Our Journey to Homestead Living – Moving On
Every so once in a while I picture us where we were a year ago, or maybe 2 years ago, and I think about where we are today. I feel like I say it all the time but when I think about where we are today it’s somewhere where I never pictured us to be. Yet here we are.
Over a year ago we had just moved into our camper, ready to sell our house, pay off debt, and move on with life after a difficult year. We’d previously lived in a camper before we bought our first house in order to pay off debt so it wasn’t anything new for us. A few months later, all the dreams that we’d been planning came crashing to the ground in just one day and it changed everything in our lives. We’d sold our house but were still in more debt than we’d planned and had to change course. After a few tearful nights and feeling lost and hopeless we started looking for a piece of land. Having land was always our “backup plan” and we figured we could always live in the camper while we built our new house. So we searched for land in our area (something we’d been doing for months already but not seriously), nothing was affordable and when we started adding up the expenses of building a road, digging a well, getting a construction loan….it just didn’t fit into our goal of being debt free.
Then along came the farm. A tiny farm, 300 miles away from anyone we know. My hubby was drawn to it at first sight (having grown up a farmboy himself), I was not. (Rancher girl, big difference!) The three of us hopped in the car and drove across the state, I told hubby we’d go take a look so he could see that it wasn’t for us. I didn’t want a money pit for a house, I wanted acres upon acres, I wanted to stay close to family.
And then we arrived at the farm. I carried the baby around the yard while hubby talked to the realtor and filled her in on our story. The barns were ancient, the house was crooked, the trees were huge and intimidating (I’ve been a prairie girl most of my life, trees are beautiful, but scary!). The house needed a ridiculous amount of work just to get it up to code and not be a complete fire hazard. I walked around and didn’t say much to the realtor, I’m sure she thought we were not interested. I may or may not have repeatedly called the basement a dungeon and the stairs a death trap…
After looking everything over we got back in our truck and drove down the road. Hubby asked, “Well what did you think?” I said (to his shock, and surprising myself as well), “I think I can see us living there and being happy. I think we need a fresh new start and I think this is it.”
Later that day we put in our offer and it was accepted. We paid roughly 42% of what our previous home was worth. We definitely wanted something that we could pay off within a few years of hard work so we got a 5 year loan. Hubby was offered a job in the next town over and we broke the news to our family that it was time for us to move on. Unfortunately it meant moving away from them but it was what we felt called to do, even though we couldn’t (and still can’t) explain it.
Within a few weeks we were ready to close on the house. We packed up the few belongings we had stored away (we’d gotten rid of most everything including all furniture when we moved into the camper), put our tractor on a trailer and headed east across the prairie.