I never in a million years would have guessed that I’d be spending my summer building a homestead.
A month ago, my wife and I lived in Seattle. We dreamed about someday moving to the country, but between the two of us, we worked 90-100 hours a week to afford a (moderately priced!) apartment. We were often too tired to cook, so we’d go out for sushi or phỏ, and take Lyft everywhere because we hated dealing with parking. It was a fun life, but it was an expensive life. It was also so fast-paced that we rarely got the chance to enjoy each other’s company. But that was the price we paid for living in a city we loved. We told ourselves that we’d be able to change our pace someday.
Sometimes life has different plans in store
In mid-May, I unexpectedly lost my job. We knew that losing the apartment would follow shortly. Despite all the hours we worked, rent alone took 72% of Mindy’s paycheck. We could not survive on one income, not even for a month. Moving to another, cheaper apartment was not an option because a) we didn’t have first/last/damage/pet deposit, and b) there really aren’t cheaper apartments in Seattle unless you move to, say, Renton. I could either find another job, or we’d to ditch the apartment and find someplace to live. Fast.
We started talking about our options.
My wife, Mindy, grew up on a 400 acre ranch. Her mother, stepfather, sister, and sister’s family all live here. We had always talked about moving there and putting up a little cabin or a tiny house, but realistically, I hadn’t seen that happening until I was 60 or so. Just no time. But suddenly, I had a lot of time. And the more we talked, the more we agreed that, as much as we loved some aspects of our life in Seattle, fundamentally, we weren’t really happy. We both want to be parents, but we’d delayed starting a family for years because the cost of childcare was so expensive. We both love gardening and tinkering on various projects, but that wasn’t feasible in a small apartment. And we love spending time together, but rarely got the kind of quality time we craved. So we decided to take the plunge and completely change our lives.
Turning a downfall into a windfall
That’s what Good Life Jones is about. This is the chronicle of how we dialed back, slowed down, and chose a different path. About putting up a cabin and turning dusty, dry, forgotten land into something abundant, peaceful, and healing. About learning how to farm, learning what makes up the constituent pieces of this land, and learning how we can make it better. How we can feed ourselves from it. How can we be good neighbors and good family members. How we can turn a downfall into a windfall. And how we can live the good life — whatever that means to us.