So, here we are at Lofty View Homestead! I had hoped to keep a running account of the adventure that began in January, 2015, but OMG, the moment THE ADVENTURE BEGAN, it picked us up and carried us along on a wave of non-stop crazy and only now have I been able to breathe long enough to write anything down. And given the fires all up in these hills right now, breathing is not that easy to do!! We are not in the fire zone, thank goodness, but our hearts go out to those who are!! Thankfully, fire containment is increasing each day.
Let me go back and give you a bit of the history that brought us to Lofty View Homestead.
Sometimes, life unfolds in such a way to shift one’s direction completely. The well-thought-out plan morphs and the road that once seemed so very clear, reveals dips and curves –dead ends and washouts. Sure, we could ‘push the river’ and ignore the warnings. (Did you notice my segue into the river metaphor?) We could insist that ‘it’s still a good plan’ and continue driving through the rising flood while becoming more and more anxious and at risk of drowning; or we could pull over and regroup.
When this became our reality, we asked ourselves why we were living in one of the most expensive places in California. Ellys had retired and Lynnie continued to be self-employed and able to work from pretty much anywhere. Our conclusion: as much as we loved Sonoma County and the lovely folk we had come to know and care about, we did not need to continue to live there, particularly when there are so many other beautiful places where we can live and thrive.
This shift in paradigm required a plan that would create greater financial security and sustainability. A smaller house, on more land, in an area where property is more affordable would be ideal. Our initial exploration included the coastal area of Fort Bragg and the rich farmlands of Lake County. Finally, we settled on the foothills of the Gold County where 10+ acres, with a big house, and a pool and two barns cost $440,000, rather than the $1.5 million price tag of a comparable Sonoma County property. The decision was made!
After weeks of packing and pairing down, our home in Santa Rosa was ready to go on the market. We had high hopes, given it was a ‘seller’s market’. After months of disappointment and a grueling experience with realtors, we finally sold that property, making the way clear to buy our next home. Though we flirted with Amador County, we focused our search in El Dorado County, near Placerville, a charming gold county town and primary ‘urban’ area of the county.
Our must-have list included a decent internet connection (a challenge in the foothills) for Lynnie’s work, enough usable land for our garden, privacy without isolation and preferably a second unit, (so that maybe we could convince our kids to join us!) As the search continued, JP and Dusty, did agree to join the adventure and the idea of the Homestead was born.
We kissed several frogs, as Lynnie put it, before finding our new home, but it was worth the time and stress and fights and exhaustion and numerous trips from Santa Rosa to the foothills, to find it. Been here for almost two months now and Holy Moly what an challenge it has been…More about that part of the adventure to come!!