Homesteading

The New Homestead

Last year, as Kirk and I worked on our “proof of concept” of an urban homestead in Maple Valley, Washington, we started talking of our dreams. The dream? To find land we’d be happy on, in a more rural setting. In a coming post I will talk more in-depth about the search, that stretched for many months, across a number of states. The land we found, that called to us, is on an island in the Pacific Northwest, in Washington State.

It was the last place we looked at. In fact, we almost didn’t look at it. The town it sits outside of wasn’t even on our radar as an option. We had bid and lost on a property a week before in a different area, and feeling in a black mood, I asked my husband if we could go back to looking at the island instead of the more remote mainland. We looked at a couple of places that day, none of which were right. We parted ways with our agent there, and went to have lunch. Over lunch we got talking about the island, and the other small towns on it. Kirk mentioned a property I had sent him, that why had we not looked at it? And I didn’t know why. We called our agent and she agreed to meet us again, and show us the house that afternoon.

When I walked the land, I felt it. It wasn’t perfect. If anything, it was the polar opposite of what we were searching for. It’s not flat. It has a lot of treed areas. But it had potential. The house is quirky, built by the previous owner. It isn’t cookie cutter. Ironically, the day we first saw the land, it was dumping rain, cold and grey, in February. When we came back for the house inspection later that month, the sun was out. We could see the Olympic Mountains, across the water, floating above the trees.

It sits surrounded by an open forest, with native Madrona Trees, Salal and Evergreen Huckleberry. I have a lot of work this spring, once we are finally unpacked, to trim back the woods and make it our land.

And it had the symbolism of what I craved: our own well. 5.24 acres of rural land, in unincorporated county. Going from a bloated school district of 6 elementary schools to 1 small school. We live outside of city limits, of the small town. No chain fast food, no Starbucks. At night I can hear frogs. The small deer wander through. It will be enjoyable working the land, with a lot to come in the future. Right now we are running internet through a hot spot from the mobile phone, so posts will be light (it’s not easy to upload photos), but soon I’ll be back to posting.

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