Born and raised on the south coast of B.C. I was awarded the rare opportunity to grow up both in “the country” and in the city. Now, generally people have a feel about a lifestyle, they either love it or they hate it. I suppose I’m an adaptable girl, because I loved them both.
I loved the city for the action, the culture, the people, the art and the amount of fun (and trouble) you could pack into a single day. We lived in Vancouver, BC for a few years before my parents decided to move back out into the country. For the next 15 years we lived on a small hobby farm in Langley.
My family raised just about everything at one time or another. My mother had this insatiable gift for finding animals that needed our help and miraculously fixed almost anything she laid her hands on. We raised animals for meat, for eggs, for sale and for fun. At some point or another, I think we had every type animal in our house. Baby goats lay by the fireplace in dog beds, because they’d been stranded in the cold as day olds. Did you know that goat’s paper train? They do. My brother and I had piglets curled up in our beds and rooms dedicated to raising orphaned baby possums. What a remarkable place to grow up that was.
Living on this little farm is where I met the love of my life when we were 15. We had a small hobby farm ourselves where we raised our own menagerie of critters and I fell in love with raising chickens.
Every spring our little family would venture up our friends ranch in Pritchard to brand cattle and turn them out onto the summer range. This was a highlight for us, year after year. We would work hard all day, feast in the evening on fantastic ranch-style cooking and sit by a fire at night staring at the stars. When the weekend was over we would pack up and head back down to the hustle and bustle and stress of the human race.
In April of 2016, we went up to Pritchard for our annual branding visit. As we drove back down through the mountains, a great sadness washed over both us. It was a feeling we’d come to know well. I can’t remember which one of us said it first, “I wonder if we could make it work up here?” Suddenly, we were searching “Properties for sale”. It was as good as done. We went branding on April 28th and we moved onto our mountain on July 1st – it’s possible that it’s some kind of record. Our family was scared, our friends were sad and we had been in such a hurry that we didn’t give anyone a chance to catch their breath. Yet still, not a day goes by that I don’t think this was the best decision we ever made. I’ve come alive in the mountains.
So here I am. Homeschooling two boys at the top of a mountain, raising my chickens, planning my garden, foraging wild food, experimenting with soap making and surrounded by hound dogs. Fortunate to live this uncomplicated, simple, and gentle life. I am truly under the spell of the mountains.