\ˈhōm-ˌsted, -stid\ The home and adjoining land occupied by a family.
Home: check (old-ish house, added onto twice in its life, so far, fondly known as Quirky Heights).
Land: check (garden-filled suburban yard, next to 840+ acres of Lake Michigan woodland with a ten-minute walk to the beach).
Family: check (two mostly sane adults, one twenty-something, two teenagers, and a pooch; numerous and sundry extended kin here, there, and across the lands).
And that's where the similarity to the 19th century adventure version ends. We are modern urban homesteaders, bringing our own interpretation of making a contribution to our upkeep. I grew up learning what I thought were ordinary skills like gardening, canning, sewing, knitting, fishing, fire-building, cooking, log-splitting, and foraging. Then I went away to college, and graduate school, and became a scientist (no, seriously). Turns out those "ordinary" skills come in handy living on a budget. My husband is resident HandyMan for everything from plumbing, electrical and carpentry to home IT. We make a good team.
In many ways, the reality of the modern homestead is no different: sometimes life plays well with others in the sand box, sometimes it runs with scissors. As long as we are all still standing at the end of the day with a smile (and a cocktail, when appropriate), it's all good.