Grit Blogs > Transitional Traditions

How a Trip to Pennsylvania Rekindled my Fire

Hello dear friends,

I have been absent from this blog since before our vacation to the great West for a number of reasons. Besides my utter exhaustion at the end of the day from kids and pregnancy, the busy-ness of summer and gardening, homeschooling (we don't really stop learning once June hits) and working with Gourmet Grassfed has eaten a lot of my creative energy.

Finally, and probably the most important reason I have been absent is the fact that I had lost direction for this blog. You see, for the first three years it was pretty obvious that I was recording our efforts to make a farm into our lives. Then we moved to St. Brigid's and while I was not nearly as involved in day-to-day farm life, there were still plenty of interesting stories to share. But when we left that farm, began living in suburbia and living a much more "consumer" sort of life, I lost things to talk about.

Honestly, how many posts about my kids do you really want to read? Other than for immediate family and friends, there really was no point to me posting anything about what we were doing. So my motivation to write utterly dried up. I thought about blogging many times this past summer and each time my creativity shriveled with the thought..."but who really cares?"


Enter an opportunity to go to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA last week. Imagine my surprise when our acquaintance from Misty Moraine Creamery, Ms. Elizabeth Rich, needed some graphic design and social networking done for her budding cheese-making business. In the course of conversations about what sort of logo and Facebook site she wanted, she mentioned that she had an extra seat in her car and a free ticket to the Fair, as she was an invited presenter for the three day long conference. Andy and I, along with the much appreciated help of my parents, were able to swing it so that I might go and absorb all the homesteading, farming, sustainable goodness that the Mother Earth News Fair was bound to offer! (plus a chance to meet up with any of the fine folks from GRIT!)

What an amazing gift! Besides the obvious of a four day trip to another state, learning about great green-minded orgs and companies, and helping the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund at their booth, I was able to reacquire a purpose for this very blog.

One of the sessions I attended was one giving homesteading tips and tricks. Much of what he said was very valuable, but I realized that I already knew 70% of what he was saying. Hmmm...

At another session, I learned more about eating for free in the city. Andy and I already have a name for this: Urban Foraging. Now, I don't know if we coined that term or if it's already well in use, but the session made me realize that we could be doing so much more to harvest food right in our own back yard. I learned the names of several edible plants that I know we mow down every week and it gave me ideas of where else we could forage for food. Some of you may recall last year when I talked about all the free apples we collected from neighbors who were just going to run them down with the lawn mower. This session gave me ideas for so much more than that! Another Hmmm...

Finally I attended a session given by a young farmer/author named Jenna Woginrich. The point of the session was to talk about making a side income on your farm (or business) by freelance writing, blogging and books. Very intriguing for me, as you might imagine. She currently has three books about farming and such under her belt, newly owns her own small farm, writes a very popular blog called Cold Antler Farm and freelances as a graphic artist. Plus she's pretty darn hilarious. Oh yeah...did I mention she's self sustaining on all of this side income and she just turned 30? Triple HMMMM!

The sessions I mentioned, along with a book I'm reading about homeschooling and fitting it in with one's crazy life as a mother and home keeper inspired me to begin my writing again, with much more effort and determination than ever before. I know I have ebbed and flowed here in the recent years, but I believe I have a serious direction that will sustain my creative juices. I would like to start recording our adventures as homesteaders in the city, actively relying on ourselves even as we pay utilities to a system that is susceptible to failure in a crisis. All of this, while actively learning more and more and saving towards our farm of the future. Andy and I worked through a new family routine that will help keep me on my writing track. He is incredibly supportive of my desire to be an author and will be an amazing accountability partner as we push this endeavor through.

We declared this just last night; that he would work on Gourmet Grassfed and his budding social networking business in the mornings and I would have time in the afternoons for writing, reading and more writing. Mornings I will keep house, homeschool, homestead and just be a mom. Afternoons, he will homestead, homeschool and just be a dad. It sounds beautiful to my ears.

No wonder that this morning, everyone slept in an hour late (missing the proposed breakfast start time), Ethan and I are downright sick with fevers and a chest cold and I have a ton of household chores staring me in the face, mocking my lack of energy and newfound enthusiasm for blogging.

Every declaration for positive change comes with a test, mark my words. We've seen it happen in our own household a dozen times.

We were not caught off guard at all. We are ready for it. And if the laundry doesn't dry on the line's not gonna end the world. Certainly not ours!

So I've been there and I'm back again. I'm so happy to be blogging from the middle of the city as I watch squirrels plunder our black walnut supply out the office window. There will be more, much more, as we settle into our new routine.

In the meantime, God bless and keep the vision for your dream close to your heart. It's so easy to lose it in the dailiness of life. Sometimes we need just a few reminders to bring us back around. 

Rebekah Sell lives on a small plot of land with her husband, Andy, on which they are hoping to build a sustainable homestead. With a small business and four kids, life is always interesting as Becky and Andy live fully the idea that the journey is the reward. Find her on .