It’s All About Roots

Why we traded sunshine and sand for down on the farm.

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And so it begins!  A family from California uproots themselves to live a simpler life in the rural, gently sloped hills of Mid-Michigan.  We find ourselves amidst Amish country trying to figure out this whole homesteading thing we’ve been dreaming about.  Fed up with the high prices of living on the California coast, we decided we weren’t going to “live like this” forever.  I started looking for jobs in places we could afford to buy at least one acre of land, strategically located near one of our parents.  When I told the plan to my dad he said, “I know a place for sale in Michigan… your grandma’s house.”

BAM! There it was!  Our solution to the madness.  It was only 10 months before that we decided to have a home birth.  The idea of home had become so personal and intimate.  At that moment we decided we would buy the family farm and get married there, too.  All we needed to do is find work nearby.  Nearly a year later and we had given up.  I had told everyone to forget the idea of us moving to Michigan, it was too hard to find a job that was right for me.  Sure, I could maybe squeeze into the big Dow Chemical plant somewhere but it would have been against every value I hold dear.  We had decided Washington was better fit for us, where the population was growing and the prospect of work was optimistic.

We were married at the farm as planned in October 2016, one year after our original decision to buy the place.  The wedding was a sacred tapestry with ceremonial fiber woven into every square inch.  It was truly magical.  Something must have shifted that week because as soon as I returned to California I confessed my desire to live at the farm.  I looked for jobs and applied to whatever looked remotely fitting.  Not even a full month later I was on a plane to Michigan for an interview for what I can only describe as a dream job.

As I write this today I am living in Michigan at the farm and thrilled to be the next steward in line for this land that is a part of my family’s history.  I hope I can only do right by them by preserving its beauty and honoring what has been left behind.  For the first time I feel like we can finally put down some roots of our own.

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