After 11 months on the market, we’ve finally sold our cabin/homestead and will be leaving it soon. It’s a bittersweet change, since this is the place we got married, buried our grandson’s time capsule (above) when he was 6 years old, and learned to raise bees, chickens and our own food. But it’s also an exciting change for us, one that we thought long and hard about before making the decision to sell.
When we moved to this area from California 10 years ago, we didn’t know a single soul here and fully expected to spend our retirement as mountain hermits. Anyone that knows us well, knows how much we enjoy playing string band music with ‘The Roan Mountain Moonshiners’, attending the local UU Church, being a part of the community garden, volunteering with different organizations that pull at our heart strings, hiking, biking and being part of a growing network of Transition Initiatives. You might also know that during this decade several family members have moved here too, needing our help with daily living. Those family members have become more dependent as the years have gone by, and so part of this move is to be better able to help them regularly. We are moving to nearby Johnson City-but not to just any suburban cul de sac. We’ve chosen to buy a 112 year old house right.down.town.
Our new goal in life is to position ourselves so that we can bike, walk and ride the city bus to the places we need to go. My mother will likely be moving to a skilled nursing home a 4 minute walk away, the library is next door to the nursing home, and our plot in the Carver Peace Gardens is a a block and a half away. I think I’ll actually be able to see it from my front porch when the leaves fall. We’ll be within easy walking to the Farmer’s Market, grocery stores, restaurants, post office, the new senior center with swimming pool, and just down the street from a locally-owned, wood-fired PIZZA shop! (After living for a decade where there’s no pizza delivery, that shop is calling my name) We were lucky enough to find a place that has a sunny, FLAT large-by-city-standards back yard where we can grow lots of food. It also has an old root cellar under the house, a dream come true for me. If Johnson City council members ever decide to finalize a yes vote on allowing residents to have urban hens, the only thing I’ll be missing from here will be my bees. And the long driving times to get anywhere we need to go. (And if city chickens are ever made legal, I’m pretty sure city bees could make an eventual appearance too- just sayin’ )
In the years since moving to our current small holding, I’ve learned a lot about sustainability and have accepted the fact that we are now living in a Post Peak World that will never be able to return to an era of cheap energy. That said, our hope is that choosing deliberately to live in an urban neighborhood that is walkable and diversified will enable us to live more sustainably and self sufficiently than we ever could here in the country. There will be trade offs no doubt, but I’m confident that all that we’ve learned here can be transferred to our urban homestead given time.
So over the next couple of weeks, we’ll dig up the capsule and will rebury it at the new place. The time has come.
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