Of course my story doesn’t start with falling in love, but it’s as good a starting point as any. That chapter started on a late summer day in 2006 in my college town in Oregon, and it unfolded as the leaves changed and the cooling rain commenced. Five years later, we married in a lighthearted celebration on a grassy hill, surrounded by family and friends and handmade bunting.
Shortly after our wedding, we decided rather abruptly to move to the Central Valley of California where I would work for my family business and make our home on a 3-acre property where my dad was raised. We planted a large garden and kept a menagerie of animals, some for food. We began making our own soap and country wines, condiments, cheese and pickles.
Cooking is a daily pleasure for both of us, so virtually every meal is homemade. Sunday Dinner, an elaborate weekly meal prepared all day long and shared with my dad and whoever cares to join us, has grown into a beloved tradition: braised rabbit, coq au vin, ajiaco, fresh pastas, smoked meats.
As much good as we’ve made of our life here, as much comfort as we’ve found in our family and home, and I in my job, we’ve felt like fish out of water. The weather is extraordinarily, ceaselessly hot, whereas we adore the rain and cool of the Pacific Northwest. We seem to stand out in the community as eccentric hippies. And the air, heavy and brown with smog and the pesticides and dirt tilled into clouds, is known to sicken people, particularly children.
We want our daughter to grow up in the lush grass and chilly fresh air that we know and love. So our long-held dream of returning to the place we left became imminent, and over the last year it’s come slowly to fruition.
In early 2015 we will move back to Oregon, to the rain and grass and warm community, to build a homestead. The most gorgeous property awaits us, a little house between creek and pasture and forest.
The coming chapter will be filled with discovery and excitement, challenges and hardship. I’m confident it will also be filled with abundant love and creativity, delicious food, a full garden, and as much life as we can glean from the land.
Here’s to what’s to come…
I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to reach me, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily be in touch. Thank you!