Our homesteading dream to our new home in the woods

Our move to our simple yet exciting life in the woods was something I dreamed about all my life. I was 27 when my husband and I decided to trek our family 1200 miles away from my childhood home and my family. Our three children were ages 5, 3, and 1 year at the time. He had a good job and I was a stay at home mom. I saw my mom often and our kids were very close to my family. Why would I leave all this? Well, over the years I have asked myself this question -not as often as you might think- but it’s crossed my mind a time or two. But we had a dream…..a homestead in the woods.

You see, my husband and I were able to obtain the land he grew up on. It was just sitting there waiting for us. Our oldest was to start kindergarten in the fall and we knew once she started school there, it would be even harder to ever leave. So, we decided to put our house up for sale and “see how things go”. What a surprise when our house sold in less than two weeks! I was in a state of shock and so was my mom.

Our dream was happening!

We had a very short time to pack and load up the trailer we purchased. It was a flatbed trailer, long, red and shiny. The cost was the same, or maybe less, than having a mover come to move us. So, being the frugal couple we are, we chose to pull a trailer. The work was hard loading that sucker up.We worked until we couldn’t put another thing on it. Our van was filled to the brim. We had a plan because….. well, we always have a plan. But we needed this stuff we had accumulated for our dream home in the trees, right? It was a good plan.

Our last night in the desert

The house was peaceful. Even the kids were extra quiet. We made a pallet on the living room floor for all of us. Everything but those few blankets and pillows that would be used in the van for the trip and a coffee maker were all we had left in the house. Our house felt lonely already. The realtor had told us that the new owners needed the house sooner than we planned and would be there at noon the next day. That was ok. We were ready. It gave me a few hours in the morning to say goodbye to my house in the desert. I knew I needed that time. Just a few minutes to think about some memories and make myself ready.

As the sun came up

Seven o’clock came early after a restless night on the floor. Coffee was perking away and we were folding the blankets when we heard a car door slam. It was the new owners. They were there already! They were there to take my house before I even got to say goodbye! I wasn’t ready!

I felt my heart drop and I know my husband must’ve seen the pure panic in my eyes because he went out and asked them if they could wait just a few minutes for us to grab a few things and load the kids up. They graciously offered to go get some breakfast and come back. I still felt panicked and my goodbye to my little house felt hurried. Even though we were leaving the house, I still felt like these people were intruding on my home. My heart would have done much better if I had never seen them at all.

It was so heavy

After a few hurried sips of coffee, we hooked the trailer up to the truck. It was a heavy load. Oh boy, it was so heavy the hitch was lower than any other place on the truck except the tires! We immediately knew it was bad. We pulled out of the drive, me in the van and him in the truck. I saw the hitch drag on the curb as he pulled out!! We were in trouble. Big trouble! There was no way we could pull this 1200 miles and the new owners would be back any minute.

We needed a heftier truck!

We needed something to pull this trailer full of our supplies. My husband called a friend who allowed us to borrow his truck with duel wheels on back and a much stronger engine. Which meant my husband was going to have to leave me alone in the new place and bring the truck back. Not my idea of a dream journey but it was our only chance and we were grateful to have it. Besides, after all we’d been through that morning, we needed some time to relax and regroup. The wind had left our sails, and I was feeling exhausted.

Our dream would have to wait a few days

We went to my parents house and stayed a few days there. It was the best thing we could have done. My brother and his wife were close by. The ever present warmth and welcome was just what our little family needed. It was so hard to leave my family. But I was so glad to be able to spend a few more precious days with them and given a chance to allow them to help me replenish my body and spirit with strength.

After a few days of catching up on laundry and spending some amazing time laughing and having fun, it was time to go. Our goodbye was very emotional. All of us not sure what to expect of this new adventure and the pain of being so far apart. I can still see my mom standing in the drive watching her only daughter drive away. It was one of the saddest times in my life. But what has even been harder has been over the years I’ve watched her missing my kids. Then, after I had my first grandchild, my heart broke for my mom. I suddenly understood her pain. I wasn’t just driving away, I was taking her grandchildren away from her!

Something to learn from our dream

Moving is hard. It’s even harder when you are moving far away from family. We took too much stuff. I packed some things purely on sentimental value. Probably because I was moving so far away from my family. But we also took appliances, furniture and toys. We could have sold some things and purchased them again.

I would advise you if you are planning a journey like ours to keep it small. Try to keep it simple. Take the antiques and mementos that can’t be replaced. Take the kid’s favorite toys and lightweight furniture. But most stuff can be purchased again, or better yet, you may find that you didn’t need them to begin with. Besides, we were homesteading and wanted a simple life in our new home in the woods. We didn’t need all that heavy stuff anyway. But even with the troubles we had to get here, it was worth the move. Our dream had started and it has been a beautiful one!