Friday, April 16, 2010

Happily Homeless

It's been five years almost to the day that we moved to Southern California to live in my Mother In Law's home and to help care for her.  I have to say I was not too happy about the prospect of leaving everything I knew in South Florida, including most of my family, and moving clear across the country where I knew noone.  Our first little girl was recently adopted and not yet two years old.  (In this picture taken April 8, 2005, the day we arrived, I am holding my step-grandson who's parents moved out a few months prior.) We moved into a home that hadn't been cleaned in over 10 years and every room had been used to store mountains of "junk".  It took nearly two months just to clean it out and get it liveable and then we moved my husband's mother home from assisted living.  To say she was difficult to live with is an understatement.  My husband and I put her back into assisted living and cared for her from there.  She passed away after we had been here nearly two years.  Within 6 months, we had her house on the market and were planning on pursuing our dream of moving to TN and owning some property.  Unfortunately for us, we put the house on the market just as the market took a dive.  And there we sat for two and a half years without a serious bite.  Something very interesting happened the week she died, though.  That was the week I taught myself to knit.  What makes it so interesting is that my Mother In Law was an avid knitter in her day and lamented to the very end that she could no longer use her hands to knit.  Not being a knitter then, I didn't understand.  Now being myself an avid knitter, I have the greatest sympathy for her.  But at that point is where my life in CA really began.  I got a plot at the local community garden where I was able to take up vegetable gardening again.  My knitting took off and I began delving into felting and then spinning.  We got relicensed as foster parents and took in a newborn who would eventually become our second daughter.  I taught myself to bake bread and started grinding my own grains.  I discovered Waldorf and adopted it's wonderful rythms in my home.  Because of my daughter's severe speech delays, I began studying American Sign Language and laid the foundation to someday pursue my Interpreter's License.  I began teaching knitting and crochet and needle felting and sewing and spinning and created a beautiful community of crafting women who surrounded me with motivation and encouragement.  But most of all, I opened my heart to some of the most wonderful friends a person could have.  Friends who shared my interests and beliefs and abilities and lifestyle.  Friendships I will carry with me for a lifetime.  My life in California that started out so bleak, has become so rich.  And although I leave a large part of me behind, I am looking forward to the next adventure God has in store for us in Tennessee.  The house is sold and empty but my heart is full.  Tomorrow, I will share the first of leg of our journey to find our new home. (Last picture taken the day we left, April 11, 2010)


  1. oh Carin, thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us! You are a blessing to everyone around you.

  2. Already I miss you dear Carin!! I look forward to sharing your journey with you.

    blessings on the road!

  3. Okay, I got choked up there. I can hardly believe how small A was back then. I know the Lord has richly blessed you for following your DH to CA even though you didn't want to. Remember the pearl necklace? But I am selfish and am SO glad that one day soon we will again be "in the vacinity" to share our girls and futures.
    Love you,

  4. Stacy Deeble-ReynoldsApril 16, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Carin, I am yet again inspired by you... the fact that you experienced such tension and unhappiness during your first couple of years here, and yet you were able to find some peace and open yourself up to all of the blessings intended for you. I can't wait to hear about what's in store for you and your wonderful family next! Much love!

  5. Carin as you know, I miss you already!! You have inspired me to be just 1/2 as amazing as you are to my own children. The skills you have taught me with crafting and bringing the Waldorf rhymes into my home will never be forgotten! You are an amazing mother and friend and I look forward to hearing about the life you will begin in TN! I'm anxious ... See Morefor you and your family as I know it's something you've been dreaming of for a long time!!!

    P.S. When will those crafting therapy sessions begin!! =) Miss you much!

    With love! ♥

  6. Amy Rider JohnsonApril 16, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Awesome pics! I look fwd to reading about your journey and seeing you this fall (...or next).

  7. WOW! Almost exactly 5 years, that's really incredible. God definitely had this in store for you and I'm so glad he did, you touched so many of us in ways that will not be forgotten - I personally am a better mother for having known you.... if I'm EVER in Tennesee (or the next state you live in) you can count on a visit :-)

  8. Carin, I have enjoyed getting to know you a bit, and look forward to continuing to be connected across the miles. I know that you will create a wonderful life with your family in Tennessee! Blessings to you on your journey!

  9. Oh Carin...there you are!
    I love you and miss you already.
    Good luck on your journey and be sure to post all your amazing San Diego thrift finds girl!!