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Weeds and Wildflowers...Why I Do What I Do.

It was the mid-to-late 70's in a little suburb in the Pacific Northwest. Although back then, the suburbs there were still rural, especially when I compare them to where my boys are exploring today. I grew up mostly with my mother's side of the family, and it was a big family. I loved it.

I have magical memories of family gatherings surrounded by my parents all the way up to great aunts, uncles and grand parents thoroughly enjoying each other's company. They would gather in the living room, the kitchen even outside while we, the kiddos, who ranged from 5 to 15, ran wild. We ran wild, and it was glorious.

I fondly recall following my older cousins deep into my family's property. We'd flip old, abandoned plywood in hopes of finding garter snakes underneath. We called them gardener snakes back then. We'd mostly find the small black ones with a yellow stripe, but sometimes we'd score and find one with a reddish stripe. We'd try and race 'em.

We'd play hide-n-seek in old garages filled with junk that never seemed to move. We'd run in overgrown grass mixed with weeds and wildflowers, climb trees, pick wild blackberries on-demand and catch tadpoles.

We were free, full of life and ready for adventure. It was us versus the wild. We relied on each other. The older ones took pretty good care of the younger ones, and the younger ones looked at the older ones in awe.

I'm 1,000 miles and many years away from those defining moments of my childhood, but the memories have all come flooding back. Those memories couldn't have come at a better time.

Over the last few years, I haven't felt at home. I longed for a simpler life. I've longed for open space, trees, birds...even snakes. I didn't understand this uneasiness until now.

I need my boys to unbuckle from the traffic jams and run wild through the trees, splash though running water, and get their lay of the land.

So, my search for our land begins. It won't be an easy task to find the right piece of land, but I've never been about easy. I like to work. I like to fight.

When I ever feel like life's gotten too busy or I'm not taking enough personal time, I design my home. It's where I find peace and rejuvenation. I'm pretty excited about this layout. It's pretty close to what I consider perfect.

I've named our home Modern Prairie. Now, my boys won't have extended family that I was lucky enough to have growing up, but all our friends and family are welcome. An open-door policy will be a must at Modern Prairie. I can already see so many of our adventures so clearly. I see the door flying open with kids running through, dropping backpacks on their way. I can see adults sitting around the table toasting and conversing while the kids make noise from the upstairs bunk room. I see us camping out in the dojo and staring up at the stars. I can't wait for the gatherings, planned and impromptu.

Let the adventure begin!

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