Well, we finally did it. After spending the past six months being entirely consumed with repairing, remodeling, and listing our homestead, we finally closed on the sale of Moose Poop Acres (though I highly doubt the new owners will keep the moniker) and brought our lives back to the east coast.
I am acutely aware that we are closing one very meaningful chapter of our lives. When we purchased MPA three years ago, we honestly had no idea what we were getting into. We wanted to grow our own food and live close to the land. Pretty simple concept. The execution, however, was anything but.
Deer, ground squirrels, moles and wild turkeys worked hand in hand with poor soil, drought and temperature extremes to make gardening an epic battle. I have never lived anywhere where winter lasted from November to April, and where we couldn’t put anything in the ground until June. It was a learning experience, to be sure. But we did the best we could and learned a ton from the experience.
This past weekend, the kids and I hopped on a plane and headed east. Bradley is currently en route, driving cross-country yet again, this time bringing our family van and the family dog, rather than driving a U-Haul towing our car. I think he will be over driving for a bit, by the time he finally makes it out here for good.
So here we are. Once Bradley arrives, we will being our search for property in North Carolina. But for now, we are staying in my hometown in West Virginia. It was an easy place for us to land while we house-hunt, and felt like a great opportunity for us to catch up with friends and family while we are in this in-between space.
Someday soon we will locate our next homestead (hopefully a micro one this time, as I no longer feel compelled to work 20 acres), and the next phase of our adventure will begin. For now, we are hunkered down in the family home, the place where generations of my ancestors have lived.
There is something special about being here right now. Sharing this home with my kids, surrounded by walls that housed my grandmother and my great-grandparents, kept company by grainy images of long-gone relatives. It is by far the most peace I have felt in a long time. I feel like I’m coming home, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.
When I left West Virginia fifteen years ago, I couldn’t wait to GTFO. I’ll be honest, I wanted to be anywhere that wasn’t here. College was a tumultuous time, for reasons that would take far too long to cover in this post. I was in a pretty bad place, psychologically, and wanted to leave behind the bad memories, the people whom I thought had hurt me, and the people whom I had hurt. I figured that 3,000 miles was a good amount of space to put between us and I landed on the west coast.
Fifteen years is a long time, but it feels like much longer. It feels like lifetimes ago. Coming back now, all I can remember are the good times. Walking down the streets, hand in hand with my kids, I can no longer remember the angst that drove me away, or the guilt or fear that kept me away.
When we got into town yesterday, I took the kids for breakfast at the same diner my dad has been taking me to since I was their age. We walked past the college campus where I got my undergraduate degree. Through the front windows of the family home, where we’re staying, is the park where my sisters and I rode our bikes in the summer.
Everything about being here feels like coming full circle. My heart is full to bursting, my conscience is light, and I am overjoyed at all the opportunities for healing that this life offers us. I don’t think I’ve ever before gone into a holiday season so overwhelmed at life’s abundance – and I don’t plan to take it for granted again any time soon.
Wishing everyone a holiday season full of love and joy, and lots of quality time with the ones who matter most.