Friday, August 3, 2012

Finally...A Welcome and Why

I finally did it.  I found a few seconds to set up this blog so that I may more easily share our experiences here in the forest.  If you are just joining us, nearly two years into this odyssey, this path toward sustainability...welcome.  Please read through posts on "my other blogs" to backtrack our route.  Ours has been an incredible journey -- mostly wonderful, sometimes painful -- toward sustainability.

I have a list of blogposts to upload in the coming days.  Hair detox, raw food, off-grid laundry, tiny home living, and more.  Most are already written and waiting for somewhere to be posted.  Some need a little fine-tuning, but all will reveal some of the details of how we live.

First, the why...

When our daughter was born, we had the busiest spring season in the history of our business.  Keeping up with the increased workload with a newborn was a tremendous challenge, but we savored every moment of success and parenthood.  Confident the streak would continue, we took a risk and moved from Plano to Corpus Christi, TX, to raise our daughter on the beach.  We maintained our clientele in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area by traveling once per month for meetings.  The rest of the month, we worked from home on Padre Island.  Later that year, our business declined in-step with the downturn in the global economy.  Pursestrings had to be tightened, but fortunately we had an abundance of time to spend with our new baby.  For the first two years of her life, David and I realized our long-time dream of raising our child together.  About the time she turned two, requests for our services began to pick up again.  David had to travel a lot, and none of us enjoyed being apart.  Also at that time, we began to feel a bit claustrophobic at home.  Simply put, we had too much stuff.  Clutter, yes.  Items too big for their space, yep.  Managing all this stuff took away from time with our daughter, time we would rather spend playing and exploring outdoors.  There were many choices, such as moving back to Plano and taking advantage of new business.  We could have stayed on Padre Island and taken a job locally while rebuilding NativeDave part-time in the new market.  Or, we could continue to work in DFW, live on the beach, and spend time together as a family, but we would have to make some pretty big changes.

You guessed it: we chose the latter.  For nine months we sold and donated items from our home.  We moved into a slide-in truck camper, finished out a 5x8 adventure trailer, and moved the rest of our stuff into storage.  In September 2010, we took off toward DFW as a 100% mobile family and business.  Within a few weeks, we would be back at the beach, camping for several weeks at a time, in our new tiny home/office on wheels.  The seemingly more drastic choice was without question the best for us.  No longer do I feel like the curator in a museum of other people's memories; I'm ready for the next round of purging, in fact.  My family is no longer separated by work.  When we have meetings in DFW or Austin, or wherever, we all go.  Together.  By making our family and the mission of our business our priorities, we have discovered the core of our happiness by way of simplicity and sustainable living practices...but our journey is far from over.

Since August 2011 we have lived onsite our project on the Texas Coast.  The camper and trailer have been retired -- wait until you read THAT post, whew.  Now we live inside a 300sf safari-style tent tucked under the canopy of Live Oaks and Red Bays.  Here we are restoring and developing a 6-acre-or-so tract that has ecological, historical and cultural significance to the Americas.  This is a dream project for us professionally, because it allows us to blossom as designers, writers, photographers, naturalists and nature-lovers.  Our client also allows us a flexible schedule so that we may travel to other markets for other projects.  On the personal side, because we are in a remote and raw section of the property, we are able to test our ideas for living a more sustainable lifestyle.  Our goal is to migrate to an entirely off-grid, self-sufficient environment by combining simplicity of yesterday with technology of today.  This phase of our journey is still in-progress.

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