Two Clay Birds is a dream that is coming to fruition. We married in a field on Kevin’s parent’s land in Erath County, Texas. It was DIY, simple, low-cost, and fun. Our big day was a celebration of our life together and the friends who enriched it. We opted for an oak tree and hand-painted furniture instead of an ornate altar, a field instead of an expensive dance hall, fresh food prepared by friends and family instead of a catering service, and a pie bar with fare made by a local restaurant instead of the obligatory cake, which neither of us like anyway. And in lieu of a plastic bride pulling a plastic groom down the aisle for a cake topper, we selected pie toppers that truly spoke to our interests – two clay pie birds made by a family-owned company that has been making stoneware since the early 1900s. For us, the experience of our wedding was a symbol of how we wanted to live life – simply, joyously, and surrounded by good food and good people. But it seemed decadent, next to impossible even, to imagine that the day-to-day routine of things could also be just as rich and fulfilling.
For years we felt caught between the draw of a simpler hands-on life and the rat race of the city. We longed for a place where we could grow food for our family (and then some), have a wood shop and art studio (still forthcoming), and watch chickens. We talked at length about creating this hypothetical, authentic, hands-on life that would provide for our us on so many levels. But, like most Americans, we were scared to make the jump. Scared of failure. Scared of success. Scared of change. Scared of starting over. Scared that this non-traditional approach (which, really is very traditional from a historical perspective) to life was somehow just too pie-in-the-sky to be realistic.
Raising a family in Austin, Texas was an enriching and rewarding experience. We have wonderful friends there and neighbors we love. We had access to libraries and concerts and national-level events that were all very fun and all very time-consuming and all very scheduled and all very hard to get to, even if you lived just a few miles from wherever they were taking place. Kevin spent two hours a day in traffic to commute 13 miles to and from his office (that translates to 22 days out of the year spent sitting in gridlocked Austin traffic)! That’s a lot of time on the road and a tremendous amount of time away from our family. We felt that we had to seek a more connected, more organic, if you will, way of living.
When we finally decided to leap into our new life, we had to discern what it was we really wanted out of life and how to get it. We decided our goals were to eat and sell food that was grown and harvested with a heart toward stewardship for the land so that the legacy of the place we hoped to hand down to our children would be one that could sustain them for generations. As a founding member of the Fort Worth Cowtown Farmers’ Market, Kevin’s dad had farmed for years on their family homestead, just 25 miles from Hico and had set the bar high for growing nutritious food for people’s tables. For us that meant cultivating whole foods from organic, non-GMO seed on land where healthy, sustainable soil is the focus. Other goals were to live in a happy, close-knit community; to live a life that would incorporate practicality, beauty, and creativity on a daily basis; and to cultivate and live in tune with our spiritual values by giving back to others in meaningful ways. And we wanted to have the time and space to enjoy the blessings of our family and friends on a regular basis, not just on special occasions. So, after years of list-making, daydreaming, learning curves and real estate researching, we have found that life at Two Clay Birds in the small town of Hico, Texas where we are ecstatic to have the opportunity to share what we love about the world with like-minded folks. We hope that our enthusiasm for healthy eating, happy living, and honest connections with those around us will inspire you to come by and sit a spell. Enjoy some fresh-from-the-farm food and friendly conversation, and see why good food really does make your mouth sing!