About three and a half years ago, my husband and I bought a house. I started this blog to share the journey of DIY, self-sufficiency, and urban homesteading. We planned on this being our forever home, and we have poured tons of work (and money) into it. You may have noticed that lately, I haven’t shared any posts about projects on the Sweet Bee homestead. That’s because I haven’t had anything to share. Other than day-to-day chores, I’ve pretty much stopped doing anything. It turns out this is not our forever home; we are moving.
In early-August, my husband interviewed for a higher position within his company. He was offered the job, but he needed to be more centrally located for the territory he would be involved in (he’s in sales). We’d have to move to Sacramento.
He verbally accepted the position, but the company didn’t have a formal offer letter pulled together yet. It’s an international company, and apparently, it takes forr-eee-vvv-eerrrr (hopefully you read that with the Sandlot in your mind) for things to move through the billion layers of corporate nonsense. They said they would get something to us soon.
And so we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We didn’t know when we were going to be moving, just at some point in the near future. I didn’t want to invest more funds and energy into house projects and plants if we were just going to leave a few days later, and I didn’t want to have another half-finished project laying around.
After months of limbo-land hell, Matt has formally accepted the position. So yes, we are selling our house, and the garden I have literally poured sweat, blood and tears into. I will pass along my gorgeous kitchen with its giant sink, pantry and 6-burner stove to someone else. I will say goodbye to the mockingbird that lives outside my bedroom window, who sings sonnets to the full moon. I will no longer find my friend frog and salamander, who surprise me and hide under rocks. I will leave my wonderful neighbors behind. I will have to accept defeat from my battle with the Bermuda grass.
Life has been in a bit of upheaval lately. I’ve been quite an emotional mess: trying to process too many feelings that come with such a change.
Besides the obvious stress of having to sell and buy a home, the anticipation of having to adapt to a new city looms heavy on my heart. I am not opposed to change, and I like exploring new things; but it’s the knowledge of place and sense of home that I will be returning to, that makes those new experiences for a highly-sensitive person like myself possible.
Feeling that I belong and understand a place is crucial to my well-being. I don’t do well with not feeling rooted. When I first moved away from my hometown of Santa Cruz, I had a breakdown at the grocery store in my new town because I couldn’t find the bread. I’ve had nightmares more than once where I’ve forgotten what road to take to get to my favorite childhood beach. After 10 years here, I’m comfortable in my county. Other than the Bermuda-triangle situation of Fountain Grove/Bicentennial, I know exactly where to go and where everything is. I know the ‘secret’ spots to walk Stella off leash. I know where to find blackberries, and what farmers markets are the best. I will not know that in my new city. I know it will come eventually, but the knowledge that I will once again feel lost is difficult.
There are many good things about moving to Sacramento. It seems like the local food and urban gardening movement is just taking hold, and for someone who wants to teach and write about those topics, it seems like a good time to be there. I found a Sacramento gardening group on Facebook that trades plants and produce; I found fellow beekeepers on Instagram. They just passed a chicken ordinance (albeit one that’s super crappy) and you’re allowed to keep bees. I will be significantly closer to my parents, Tahoe and Yosemite, making short weekend trips feasible. My best friend lives there, and another childhood friend lives close by in Davis.
Most days I can see these benefits and I’m excited. Others, I can’t quite see the light and am only filled with a sense of loss. I’ve spent almost a decade making friends and building a community in Sonoma County. My professional development had just started to take off: writing for the Press Democrat and the City of Santa Rosa, I was booked to speak at a garden club, I was doing designs for my own clients and for a respected landscape company, and there was mention of contributing to a local magazine. My garden was going to be on the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour, and my photos were going be used for publicity. I love the good food of Sonoma County, the good music, how easy it is to access nature in a variety of ecosystems, and the general atmosphere that a liberal Bay Area community provides.
I know that selling a home happens all the time, and moving is not a big deal. But the concept and whole process of selling a home to a stranger is a strange and difficult feeling for me to process. The home is described in 450 characters. People come and look at it, without me being to the one to tell them its story. I choose someone from text and financial figures alone. I allow a stranger to take over my land’s stewardship and join my neighborhood without me meeting them.
I’ve spent so much time cultivating a relationship with my house and garden that I know it intimately. I would never leave my beloved Gaia or Stella, or even annoying Bacon, to a random person off Craigslist- why would a home be any different? I love my home and my land, even with all its flaws and quirks. I feel such a strong responsibility for the soil, the butterflies, the migratory flocks of Cedar Waxwings and Robins, the water under my soil, the resident Scrub Jays, and the native bees that visit my flowers. It’s unbelievably difficult for me to simply pass the care of these beings along to someone else. I’ve tried to explain this feeling to other people, and very few get it.
So yeah, that’s my life lately. I withdrew from the horticulture program that I was halfway though completing. I’m putting my design and coaching work on hold. I’ll continue to write. You can expect upcoming posts like how to move bees, transplant asparagus, plan a new garden, and how I’m finding ways to connect to nature in a metropolitan area with a population of 2,414,783.
Thank you for your continued support and for following my adventure!
If you, or if you happen to know of someone who would love to take over and care for my homestead, please, let me know.
Interested in what we’ve done over the past 3 years? You can read that here: