Sunday, April 16, 2017

A new beginning....California Dream'in

Hello Everyone,

It has been awhile since we have thought about the blog.  It is funny how your life can be so dependent on writing for the blog and how it felt like a long lost friend that you needed to visit to keep your sanity and to feel at least remotely connected to your friends, family and your old life.  On the boat I constantly dreamed about coming home and the simplicity of living with luxuries.  Now that we are here back in the throws of life in the burbs we are dreaming of our quiet place back out at anchor living in screen saver land.  It has been amazing coming to the realization of how much we loved our simple life on the boat and the connection we felt as a family.  Life rapidly becomes a whirlwind that I feel swirls around me and I am just trying to hang on to the events as they pass by.

All the kids are re-acclimated and back to the routine of things.  Mykaela is going to school and pretty much working full time.  Kava and Ariel are moving back to the neighborhood (or really close by) and in the thick of wedding plans.  We are soooo excited for them and crossing our fingers that jobs come through sooner than later.  Tristan just got back from a trip to Ecuador with the GSE program and loved it.  He is already looking forward to next years trip with them to Nicaragua.  Alexia just returned from Washington DC with the History teacher and about 80 of her closest classmates.  She was so moved and touched by all she saw there.  They toured museums, cemeteries, historical battlefields... everything.  It was a whirlwind but now she wants to take the family back so that we all can see it together.  The little girls are shining and more imaginative than I remember.  Amaia is still obsessed with greek mythology, reading and now architecture and flipping homes.  I think she has decided to do that when she grows up.  Alina is playing a different part/character every minute of the day.  She rolls through the house singing and twirling, she cracks us up.  I see her on stage one day.

We have been running around trying to see family as much as our schedules allow.  I really missed them on the trip and it has been wonderful to just be able to load up the kids in the car and take a drive to visit.

It took me a long time to  adjust coming back and get back into the swing of things.  I may have been depressed and overwhelmed but in the end I am so glad that we took this journey together as a family and have all those memories tied.  It has been wonderful reminiscing with the kids and often they will bring up the remember when stories... thank god for that since Chris and I both feel like we are quickly forgetting much of the detailed memories of the trip.  After I got home one of my favorite gifts to myself was to print out my blog so that we can grab a book and read a chapter of our life and start the remember whens all over again.

Now it is time to start again.  I feel that some of my sadness when I got back was the feeling of being lost and not knowing what I was going to do when I grew up.  I felt really detached here and just couldn't get in the groove and getting my roots planted.  I guess after taking 10 years to plan, think and obsess about a trip I was feeling like I was stalled in a time warp.  It is really hard to explain except for really feeling like I didn't care to be home but didn't have anywhere else to go.

Soooooo Chris and I started to dream again.  It is funny since the beginning of our relationship we had a common dream of wanting to have a vineyard with alpacas and some lavender.   Lately we have been trying to plan out our retirement and how we would want that to look like and what would make us happy.  We both know that we love the sea and the beach but we also love nature and getting our hands in the soil and watching something grow.  For us there is nothing like the loud sounds of nature in silence...   Amaia calls it ocean grass when you hear the wind whispering through the blades, the birds in the trees, the oaks creaking from swaying back and forth in the wind... woodpeckers busy on the old dead trees... you get the picture.  The absence of city sound is music to my ears.

We are buying 40 acres outside of Sacramento in the Shenandoah Valley.  We are super excited.  It is in the heart of the wine country, rolling meadows, lots of oaks, granite boulders, a seasonal creek and plenty of areas to choose from to build our house (houses) for the family compound.  It is nestled between an 80 acre vineyard to the south, and empty ridge line to the north, on the east is 160 acres of grazing land and then we have our closest neighbors are on the west with 40 acre spot and one diagonal.  It is pretty quiet and surreal.  When we are there on the land you can't see a house or a building in a 360 degree view... I love it and hope it stays that way for a long time.  We would like to have some orchards, lavender, olives, honey, vines (for lexi) and a possible wedding venue for down the road... we do have 4 girls in the family!....

We will be the 3rd owners of this property since 1885.  The gentleman we are buying it from, his grandfather bought it in 1954 from the original owner that received the land from the government during/after the gold rush.  We are in the heart of the gold rush area next to Sutter Creek and Jackson.  This area is rich in history and often you can still hear the stories from the 3rd generation of original settlers of the area.  We have learned what a small community it is and in a way it feels like the sailing community.  They are all super helpful and love to share their knowledge with us.  Now if only we could break into that good ole (boy)neighbor network.  I know that takes time (often years) but hopefully eventually (soon) we will be accepted and will show them how we love the land and just want to be a part of it.

Of course .... we didn't pick land that was already developed, it is completely bare. No well, septic and the nearest power pole is 2000ft away from where we need to pull power from and that isn't even getting it onto our property yet.  We like a challenge.... and thought it would be fun to come up with our own plan.  Funny thing is that we actually had only been to this area one weekend and that is the weekend we found this spot and put an offer in.  It was definitely love at first sight and we just knew it was right for us. (crossing fingers)

We have brought the kids up to the property and they are so excited and can't wait till we can start building on it.  Of course their list of priorities is a zip line over the creek, the gold panning sluice, bocce ball court, art studio, mountain bike path, remote control car racing venue, golf range, pond to swim in with a dock and frogs, swings, and it goes on and on... it is fun to see them dreaming along with us.

We are currently in the process of meeting with all the septic, well, grading, power, etc.. county officials, planning department etc... we are learning about soil tests, climate zones, frost patterns, tractors, 4x4 mules, trucks, barns, sheds, garages, old title records (some so old they are in pencil and nobody can read them anymore) property lines, easements, grazing animals, lavender, olive trees, bees, vines, and the list goes on.  I keep hearing Chris giggle and say "It's a whole nother world out thar"... hee hee.

Every time Chris and I return to the property it just verifies what we already know.  WE LOVE IT THERE!  We are so at peace and can breathe.  We are looking forward to developing this spot over the next 10 years and then we will see where we end up.  I believe it will be there but of course Chris is already mentioning a boat fund.  Did I mention that the property has money trees... yep it just falls from the sky.  Hee Hee.

Hugs and love to all,


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