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How a million little and big choices lead to one sweet life

Overflowing with character, the Bullock Family homestead in Norquay represents the epitome of vintage style country living.

NORQUAY - It was about 12 years ago when Colin and Franziska (Franky) Bullock made the big move from British Columbia to Saskatchewan where they soon after eloped. Colin grew up near Creston, B.C., while Franky was living in the nearby Boswell – a rural locality on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, approximately 35 kilometres east of the city of Nelson.

Moving to Saskatchewan in January proved to be shocking for the young couple, as the day they arrived temperatures had dropped toward the -50 degree mark.

“We were thinking ‘what have we got ourselves into’ – it was so cold and we had no phones at that time. But we made it through,” explained Franky.

After surviving their first winter on the prairies, when May arrived, the Bullocks jumped at the opportunity to buy an old farmstead just west of Norquay.

“I had always dreamed of living in a house in the trees, surrounded by animals,” shared Franky. “When we heard this place was going to be subdivided and sold, and we saw the old farmhouse and huge red barn…we fell in love with it right away.”

Franky explained how much she appreciated growing up surrounded by animals, saying it made her the person she is today.

“I will forever be thankful to my parents for making the choices and sacrifices they did. In our case this included a move from Germany to Canada when I was 11. They sold a prosperous business – and with four kids, two dogs, two cats, three horses and a 40-foot shipping container, they moved us across the world. We settled in, made a home and never looked back. Germany will forever be part of us, but Canada is home.”

When the time came for the newlyweds Colin and Franky to look for a place to raise their own family, they quickly realized they had outgrown their home in B.C. and began searching for new opportunities. As a nurse, Franky was offered a job in rural Saskatchewan. With his training and experience as a heavy duty mechanic, it wasn’t long before Colin was flooded with job opportunities.

“We have been really embraced by our local communities. The people here are so lovely and friendly,” shared Franky.

“The vast, wide open spaces and never ending skies, as well as the blunt, wild force of nature quickly made me fall in love with the place. And again we settled in, made a home, and never looked back. The home we made is in a 110-year-old farmhouse, which had stood empty for a number of years and had pigeons roosting in our now bedroom. I loved it nevertheless, but what really sold me was the hip roof barn. I could picture it full of critters and kids – along with a milk cow or two, and horses. And that's how the cycle continues from one generation to the next. This lifestyle is a calling, in your blood, but it also is a million little and big choices on a daily basis that anyone can make. And if you want it I highly recommend you do, because it’s a sweet life.”

A dream became reality as Colin and Franky went on to welcome four beautiful children of their own – Benjamin, Lukas, Joseph and Lily. The Bullock homestead grew rich with love, lessons, adventure, and a number of animals, including: dairy cows, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkeys, ducks, geese, and chickens. They even decided to build a dock on their dugout and stock it with trout.

Franky said this past year of being homebound has really helped her get organized. As a self-proclaimed “maximalist” the young mother has spent the last twelve years creating a space that joyfully celebrates country living. Each room in the Bullock home overflows with antiques, vintage textures, cozy furniture, vibrant colour, artwork, and soothing ambient lighting. Complementing the decor is the evidence of happy, active children through musical instruments, artwork, and homemade baked goods.

“The life we live requires so much stuff,” explained Franky. “Food processing equipment, milking equipment, animal care supplies, vet supplies, incubators, meat processing supplies, canning jars, saddle, and leashes. Plus good clothes, chore clothes, back up chore clothes, winter gear, back up winter gear, boots, shoes, skates, summer shoes, snow shoes, ski boots, rain boots, cowboy boots. All times six people! It's a lot!”

Today, Colin owns his own business called Bullock Mechanical in Hyas and Franky works part-time as a Community Health Nurse at the Key First Nation Health Clinic. The couple maintains a schedule that seems busier than ever – but it’s a life they said they wouldn’t trade for anything.

“As a mum of four and a public health nurse – you may see me running around like a flustered hen after sighting a fox. This isn't a complaint. My 92-year-old grandma says it best when she says: 'you must like it because you keep doing it'. And she is right.”

To peek further into the Bullock homestead and lifestyle, find them on Instagram @homenowhomestead