It's probably the worst possible time of year for me to move. Work has been crazy. It's hot outside. I need a vacation. But I declared that 2012 would be the year that I find a home.
I wasn't sure where that would be, but I set my vision.
When I took the Mondo Beyondo course (which is about dreaming big -- I recommend it!), this is what I wrote about where I wanted to live:
I live in a house in the woods. It's near water. There's a garden for vegetables. Maybe it's a cabin. No dogs, but 1-2 cats. Chickens. There's a porch with a swing and room for nieces and nephews to come visit. They can stay all summer. In the morning, drinking coffee on the porch every day (it NEVER gets cold in this place). Friends live nearby (or on the property). We have a little community.
I refined my vision to center on these things:
- Family and/or friends are nearby
- I can gradually increase the amount of food that I will produce on my own (just gardening and chickens in the beginning, but maybe moving up to goats -- my mom calls this dream "the farm")
- My house is small and so I have a minimal footprint
- I can work from home comfortably
- Although I'm in the country, I am near enough to a city that I can enjoy the cultural events that I like
When I set this vision, I started scanning craigslist and driving around Houston; I also started looking at places in the Northwest, because I was thinking about moving back to my home state of Washington.
Then two things happened:
- I got a promotion within my company to a Houston-based role, so I knew I would be staying in Houston.
- I saw a listing on craigslist for a "lovely bungalow."
So in two weeks, I am moving to a little white bungalow, built around 1930, in north Houston. It sits on a half-acre. There is a small orchard of young fruit trees, and two raised beds that need some work, but are ready to be planted. There's a porch, and a giant mulberry bush, and chickens are allowed. It is 5 minutes from the home of some of my best friends, and 10 minutes from several other friends. The neighborhood is sort of up-and-coming -- yes, I recognize I might once again face the spectre of gentrification, but it's definitely a few years off; there are a few art studios nearby, but the neighborhood is mostly semi-residential/semi-commercial.
I think the thing that really sold me, though, was the wild rose bush next to the house. When I was little, we lived in a white house on a giant lot, and there were wild roses next to the house. My mom showed me how you could eat the rose hips, and she planted a big vegetable garden. I know now that it wasn't as idyllic as it seemed when I was a child -- I don't think we had much money, and the town we lived in didn't have much future. But still, you can't ever really forget being able to run wild and eat rose hips.