Beginning Again: Our Family's New Chapter

I'm willing to bet that most folks who find their way here are, in some capacity, living or at least interested in living the homestead or farm life. And while I'm predicting that a lot of what we will be writing about here on Fuller House Farm will resonate a little more with those already living their own version of it - I'd like to take a moment and address the ones reading this today that may be afraid of making that first step towards self-sustainability, or that worry they aren't where they need to be in order to start. 

So, follow me for a moment, y'all. I have a little story for you.

Picture it - You're in your mid-thirties, and you're in the process of purchasing your very first home. One that you've pumped quite a bit of money and energy into, and that you've lived in for nearly a decade. Homesteading has been kind of hot 'n heavy on your radar the last few years, so you've been slowly adding little projects here and there, trying out the whole "sustainable living" thing. You just completed building what feels like the "World's Most Expensive Chicken Coop" (which by the way, wasn't built to be mobile in any way, shape, or form), and have only grown one spring garden in your newly built raised beds. You'd really like to have more land to try and grow your homestead on and have considered moving over the years, but the small acre you have seems to suffice, for now. To top it all off - your parents, who own the house you are buying, live next door; so any time your kids want to visit the grandparents they're no more than a quick bike ride away. As a result, your life doesn't quite feel unattached or one hundred percent independent, which means any major life decision wouldn't affect just your household. Your life, for the most part, seems pretty fixed and predictable. 

But then, you begin to face the realization that current job situations aren't optimal (and haven't been for a while), and your family's income has been on a bumpy rollercoaster for months, eating away at your savings over time. You've hung on for over a year, hoping certain things will improve, because you were told they would, and optimistically believed it would happen. But subconsciously, it's like you've kinda known it wasn't going to, and eventually would have to fish or cut bait. By now, your family's life consists of not much more than always wishing for Fridays, dreading Mondays, and routine feelings of burnout.

So, quiz time. Do you: Continue to hang on for dear life, just grasping hold to the bleak chance that things hopefully get better soon? OR, Go off script, be willing to uproot your family, and seek to begin again in a new place, and find a new job that may or may not end up better than your current situation?

To just up and move is kind of a scary thought, and could easily cause paralysis by analysis, I know. My husband and I seriously began asking ourselves the very same question about ten months ago, and there was definitely a fear of failure that just seemed to automatically come along with the idea. Eventually, I realized that the thought of not trying scared me even more than if we completely and utterly failed, because life does go on regardless. And regrets have this silly way of never really going away.

And then, Hurricane Harvey came. You'd think that after Hurricane Rita just 13 years prior we wouldn't need reminding about how devastating hurricanes can really be in our area - just 90 miles inland from the gulf. But we did, and our talk of moving got more serious than ever, 'cause ain't nobody got time for that.

In the end, we chose to throw our fear of the unknown out on it's tush, and embraced the idea that it's never too late to start anew. We began to put our feelers out for new job opportunities that Brandon would enjoy working, since a lot of our issues were work related to begin with, and also for potential homesteading properties in those areas we may have found ourselves moving to. After a month or so of following mediocre online job leads, and submitting electronic applications that kept leading no where, we kind of started feeling like maybe this decision was just going to lead straight to disappointment's front door, and that you really do get "stuck" on the path you've wound up on - whether intentionally or not - once you've reached a certain age. Unless you're, like, rich or something, and well, we're not that.

And then, a little random thought popped in my head: "I think B knows a guy that might know of something...". Which spurred me to ask him a question about that guy, that led us on a Saturday afternoon drive 45 minutes north of our hometown. By the end of the day, we had no more of an answer to that question coming home than we did when we left our driveway earlier, but we did feel a little more hopeful, and a lot less defeated for some unknown reason. On Sunday, we felt plum giddy, because we found out by chance that another dealership in that town may also be hiring, and it was for the type of position B wanted most of all!  And by Monday morning, I couldn't wrap my head around how fast this 'random thought' actually seemed to be shaping up to be a viable thing - as I was dropping off Brandon's resume with a very promising new employer.

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The very next day, I found and walked into my future dream home, and the inspiration for Fuller House Farm. Of course, Brandon wanted more acreage for our homestead (seriously, what is it with guys wanting all the land?), but we couldn't deny that this place was a little bigger than our current one, and was laid out much more efficiently for future homesteading projects. Also, the house being a bit smaller meant I was going to be forced into the more simplistic lifestyle I had been craving to live. Win-win. Our whole world was changing in the blink of an eye, and I could feel the new roots trying to dive in and take hold of the new ground we were standing on. And you could just feel it in the whole place that this - this was what we were supposed to do. Call it fate, luck, chance, good karma, or whatever you like - but we couldn't deny that our Creator hadn't been orchestrating this whole thing this entire time. Sooo very cool.

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About a month later we moved into our new home, B started his new job, and here we are now - rockin' and a rollin', and steadily growing our homestead, just like we wanted to! Are things perfect all the time? No, but we go with the flow, and it all works out in the end, thanks to a pretty amazing Creator upstairs.

So, if you're feeling the strong nudge to pull up roots and go plant yourself somewhere new, are you gonna do it? Be really real with yourself. What would you do if being afraid wasn't a factor? Fear is like the weed that can, and will choke a dream to death, ladies and gents. I'm here to tell you it's never too late to start over - it is possible to make new roots grow elsewhere. We're pretty much living proof of that fact. It might not be the absolute easiest thing getting there, but anything worth having rarely is.

For those of you that can't move due to circumstances beyond your control - then don't fret it. Just know that you can implement the basic principles of self-sustainability anywhere. Something, literally anything, is better than nothing at all. So, here's a thumbs up to all you folks getting back in touch with your food source! Whether you're raising more than half of your food supply on your own, or you have some potted herbs in your window sill - you're helping to keep the movement of food freedom alive for the generations to come, and that's all that really matters.