Page 24 - WCM 2021 Winter
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Real-Life Maine Homesteading Story and Photos by Ron Fournier
 “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
~ Rumi
One very early, cold Saturday morning in late January, I unlocked the front door of the factory and stepped inside. I fired up the large ammonia light panels, cranked up the compressors, returned to my office, and prodded my computer to life. It was one of the old Dell computers, and the “blue screen
of death” gently glowed as it failed to boot up. I had repeated this routine for years, but this morning was different. This morning I was going to miss yet another event of my daughter’s, all because I had to work on a Saturday. As I gaped at the screen, my chest tightened, and my pulse started to race. I thought to myself, “this is what I do, this is my life, and once again, I miss these small moments in life.” I remember questioning whether I could see myself here in ten years, five years, one year? In that instant, in that small fraction of time, I knew the answer. That moment would change the course of history for me and my family. After working for twenty years in the machine shop, starting at the early age of fourteen, it was time to start over - from the very beginning.
My wife Deirdre and I met right after high school, fell in love, and soon started a family. We had four children: Autumn, Skye, Gunner, and Orion. We lived in southern New Hampshire in a small town, started a hobby farm, and life was good. Life was also very busy, I worked tons of hours, and we had money. I was making a very good living, and we had just completed a large addition to our home: vaulted ceilings, a hot tub and fireplace in our bed- room, and many other amenities. Our house was full of kids’ toys, and we had everything we wanted, including two nice vehicles in the driveway. We were caught up in what seemed like the “normal” life of hard working parents, yet something was missing, and it took awhile to figure out what it was. The feel-
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