We’re here. Five years of planning and we finally arrived. Oddly enough, the moving van we packed up with all of our belongings simply would not pull into reverse. No reverse. Ironic, no?
Mind you, we’re not yet living on the ranch. Oh no. As I mentioned previously, we have to build a house there and that could take a couple of years. In the meantime, we moved into our beautiful home in the Santa Ynez Valley with a mini-vineyard (1 acre of viognier grapes). Consider it practice. Our new home is lovely — set back from the street, oak-lined driveway, plenty of room for the kids to play and explore alongside deer, quail, cats, and woodpeckers. Best of all, it’s near town yet still just a 15-minute drive to our ranch. So I’m not feeling completely isolated just yet. I can ease into the slow and steady country lifestyle.
I’ve had a few weeks to adjust to our new surroundings. And there have been some ups and downs. The ups: enjoying quiet solitude, no traffic or crowds, friendly neighbors (we’ve actually received baked goods as a welcome from more than 1 neighbor, unheard of in the City!!), divine weather, and a very good night’s sleep. The downs: my kids are a little lonely as we try to get plugged into the community, many failed attempts at getting them signed up for activities as the selection is understandably more limited in a small town, missing my family and friends, and zero progress relocating my mediation practice. Overall, we’re adjusting. Most importantly: El Patron and the kiddos are thriving and enjoying our new home.
One of the first projects I started with the kids was the garden. This is a first for me. I don’t possess a green thumb or much patience — two necessary attributes for a successful garden. But I do have two kids with endless energy, the internet, and brute force. Plus, our new house already had three gigantic raised beds, a few fruit trees, a gardening shed with supplies, and fencing. With most of the hard work already done, all we had to do was till and throw some seeds. This season we’re trying radishes, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, chard, and carrots. But full disclosure, the beets were our first casualty (some kind of bug ate the roots) and some critter already dined on most of our lettuce despite my spraying the fence with something really stinky that was supposed to keep them away. No matter. I carry on. A harvest we will have. The kids have already enjoyed our apricots and nectarines, which thankfully required no skills on my part to harvest.