The Girl Behind The Wired Homestead
My name is Chris and I was born a small town girl in rural Iowa. Growing up, I never really appreciated the rural life. My dreams were of big cities and lots of people; a place I could get lost in. Somewhere no one would know who I was when I walked into a store.
What I didn’t realize then is that the slow pace of the rural life is something to be treasured. Eighteen and the end of high school couldn’t have come soon enough for me. The weekend after I graduated I was on a plane to Seattle, the city I decided I was start my adult life in.
As a young adult, the city was a place of magic. Shows every weekend, people every where you look, and a diversity I’d only seen in movies. Culture shock is a real thing, but I was ready to tackle it head on.
For over 10 years I enjoyed the city life. Living in apartments on busy streets, hearing my neighbors at all hours of the night. For a while I was living in downtown Seattle where there really isn’t much of a “quiet hour.” Homeless can be heard day and night, police sirens rush by, and people are going to and from all of those shows and nightlife entertainment.
It was great for those years, but I felt something was missing. There was a part of me that just didn’t feel settled, didn’t feel like I was quite home. Over time, I learned that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
I left the city for the suburbs. Not country by any stretch, but not quite city either. I was close enough to enjoy the benefits the big city has to offer, but far enough away that I had quiet evenings again. My soul was a little happier, but there was still something missing.
My now husband and I met, like me he grew up with more of a country lifestyle. We moved further out into the country. Not quite suburbia but big enough and close enough to the city to still be called suburban.
It’s been here that I’ve started to find myself again. I rediscovered a love of canning I developed while water bath canning with my mom as a child. Then I took that and grew it to include pressure canning.
Now that we had a small backyard I could finally have a garden. Each year my garden grew a little more. It brings me such joy to step outside onto my back deck and see my garden spaces. A little more peace settled in.
Then for my birthday one year I posted to a local women’s homesteading group asking for someone to “put me to work” for my birthday. I got to experience milking goats and cows in the morning, cleaning a chicken coop and brushing a horse in the afternoon.
This post led to a friendship with a local farmer who let me come and help muck stalls and feed her livestock to celebrate my birthday. That day began not only a friendship, but a chance to learn what it was really like to run a homestead. She has taught me about animal husbandry, how to ride a horse, and has given me the strength to know I can follow my passion like she did.
This is where I found myself, I found where I was meant to go in life and what I was meant to do. Since then, I’ve been learning everything I can regarding the homesteading life my heart yearns for. For now, I still call suburbia home but soon I will leave that behind for the country life.
I’ll leave the office and a 20 year career in higher education behind for muddy boots and hard work. Sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day will become a memory. And when that day comes, it will be the day I finally come home.
I hope you join me on my journey and learn these skills along side me.