Suddenly it hit me. We are DOING IT! After years of dreaming about moving to the Redoubt, planning, plotting, learning new skills, understanding what is important, we are finally doing it. I am scared and excited at the same time. We have two more months of frantic remodeling and updating our home, in order to get top dollar, and then we’ll put the house on the market. After searching for property in Idaho online and with the help of several couples who live in Idaho and a realtor recommendation, it’s time to make a couple of trips out and get serious about finding the right property. My wants and desires are crystal clear. So are my husband’s. We want exactly opposite things.
It has taken years for my husband to accept and agree that we need to get out of Dodge while the getting is good. He is not wholeheartedly into this. He just wants a happy wife at this point. He has no desire to homestead or farm, and he has close to zero skills in that regard. He is afraid I will ask him to help me clean a chicken coop. He said to me the other day, out of the blue, “NO GOATS!” You have to laugh. I just want chickens and maybe a Jersey cow for milk, a large garden, fresh air, and some land far enough away from the masses, yet close enough to get to a good hospital. It’s not so simple. I thought it might be helpful to others who are dreaming and planning to cover the major topics, not all of which are about logistics.
The first major goal that we have is to be debt free or as much as is possible. We do not want to trade one rat race for another. The finances have to work, or there is no point in moving. We have a good home on a nice lot in a friendly area that we can afford. However, what if the economy collapses and the downtown lights, which we can see from our front view windows, suddenly seem too close for comfort? What if I lose my job? There are a lot of “what if’s” in these uncertain times. What we can afford will be wholly dependent upon what we can pull out of the house sale and retirement funds. There is also the matter of our cars, both aging with many, many miles on them. We need at least one newer and reliable all-wheel-drive vehicle that will last a good long time. We plan to pay cash for a newer car. What about the expenses of moving? All these things have to be considered. We have guesstimated and taken into account the above and more, but only the actual experience will truly inform us. My biggest fear in regards to finances is that we will not stick to our budget and will allow our desire for comfort and ease, to which we are quite accustomed, rule over practicality. I would be happy with a humble abode out in the sticks. My husband is looking at golf course property. It is going to be tough, and it will take a lot of compromise and negotiation to make an actual property purchase that we can both agree on.
The second major consideration is the distance between us and our large and extended family. We have children and grandchildren. They do not want us to move further away. They are worried about “the parentals”, our health especially. Currently, most of them can get to us in half a day’s drive, but if we move, it would be a 10-13 hour drive in good weather with no mishaps. Our parents are elderly and in poor health, so we have to think about being able to get to them if need be. I have always wanted to plan on a family retreat property, but my sister who has gone before me in moving to the Redoubt gave some wise advice. She said, “Do what is right for you and your husband. If the children come or follow, that will be good, but they may never.” Sigh. My conclusion: We cannot convince the family to come with us, nor can we afford to provide for everyone, so we must focus on doing what is right for us. It is funny actually; several of my children are beginning to look online at property in the Redoubt, thinking that they may eventually move too. It would be grand if they could, but I cannot plan around their plans.
The location goals, for us, include:
- lower elevations,
- small acreage for organic farming and chickens,
- a good well,
- ability to connect to the Internet (for my job),
- a home in good condition (no fixer uppers) with enough square footage for our needs and visiting family, and
- in a sparsely-populated area with good roads back to town.
The acreage needs to have irrigation in place or the ability to develop it easily. My plan is to begin a small organic farm that could potentially turn into a business down the line, if needed. I want to be far away from the masses, major freeways, shopping malls, planned communities, and major downtown areas. However, my husband and I both have major health needs, so we need to be able to make the drive to doctors and hospitals. An hour or two driving would not be too bad, but it might be wiser to be even closer. My husband is very social and participates in many community activities and sports related events. If he could not get to the things he loves, he would be miserable. The idea of being snowed in and cuddling in front of the fire may be one of my fantasies, but it is not his. He would actually prefer a condominium in Maui. Northern Idaho, we have decided, is just too cold for us. Eastern Idaho is too far away from family. We are not the hardy, “put on the snowshoes” kind of people, so the mountainous regions are out of the question. We have settled for looking in the Southwestern region, from the Oregon state line to the Payette and Boise National forests. We have friends in this region, which should make our resettlement more enjoyable. While we do not want to live in Boise, the capital, it has many of the services we need, including a major airport. There are many property choices outside the mainstream of that area with plenty of acreage and great water resources with reasonable prices. The location will be, perhaps, the biggest compromise of all between us. I have read every survival book written and am a big fan of JWR. I understand the components of the optimum retreat property, but I am married to a wonderful man who thinks I am a bit off my rocker, and he is my first priority. The purpose of moving to the Redoubt in general is to become debt-free, self-sufficient, and to live in a state where the consensus is politically conservative, patriotic, and God-fearing. God will bless our efforts to find the right spot for us both. I know that the Lord knows better than we do about what we need and want. Moreover, the most amazing thing is that God knows the future. No matter how hard I prep and plan, it could all be in vain, and only the Lord knows that. We just do the best we can with what we have and trust Him.
I made a long and detailed list of all the things I want in our new property and in my own life. I have wanted to do this for a good seven years now and have studied every aspect and practiced my skills. I realize I am not going to get everything I want or think I need. I realize that I may not physically be able to do all that I want to do. My health has been terrible the last couple of years, and honestly, my life might be cut short, so what does that mean? It means that in spite of the detailed “survival retreat property” I have in mind, I have to be realistic and find something that fits my life now and in the possibly unhappy future. We have to be able to sell the property if need be, so finding the right kind of property from a realtor’s perspective is critically important. From a spiritual and intellectual perspective, I want to try living a different kind of life before my time is up on earth. My S could HTF before the world’s does, so being practical and realistic has to be the overriding goal. Many times, I have been tempted to just do what my husband wants– buy a condominium in Maui, forget the terrorists and the world chaos, and enjoy what is left of my time while sipping on a Mai Tai. However, this dream is one I have had a very long time, and I feel compelled to pursue it.