The word homestead means different things to different people. To some it’s just a word connected with a tax deduction. To some it’s where their grandparents – or great-grandparents – settled when they came to this country. To some it’s a new wave of self-sufficiency living closer to the land. And to others, like me, it simply means home.
My husband and I have moved a number of times, mostly chasing employment. The last move, in 2000, was not only for employment, but employment where we really wanted to live. We were thrilled. We found a hobby farm we could afford and settled in to raise sheep, chickens, rabbits, and even a few pigs from time to time. We thought, “This is it.” Our square on this earth to call home. Our place to build the life we wanted to live.
Then in January of this year, my husband was given notice of layoff with no chance of recall to his position here where we live. We reeled under that sentence for several days. Then we got busy applying for jobs anywhere and everywhere. On his last day of employment, he was told he could have another job with the State of Michigan if we were willing to pack up and move clear across the state.
I can’t say it was a hard decision, because that was the easy part. You go where the paycheck is. But then the hard part hit, looking at everything we’ve poured over fourteen years of labor and love into, and knowing we’ll be leaving it all behind. Leaving the homestead.
It hurts. Change usually does. But from the hurt comes perseverance. And through that comes the hope that will not disappoint.