Putting Down Roots With a New Sign


| 5/1/2012 7:23:58 AM


Tags: feeling at home, naming your homestead, Cam Mather,

Michelle and I spent about five years looking for our place in the country. In our book, “Little House Off The Grid,” we share our experiences looking for our place and we also describe the many “coincidences” that seemed to confirm that we were meant to find this place and live here.

For a number of years after moving here I still drove back to Burlington (our previous home) periodically to see our customers. The days when I had to head back were depressing, stressful days, but as we all know, it’s just one of those things you do to earn some money. Michelle went back a couple of times a year to visit family and friends and she says that very shortly after moving to our place in the country it started to feel like “home” and it didn’t take long before the city felt foreign and unwelcoming.  It wasn’t that easy for me because I still had to make those periodic trips back to suburbia from whence I came.

Over time the trips became fewer with more time in between them and when we finally decided to go full time publishing books, it finally sunk in for me, this place was my final destination. Every year we’ve done more work and put more of our imprint on the place. Michelle loves sunflowers and we call our place “Sunflower Farm.” We’re not the only Sunflower Farm out there. But that’s okay. It seemed like a natural fit for an off grid house that is “sun powered.”  And sunflowers actually move during the course of the day to follow the sun, just like our solar trackers. (Michelle wrote about that here.)

We recently decided that it was time to put up a sign at Sunflower Farm. A sign that says, “We’re here, this is our place.” We mentioned our plans for a sign to our friend Heidi and she volunteered some letters that she had. So she brought over the letters and I got a big piece of cardboard and scoped out the design. I was fine with laying out the letters, but we also wanted a picture of a sunflower on the sign and that was out of my league. I tried cutting the petals out of wood but that’s not as easy as it sounds. I thought I might use a hockey puck for the middle of the flower, but the creative juices just weren’t flowing.

Our friends Hans and Carolyn offered us their old “Bon Eco” studio sign to use as the backing. After asking a few times how the sign was coming along, Heidi finally volunteered to make the sign for us. I’m not proud. I knew from how long it was taking me that I just didn’t have it in me to produce the sign that I envisioned. I thankfully agreed to let Heidi work her magic.

And magic it is! Heidi created a work of art! I just love the sign. In fact, I was thinking of putting it up in the living room! Why waste it on the road? I think it’s beautiful and it bugs me that I can’t see it from the house!




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