Creating a Quiet Home

Note: originally published in 2012

In 2002 we moved from Minneapolis to a small suburban town in Nebraska, now annexed into Omaha. We built a full life within five miles of our home. I remember our friends commenting on our decision, often perplexed. Moving from Minneapolis to Omaha gifted us with two hours a day, on the day we moved. It was enough time back that we talked about it, learning to embrace evenings. 

Life happens in chapters 

Before children. After children.  Busy to quiet.   

Over the years I, like many, have been intrigued by farm-to-table, homesteading, and sustainability.  Lagom, slow living, minimalism.

Homesteading fascinates me. Urban farming, rooftop gardens, beekeeping, and raising chickens intrigue me.  My interest is quick to drop though, being a mostly vegan suburban gal who knows chickens are too much work for our daily life (and I don't eat eggs).  My husband is also afraid of bees.

If only we lived next door to a homesteader.

Over the years

I have tried a few concepts that many find strange.  I'm okay with that as it's all in the quest for personal growth, with a focus on sustainability.

  • While training for my first marathon, a nutritionist introduced a food filter, if you could order/make the food item a hundred years ago then eat it, if not pass. A concept I still embrace today.
  • A few years later Frontier House, an experiment on TV, ran on PBS. My family would record it on VCR and watch it with amazement.
  • Let's not forget about the year I tried making cleaning products and laundry soap. Focused on minimizing waste and chemicals.
  • In recent years I have shifted to choosing local over organic, which led to trying to eat seasonally.

Balance is key

While I am no longer trying to fit grocery shopping and laundry between children’s activities, it's important to keep a daily rhythm. 

Within months of moving to New Jersey, I started visiting farmer's markets and small local farms.  Being surrounded by small family farms provided a good balance.  I could pick up eggs, milk, and butter thanks to a partnership with an Amish farm. While there I buy newly harvested vegetables and fruit while sneaking in a walk to see the children's farm.

I like to visit Stone Barns when I can slip in a trip to Sleepy Hollow, the distance only affords me to visit 3-4 times a year.

I recently read a book called Homemade Gatherings that opened my eyes to what I could do with our tiny four-acre plot of land. Creating a home of comfort over style, the author's message resonated with me, reminding me to live in our home. Fill it with comfort.

Our professional life offers us the ability, and need, to build a quiet home life. A place to decompress, explore and learn as we prepare for our next chapter (yet to be defined). We live a well-crafted life, embracing minimalism and lagom (not too much, not too little). As a bonus, New Jersey has introduced quietness into our life. Something I'm not eager to give up.

Thankfully we get to live a simple, quiet daily routine that allows us to plan moments of adventure.

September 2021: An Update

We moved to Virginia in 2019. Covid arrived in 2020. We moved to Minnesota in 2021. 

We are just wrapping up our first summer on the lake.  Although the transition has been anything but slow, we are finding a rhythm that works for us.  My father moved in with us a week after we moved - this is something none of us expected. 

Homelife now includes canoeing at sunrise in hopes of seeing Loons and other wildlife.  It’s simply magical.