Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Small Town USA or Bust

Friends and family have heard me talk about small town life and being surrounded by four distinct seasons etc for a while now.  It has been an idea in the making, intentionality or not, for a number of years.  But for those of you stumbling in and as a clear description to those who know us, here is how we got all the way to Northeastern Kentucky farm country from big city Southern California.  Some of it is that hindsight stuff, some fate, and some planning and hard work.

It started about 5 or 6 years ago when we decided to put our townhouse up for sale.  It was the peak of the housing boom in Southern California. Our realtor, who lived across the street, was selling his home. I said, "If your getting that much for your house and someone is crazy enough to take mine for anywhere close to that... well then we're selling too".  A day or so later, a Friday I believe, I came home to find a for sale sign in my front yard.  By the end of the following week, sales contracts had been signed. The townhouse was 30 days from closing.  This began a long journey. One that at first was a sell high and hold for a market drop plan.  That evolved into a pay off all debt and relocate to a smaller, rural, seasoned location plan.  Then a catastrophic market crash, some maternity leave, and a death in the family, all created a time line that ended up being longer and more varied than anyone could have ever imagined.  One With plenty of crazy to keep it interesting.

After packing up the townhouse we at first spent a significant amount of time living with my parents.  We looked at tens if not thousands of over priced, quite often ransacked, local city homes.  After realizing that we were not going to be happy with anything for one reason or another, we found a rental home close to my parents and entered a holding pattern.  Holding for what?  That was the 85 dollar question.  As situations played out in our day to day life, with family, and society a clearer and stronger push toward a family\moral based environment grew (If this were a movie you would be hearing the green acres theme song about now).  In early 2010 after almost 4 years in a rental and with my oldest starting the first grade we were at a cross road. With an emphatic stand against Cali. public schools and with home school or private school not valid options, we had reached a point where it was go or no go.  It was time to pull the trigger and a geographical location and a home had to be found.

Even at the start, when the search was for a then modest home on about 10 acres, searching from a distance of 3000 miles away was proving to be difficult.  A sense of community and life style is hard to get from a realtor.com page.  As that search continued and became more of a search for a homestead as apposed to a house with land, it became plainly clear that I would have to be closer to our search areas to make this work.  To achieve that we ended up landing somewhere between point A and point B.  I like to call it point A.75.  We are 3\4 of the way there. We just need to find the actual point B.

Due to extensive research and a bit of input from friends and family we really found ourselves drawn to Kentucky.  At the get go we where looking in an area just east of Louisville.  However, in the last six to eight months our intent to embrace a rural existance has more clearly become defined as self-sufficiency.  I refferanced Green Acres earlier but at this point Little house on the Prairie is probably a truer picture.  As land requirements grew and big city issues became a bigger turn off, the search shifted east.  Almost like a fly to the fly paper we where drawn to the farming areas of NE Kentucky.  As I write this we are still just outside of Kentucky in Charleston West Virginia aka point A.75.  In what should be our last holding pattern.  We are in the process of purchasing what could be the last home we will ever buy.  On enough land to satisfy any adventure we ever take interest in. Just North of Lexington KY.

As someone who has benefited greatly from the info and communication of others that have decided to tackle the farm life. I feel it is only right for me to add what I can to the pool.  So the following posts to this blog will be mostly to that end.  It should at the least be a guide as to how not to do it and from time to time a nugget of good insight.  So from here on there is no crying over spilt milk and it will be quite prudent to count the chickens before they hatch!

No comments:

Post a Comment