So much has changed since I wrote my first blog post. Might as well start anew.
We now live on a ranch. We bought an 1858 ranch house in the Sierra Nevadas on 10 acres of pasture. We still have 3 kids, 2 dogs and alas no more fish (went to the “ocean” via toilet). We have added 7 chickens to our brood, yet to be named. Goats are forthcoming.
Why would we move from Southern California to the Sierras you might ask? Well, when opportunity knocks….to make a long story short, my husbands uncle poured his heart and soul into refurbishing this 1858 farmhouse and was trying to sell it. He threw out the wild idea we should buy it and move 500 miles away to the country. We pondered. We schemed. We calculated. We planned. Then we said to hell with it, let’s do this. And we did.
While I find great beauty in the beach, treasure the long growing season, appreciate the culture and the arts that dominate the area and miss my dear parents and close friends, I belong in the mountains. I belong in changing, challenging weather. I belong in a town of 200, not 20 million. I was a factory chicken in SoCal, now I’m free-range. (a little ranch metaphor for ya’ll)
Mostly, though, this was a decision for our kids. The day my 6-year old daughter came home from school and asked me if the back of her thighs were fat, I knew we had to get the hell out. I’m not naive- I know living in the country will carry it’s own issues and drawbacks for my kids. While there are more cows than people here and more barns than museums, I can still give culture, art and experience to my kids. And I know that SoCal is not only populated by vain, appearance obsessed, materialistic people- I’m privileged to know some amazing, kind and genuine people down south. But, it’s hard to protect my kids from the pronounced cultural obsession with stuff and appearances. It’s hard to take the rat of of the rat race.
Seeing my kids exploring the pasture, scrambling on rocks, fishing with their dad, making ninja swords out of found sticks, searching for arrowheads, getting eggs from the chicken coop, making flower necklaces from the front lawn, experiencing the rapid changes in weather, seeing new apples grow on our apple trees, counting cows and sheep as we pass them on the way to school makes me undoubtedly know we made the right decision.
I’ve never been so happy to see my kids absolutely filthy from being outside all day long.
So, here we are. Where we belong.