I don't know when the goat dream started. Probably after our visit to Pholia Farm in Oregon. We stayed at an off-the-grid goat farm in an Airstream trailer. As part of the experience, we got to take goats on a hike in the woods and even watch baby goats slide down a slide.
At the time, Mike and I lived in Austin, TX. In fact, it was a summer of horrible brush fires striking nearby throughout Bastrop. When we returned via plane from lush Oregon to Austin, we flew through smoke columns to look down on one of the driest summers.
We moved back to Illinois in 2014. At the time, I was on the founding team at an early stage startup that had spun out of the University. Life was very stressful and busy. Most of my days were spent up late behind a computer screen's glow, chumming it up on Amtrak several days a week or sitting in traffic in Silicon Valley between meetings.
When the startup winded down in late 2016, I felt empty. I desperately needed something to recharge and get myself back on track. I had been a fan of Prairie Fruits Farm from afar, and since our Pholia trip dreamed of learning more about goats. I wrote to Wes & Leslie asking them if they'd like a volunteer that could do free marketing tasks in exchange for getting some experience with goats. It was a match.
That month of volunteering while between jobs turned into the best volunteer gig for me across the past two years. I've learned so much from Wes and Leslie and admire them greatly. They're values-driven, kind, hard-working, mentor so many other people looking to start their own thing, create experiences for people that are unique and meaningful, and such good people.
After we get settled into Moon Grove, I approached Leslie about getting a few goats - feeling that having some hooved friends on the farm would make it feel complete and bring joy to people that visit us. Last week we got the call, well, text really. Leslie suggested several of their pet goats (Athena, Cockleburr and Apollo) live at Moon Grove Farm.
So, here we are. Today is the big day. Goat day. The goats arrive at about 6:30pm tonight, and I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve. I can't imagine being able to focus at work today, as I'll be watching the clock all day. Filled with joy and anticipation.