My partner, Robb, and I met almost 7 years ago in a way that seems foreign to most people in this technology-driven society; via blind date. He hunted land owned by my neighbor. Knowing that we were both single, my neighbor and his wife invited us over for dinner one evening.
Neither of us wanted to go. Both of us considered canceling.
That evening, I arrived first. Robb arrived shortly thereafter, with a jar of salsa he had made himself using tomatoes he had grown.
I was smitten.
Though our hosts dominated the conversation and we barely had the opportunity to talk, Robb offered to drive me home (across the street) giving us the opportunity to exchange phone numbers. We met later that week and have been spending pretty much all of our free time together since.
Not long after we started dating did we realize that we shared a common dream – a dream of having land, of getting off-the-grid some, of growing our own produce – of course, that vision has morphed some over the years – but the very nature of it has remained strong. We wanted a simpler way of life, a slower way of life.
It just took us almost 7 years to get there.
We made due where we lived – in a half-acre lot within a small subdivision, a few chickens, and most of our backyard converted into a garden area. We canned, we froze, we fermented, we did our best. But it wasn’t our forever home.
The thing you should know is that land in my hometown was at a premium. The good land had already built upon. The okay land was still being used by farmers who thought their land was worth gold. Suitable houses were few and far between.
Not to mention, it simply wasn’t a good place to raise a family.
We had all of the names for our future children picked out after 6 months of dating. It took another two and a half years before we were able to bring our first child to life – Caleb. Another 3 years before I found myself pregnant with our second child (coming this August). Still, we knew that this wasn’t where we wanted our children to grow up.
Though our county was trying – the crime rate was high, and only getting worse. Drugs were rampant. The school system was underperforming. There were few opportunities for building a community, even fewer opportunities to raise our children in the manner that we wanted. There were only a couple of places that I felt comfortable visiting as the mother of a young child.
We had a vision in mind. Every step that we took, every move we made, every training program that Robb put himself through, every night he spent sleeping on the hard ground out west, it was all to get us closer to that goal.
And here we are.
6 hours away from the land where I was raised. 6 weeks away from closing on the home of our dreams.
Our dream is so close that we can taste it.