Saturday, August 30, 2014

The power of willpower

A few months ago I received an email from a woman named Laura who had a question, and we fell into an email conversation. She told me a bit about her and her husband's story. They were living near Philadelphia and longed to move to north Idaho and start a homestead. As we chatted, I found myself deeply impressed -- not only by their attitudes and hard work in starting a home business, but by Laura's impeccable English (she immigrated from Romania when she was 18). They were working hard toward their goals -- learning, saving money, paying off debt, living frugally... in short, doing everything right.

A couple days ago, Laura dropped me an update: she and her husband are now the proud owners of a piece of property in the area! As you can imagine, they're thrilled to make the move and get started turning their new place into a small farm.

Laura gave me permission to post the following. I think you'll agree that these folks are taking the right approach toward moving rural.

As she says in her email, their story should be encouraging for all those who want to make such a leap. I wish them every happiness in their new home!

This has been our dream for the past two years... in preparation for it we have learned to can and "garden" on our tiny balcony, started cooking everything from scratch and stopped eating out, we have gone out to yard sales every weekend for an entire summer in order to gather cheap tools and watched many eBay auctions to get what we needed to start our homestead at a price we could afford. We saved every extra penny we earned from our jobs and worked very hard to build our businesses so we could afford to work from home when we would start our homestead.

We are now at the point where we will be able to sustain ourselves between our businesses and our savings and are confident that we can make it work. It'll still be a stretch but we now have confidence in our ability to be frugal. It is incredible to see all of our hard work finally paying off. We are beyond excited to begin this new stage in our lives.

If you'd like to share these last paragraphs with your readers, you are more than welcome to. If you do, I hope this will act as an encouragement to anyone who has a big dream of homesteading or living differently from the mainstream. We have gotten plenty of strange looks when people hear of our dream but we pushed through no matter what and now we are so glad we did. There were moments when we weren't sure if we were ever going to make it happen but it was all worth it in the end.

Thank you, also, for your wonderful advice and for conversing with me over e-mail for so long. It helped us narrow down where we would like to rent, and it also convinced us of just how nice and friendly North Idahoans are. I am very excited to be meeting more people there and making new like-minded friends in the area.


Congratulations to Laura and her husband!


  1. I'm totally jealous right now. I wish I was able to go off the grid abit too and you do all seem like lovely people. Really you've shared so much of your lives I'd love even to visit the area one day. Perhaps you and Enola should open a Rural Life B&B in the area. [Sort of joking/kind of serious] ;-)
    Until I too can one day confidently attempt living the dream and making my own way, I'll have to keep reading and following you and of course Enola's website too
    Best Wishes

  2. Thank you so much for sharing my story, Patrice. Just to clarify though, we didn't buy a piece of property (yet!) We're just renting it. But we're extremely happy to be finally moving there!

    1. Laura, I'm so pleased for you! And soooo proud of you and your husband!
      Thank you for reaching out to patrice and for giving her permission to share your story. I hope there will be many updates to come, and you can rest assured you have a cheering squad here. Go team!
      Congratulations, and welcome to country life. There's just nothing better. I think you're going to thrive on it.

      A. McSp

    2. Now Laura needs to start a blog to record and share her adventures and learning experiences with the rest of us!

    3. Thank you very much for your kind words everyone! (And Patrice, too!)
      I'm very much looking forward to country life, although I would lie if I didn't admit that I am a little bit nervous - I've never not been able to see my neighbors from my back yard! :)

  3. I'm working on making the same dream come true as well. And, I'm also getting strange looks from family and friends. I've got a long way to go, but a good and realistic plan to get there. I'm sooo looking forward to being in a more liberty minded area than where I live now!

  4. Congratulations to Laura and her husband. I wish them well. We have spent this entire Spring and Summer preparing our house to sell. We have also been looking at properties for sale in our price range. My gracious! Oregon is out-of-sight these days on land/home prices. I keep getting discouraged thinking we won't find anything that fits our needs here.
    How did you find your property in Idaho, if you don't mind me asking. I know I don't want to live in Washington.
    Like Laura, I've been following your blog and feel as if I've come to know you and your family.
    We own our home and are free and clear of debt. The only problem is we have to sell our house in order to buy another. Any suggestions? We aren't in a position to rent while we search because we have 6 English Bulldogs and I don't know of any landlord that would be willing to rent to us due to the dogs (our kids). Feels like we are in a catch 22 right now and I feel as if there are no hand-holds to help us up and over the hump.
    Thanks for all your posts and sharing with us through your blog. You are the highlight of my days!
    Bobbie :)

  5. Oh my goodness, congratulations and welcome. But, where are the photos Patrice?

  6. Thank you for sharing. We needs all the stories of encouragement we can get!