Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Making the move

Early last year, about the time I learned my first Harlequin Love Inspired book was coming out, another Harlequin author named Tina Radcliffe stretched out the hand of friendship and helped me navigate through some of the bewildering social media features Harlequin offers to help promote its authors.

Tina seemed fascinated by my blog and by all of you, dear readers. She and her husband longed to leave the Big City and settle elsewhere, and she said the blog became something of an inspiration for that goal.

After our initial contact, silence ensued for about a year. Then earlier this week, out of the blue, Tina emailed with exciting news. They were out of the Big City and living in a rural subdivision outside a small town in Northern Arizona. "One grocery store," she wrote. "We have seasons again, so we planted a garden. The house has solar, but we also picked up a solar generator. Now we are looking at expanding the garden and yes ... canning and preserving."

I was thrilled to hear this!

Tina explained more about their new home. "I love it here! We are in a subdivision in the middle of nowhere. There are cattle in the fields behind us, and antelope. The chain stores and traffic are only 35 minutes away. I use a tank of gas up in two months, not two weeks."

Tina and her husband are moving toward self-sufficiency in their new home. "The solar panels make our electric bill like nothing. We had a gas line put in and have a gas stove. Starting slowly! We both work from home, but we want to be prepared for what may be an economic collapse with the supply chain. We have a water-collection system and a purifier that can purify muddy water if we want it to. It is a grand adventure!"

Since Tina and her husband are in a subdivision, livestock is out of the question. However her husband – a woodworker in his spare time – is already expanding a raised-bed garden in their enormous backyard, with a drip-irrigation system. They also hope to install a root cellar.

"We live in an area that allows us to buy local meat, poultry, and eggs," she writes. "We just drive down the road. The farmer's markets are year-round. Definitely a cattle and ag area."

They say the worse things get, the smaller your focus should be. Tina and her husband are doing what many people are now recommending – circling the wagons. I'd say they’re a few steps ahead of the pack, wouldn't you?

Kudos, Tina!


  1. Awesome Tina! Enjoy the process and sense of peace in knowing you are doing the best you can to take care of yourselves. This blog has had the biggest impact on my life in the last ten years of anything I have read besides the Bible lol.

  2. I just read an article that talked about all of the blue states losing population to red states. I am retired now and live in a rural N Texas area. I am feeling much better than when I lived and worked near Dallas. Congratulations to Tina and her DH for moving to a more rural area!

  3. Oh Tina, you're doing all the right things! If I was your age and had a significant other I would jump at the chance to live off grid and be more self-sufficient. At 78 I do the best I can and hope for the best.

    1. Ditto. I'm in my late 60s without a husband, and if I had one likewise I would jump at the chance to live in a rural location and be more self sufficient.

      At the same time I'm saying, God, Your people are all over - are you calling everyone to move to a rural location? Or will you protect those of us who don't live rurally?

      Obviously we do need to take steps to prepare our stores and provisions and learn some skills (and growing food on our balconies or porches is a plus). Beyond that, I believe that those who have Him as their Savior can have confidence that He will be with them as they go through hard times. In my view He will either provide a way to survive on earth or He will give us grace to transition to be with Him in eternity.

      If we are able to stay on earth the ride might be very uncomfortable for a long period of time, but He will be with us as we go through it. "One day at a time sweet Jesus..."

  4. I'm impressed by the number of, and neatness of, the raised garden beds. It's the way to do it here in Arizona.

  5. I too was very impressed with the raised beds and that they were hardscaped in,so very low maintenance. I was also impressed with the fact that Tina managed to have some degree of infrastructure so she and her husband put a great deal of thought and planning into her relocation. Services near (ha ha ha! Near? ha ha ha!) this rural area have dried up or in the process of doing so. Everyone needs reasonable access to emergency care, especially as aging starts it's limitations. We're even out of range for the best blessing of co-vid... grocery delivery!!! Long drive to stores!
    Some of us may find ourselves having to relocate away from the beloved rural life in the future.