I knew things would be different when we moved from the suburbs of Chicago to a small town outside of a little city called Winston-Salem in North Carolina. After all, my husband and I had both spent the entirety of our lives in the Midwest. Most of our family lived no more than an hour and a half away. We were familiar with so many of the places the sprawling suburban landscape had to offer. We were close to our neighbors — both in distance and in heart. We were comfortable, but at the same time we couldn’t have been more restless.
So when opportunity came knocking for an amazing job in a state that couldn’t be more different than Illinois, I leapt at the chance. Mitch, my partner-in-crime, is a little more hesitant to change, but he grabbed the kids and a life preserver and jumped right in. Off we went!
After much exploring, we bought a 4 bedroom house on three quarters of an acre, about fifteen minutes outside downtown Winston. As a family of four coming from a 2 bedroom townhome with a shared side yard, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that suddenly having a home we weren’t bursting at the seams in might have been the biggest change we experienced in the months to follow. But you’d have been wrong.
It was after a visit to the home of some good friends with an amazing worldview that the tides really began to change. I can’t think of a better word to describe their garden than inspiring. It was somewhere during tasting the coleslaw they made on a whim with ingredients they had grown themselves that the seed was sown in our minds. By the time we arrived home, we’d committed.
Over the next few weeks, we made plans, bought seeds, tilled up the lawn (tilling was a word I had never used until that day), started seedlings in our dining room, and planted so many rows of so many vegetables. We fell in love — and we fell fast.
What will follow is the story of how we are going about putting down new roots, cultivating a new lifestyle, and finding happiness in the simple life we’d always wanted, but had never truly imagined until we started living it first hand.