At long last, I can make official what I’ve only hinted at for months: this past Summer David and I bought a house and relocated from Goshen, IN to Kalamazoo, MI.
After considering many other locations and then taking a whirlwind tour of Southwest Michigan in Summer 2016, we found that Kalamazoo offered all the things that attracted us to far more distant locales. It feels like the “sweet spot” of abundant Nature, four seasons, unpretentious and happy people, a foodie’s paradise, urban yet uncrowded, permaculture-friendly, bursting with creativity in music and the arts, ethnic and religious diversity, a “writer’s town,” America’s “Third Coast” with more coastline than any of the Lower 48 … and all within a little over an hour from and same cost of living as Goshen. I call it “an hour north and a world away!”
We put in our offer on April 2, 2017, but by seller’s request, did not settle until May 26th. We got access to the house during home inspection, met contractors and spent the time between offer and closing deciding on new floors, paint colors, radon remediation, and more. David took photos of each room, so I could go full Feng Shui mania while determining which belongings got donated, moved and/or where to place them. The afternoon of May 26th, we gave our new keys to contractors and the work began. Despite the tight deadline of our June 24th move-in, everyone exceeded our dearest hopes and vision. We love, love, love, love(!) our new house and yard.
What seemed like a long search to me — but according to David and our realtor was amazingly synchronous and short — made us grateful for a private yard within close, walkable proximity to everything we need. No other house we looked at offered our much desired privacy, and few offered walkability to things we wanted. I don’t drive, and we knew David needed to spend several more months working in Goshen during the week. This little spot of heaven checked off everything we longed for in a home, yard and neighborhood, including that I could remain self-sufficient while David moved through tasks at his parents’ old house and worked his existing job in Goshen.
I’ve hinted at our new location, but until David tendered his two-week resignation, we didn’t feel right making a formal announcement. This morning marks the end of an era and a new beginning. I’ve spent all week of Summer into Fall decorating the house, adding to the existing landscape, and plowing through writing how-to books, while David arrived on Friday evenings and left very early Monday mornings. Today, we enter the last two weeks of that rhythm.
We feel grateful for our individual transformations during that time apart. After nearly 8 years of living together, the past few months felt like dating! As newlyweds, we didn’t need a relationship recharge, but we got one anyway, appreciating each other more and more, as we changed and grew. Our move feels like not only a relocation, but a rebirth. We see glimmers of the New, but we look forward to our continued journey. Together.
Today also marks the first time introducing our home’s name. In Goshen, we lived in Faery Hof and I rented Haus Am See as an office. We figured our new home would reveal its name in good time, and David’s weekend respites here drew it forth: Dra’Faven (short for Dragon Faery Haven). In Chinese astrology, David’s a Dragon. He has long referred to me as his “Faery House Witch” since our life together so often resembles a cross between a faery tale, Better Homes and Gardens and an episode of Bewitched.
Welcome to Dra’Faven! Thanks for your patience and excitement along the way.