the farm during the winter months to pursue another career.

That’s right!  Over the past four months, we had been hiding out in the Twin Cities.  I continue to be a stay-at-home mom to the boys, and Travis had been working under contract at his former employer.  The company had invited him to come back to work during the winter when he initially gave his notice back in July that we were moving to the farm.

Architect by winter.  Farmer by spring/summer/fall all year long.

We rented a 2-bedroom fully-furnished townhouse in Plymouth.  It was a great location being close to the “city center,” including the library and health club, and a 20-30 minute commute for Travis.

And although we made the best of our time back in the big city (I went to Target and Costco weekly) and were able to see my family often, we are very happy to be back at the farm…

Even if we were welcomed back with a blizzard.

After being an extremely mild winter, Mother Nature decided to give me a small taste of what to expect for future winters in the North Dakota countryside.  I haven’t left the house in 5 days, and I’m okay with that!

That has not stopped Charlie from going out to help his dad do some work.

I will never get tired of taking photos of them together like this - as long as I am inside the warm house drinking hot cocoa with the cutest baby toddler ever.

Everyone that hears our story asks us if we will continue to do this every winter and have Travis continue to work in architecture in during the “off-months” of farming.  The answer is probably not…but not out of the question.

We have learned that it can be quite stressful moving a family with young children hundreds of miles from our home for couple of months.  For those of you who also have young children I have two words for you: babyproofing nightmare.  Besides the family dynamics, and there is the issue of having to do things for the farm while living far away and working at a full-time job 50+ hours a week.

Next year there will be the additional challenge of Charlie being in preschool.  I don’t like the idea of him starting at a preschool in our small town, then two months later taking him out to go to a new one wherever Travis’s work is located (and finding a preschool that is accepting kids mid-year), and then taking him back out of that one four months later to start back up at the one in our small town for the remainder of the school year.

Rather than stress about it now, we aren’t going to start thinking about it until later this summer.  Right now we are more concerned about getting caught up on farming-related matters and unpacking.

And making sure that our face doesn’t freeze off.

This weather is for the birds.

Farmbirds like me.

Welcoming myself back to the great state of North Dakota!


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