I've done a lot of blogging about how my plan is to live in the country, on some acres of land, with animals, growing my own food. I imagine quite a few of us that strive for self-sufficiency feel the same way. All the while, I've been honing my gardening and simple living skills in my suburban home and yard.
This Spring, my husband and I made the decision to put our home in the suburbs up for sale next March. Our middle daughter will be graduating in the spring and our youngest daughter will be entering high school in September 2014. My husband finally finishes his graduate work next May and when our middle daughter goes off to school, we will need to cosign on a second daughter's student loans. If we want to make a move, this coming spring is the best time for us to do so financially (barring any crazy fluctuations in real estate and interest rates).
But here's the kicker: we are going to move INto the city. That was so not my plan. I had a vision in my head for years of how and where I would live once we moved again and moving into the city was not part of that vision.
You have to understand the following about me: I am not impulsive, I am careful, and I research. Once I knew we would be moving soon, we started taking more overnight trips into the countryside so that we could get a better idea of how that would feel and how practical that would be. We also did the same and spent time in large cities: Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee, Austin...and the thing is, while I like the idea of living in the country, I really don't much care for it after all. When given a choice, I almost always want to do things in the city. This revelation surprised the heck out of me.
Moving into the city will help us walk our environmental talk more, as well. There are no transit options in our suburb and no one is much interested in carpooling, so my husband drives 5 days a week, the 12 mile, 30 minutes to work, alone. The fact that we had a fuel efficient vehicle still didn't make up for the fact that that's a lot of carbon from his commute. We've since replaced our Toyota with a Prius due to the car getting totaled in an accident 2 weeks ago (not our fault and we're okay).
We will live close enough to the university so my husband can walk, bike, and/or take the bus to work. We will also be closer to everything that we drive to at night and on weekends. We hope to rarely use our car and get rid of our second vehicle.
Chances are, we will be moving into a smaller home with a smaller yard. This does not bother me in the least. I've never understood why people need 2000+ sq foot homes. They probably just have too much stuff, frankly. As for my yard, well the city is full of mature trees, so finding one with enough sunshine for a big garden may be problematic, but I can grow fruit trees, berries, and salad greens in shade and part sun. A smaller yard just means I will definitely be getting rid of the grass. See my post here of why I hate lawns. Moving into the city also means that I can have chickens. My suburb does not allow it. Our city council is full of people pointing out that animals belong in the country, completely missing the irony that we eat food and dogs and cats are far more of a nuisance than 2 chickens.
So with this new plan of ours, I've thrown myself into updating the house that I updated 9 years ago after we bought it. Everything has been painted. Light fixtures have changed. Those ridiculously dinky household projects like fixing a piece of molding is getting done. This morning I sanded, primed and painted our ugly ass basement vanity. So many little stupid things to get done, but things I'd want done anyway. It's kept me fairly busy since April. Plus, I've still been gardening and preserving. I'm always busy in the summer and fall, but I'm especially busy this year.
I'm excited for a new challenge. I've never Urban Gardened/Farmed in a limited area and I can't wait to try.