Category: Family time & traditions

The holiday season is upon us. This year, Wanderstead Husband and I have made a vow to truly limit the number of items purchased and really focus on homemade and quality or unique items.

In an effort to both lower our financial footprint, but also simplify and focus more on the spirit of the season, we have both begun working on projects and gifts for loved ones.

However, I know I will be purchasing some things.

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Bzzzzz……Bzzzzz…..Bzzzz

Groggily I rolled over, wondering why my alarm on my phone was on the other side of the room. As I sat up, I realized the sound was not coming from my phone, but from Wanderstead Husband’s. He too was in a bit of a daze, but picked up the ringing phone, wondering who could possibly be on the other end at this hour.

I glanced at my phone. 3:04.

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In Where have all the mom and pop hardware stores gone?, Chad mentioned the hardware store his father owned up in Tekoa, Washington when he was growing up. There was mention of the simpler times; the almost Norman Rockwell-esque way of being brought up. I’ll admit now, I was nervous about heading up there to see it – first time for me ever, and first time for Chad since he left it at age 5.

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On what would have been my father’s 60th birthday, I wrote this on a whim, but felt it was more appropriate to be shared on Father’s Day. 

Our last visit was right around this time of year, about three months before he died. Ten years ago. Until we had that visit, it had been well over ten years since the previous visit. Like ships passing in the night. 

Except I was a kid.

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There are homesteaders. And then…there are homesteaders. There are those trying to be self-sufficient on 1/10 of an acre and those who have thousands of acres and haven’t been to a store in 16 years.

We fall in between those two extremes.

We live in the foothills in northern California, just up out of the valley. Our home resides at approximately 800 feet above sea level and we have 20 acres of a combination of steep terrain and a little semi-flat.

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Our new lifestyle has now officially been going for one full month. That lifestyle is that Chad is home right now. I continue to work as a special education teacher.

This plan has been in the works for years. It hatched as we came across a quote that really stuck to us:

“You weren’t put on this Earth just to pay bills and die.”

How true is that? Isn’t it funny how just one simple sentence can stop you in your tracks?

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What has developed into a ritual for Chad and I, Sunday is what we refer to as “dreaming day”. The day that we tend to wander the property, dream about the future, make plans, investigate and discuss those plans, then (usually) come back to the same conclusion we did the previous weekend.

This whole “straddling two worlds” thing is truly emotionally draining. {For us, straddling two worlds means wanting to have the ability to travel at a moment’s notice,

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