Exactly one year ago,
our young family of six took a life changing road trip across the country.
We spent three weeks driving from our ordinary suburban home in Boise, Idaho to Mansfield, Missouri, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Norfolk, Nebraska (to visit family), and finally up to DeSmet, South Dakota.
I had been reading the Little House on the Prairie series to my girls for several months and we had just finished the last one. In September, the Laura Ingalls-Wilder home in MO was going to be having a festival and would be playing Pa’s fiddle. So, we organized a trip.
I even made the girls dresses! (I might love DIY but if you know me, clothes are not my wheelhouse!)
Little House on the Prairie
I had been fascinated by the Ingalls-Wilder story since I was in 1st or 2nd grade. My mom even found me an old book report in which I wrote how I wished I could “live like that”.
My dream had never died, although I never imagined it would be one I would actually follow.
But, this story isn’t about Laura Ingalls… she was only the beginning.
On our trip my husband and I had over 57 hours of time sitting next to each other in the front seat to read, talk, bond, and dream. We learned and experienced new things, our marriage grew stronger, our bond with our children grew closer, and we began to imagine a life that we had never thought of before.
On our trip we were able to visit the peaceful farms of my aunts and uncles in Nebraska and experience the tranquility of a house situated in what felt like woods in Iowa.
From there, our dream of our own “Little House in the Big Woods” started evolving.
It started as a very far off “what if”, to a wondering, to a possibility, to a searching, to a reality.
This is the question on everyone’s lips.
Unfortunately, the answer is simple.
“Simple” because there is only one reason. We feel drawn there by some unexplainable power – a calling, if you will.
“Unfortunate”, because no one is able to understand it (including us – haha).
But, we are excited about the prospect of Vermont.
We wanted somewhere we could feel secluded and removed from the world, but yet still the center of it all. There is so much History in New England, plus, fabulous education opportunities for our children. We love the woods, the topography, and the beauty, and we wanted somewhere we could “bingewatch the snow”. We want our kids to grow up close to nature and learn the benefits of hard work and “boredom”.
From our location we can go anywhere on an ordinary weekend: from Boston, to Prince Edward Island, to a Maine Lobster fest. Plus, I love being close to my Alma Mater (Middlebury College) and close to French Canada.
So what exactly are you doing?
Second most asked question 🙂
We are going off-grid!
We are doing solar panels and windmills, a well and a septic system, my friends! No cell-phones, no tv – just internet for the maintenance of this blog and our livelihood!
The goal is to make the property at least 95% self-sustainable – growing our own food and raising our own dairy, meat, and eggs. We will even have a small scale maple sugaring operation!
One day we hope to even build a couple guest cabins for people to visit and have a mini “destination bed and breakfast”. We will home-make everything from sausage, to yogurt, to sourdough pizza crust and start a little destination lunch place. I will teach people how to make bread, cheese, yogurt and jam (and SO much more) and how to live healthy, balanced, joyful lives. We will document our homebuilding endeavors and talk about our adventures with animals, gardening, and homesteading with children.
It ought to be an exciting adventure!
I hope that you will join us!