8.21.2015

Huge News: We're Moving to a Farmhouse in the Hudson Valley!



Friends,

I'm thrilled to finally share this news with the world! We bought a farmhouse in the Hudson Valley and we're relocating to NY this October. The house is 200 years old, built in 1820, and it's complete with so many of the details I've always loved about old farmhouses: Hardwood floors, tin ceilings, wood stoves, a wraparound porch, and a palpable sense of history from the families that came before us.

There's also a separate carriage house/ barn that will be our future art studios. And the future of a small experimental artist residency program where we'll invite artists to join us to create new work. There's one acre of land that will be our future vegetable gardens, dye gardens, and small orchard of fruit trees.

We've dreamed of owning a home for nearly a decade; we've dreamed of running an artist residency program or co-working space for artists for nearly a decade too; and it will be wonderful to be within a few hours of our beloved families scattered throughout Upstate NY. We've dreamed of this for so damn long. But like all dreams it comes at a price. And the price is comfort. And the price is risk. And the price is releasing what's familiar.

We're taking the leap from a community we hold very close to our chests and trusting that our work and our friendships and our support system will blossom in this new location. That we'll forge new friendships. That we'll build new work relationships. That we'll create and seek and grow new opportunities relevant to this new time and space. That we'll flourish. That we'll be welcomed. That we'll create a new home.


But it's incredibly difficult to leave the Bay Area after 10 years in Oakland. Oakland feels like our home. And before that we were in Brooklyn for three years and before that in San Francisco for three years too. But Oakland is a very special place that has meant so much to me this past decade. When we moved back 10 years ago I started the MFA Poetry program at Mills College and started taking my textile work and book arts work and creative writing more seriously.

Since then we've been married, had two beautiful boys, published my first book, held amazing jobs in the arts, and managed to make a living as freelance artists and designers. I cross my fingers every damn day that we can continue to make this work. Of course, we'll also travel back to CA for work occasionally too--there are already some workshops and collaborations in the works. Stay tuned for details.

So this shift forces a new beginning. And that force gave us the courage to reach outside of our comfort zone. And after casually looking at real estate in the Hudson Valley for three summers we finally found OUR NEW HOME this spring. Well, my husband found it and I scoured photos and videos and talked to other friends in the area until I crossed my fingers and held my breath and said, "Let's buy it". But the truth is I've never actually been inside of it. I've never stood on that parcel of land. I've never been at that exact longitude and latitude on our dear planet. I trust I'll love it just the same.

We'll go in October. We'll fix up the farmhouse, renovate the carriage house into art studios, and navigate a rural community that I've visited various times but that I've never visited for longer than a few weeks at once. I grew up in Upstate NY but it's been a decade since I've experienced winter. Or high summer. And it's been two decades since I had to get into my car to drive to the store to pick up a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs. It's been two decades since I've lived within a couple hours of our families and I can't wait to share my boys with my mother, siblings, niece, nephew, and in-laws.

I never imagined I'd live my life in one location. I never imagined I'd stay in one home or in one city or even in one state for the bulk of my years. So leaving CA feels less like a surprise and more like a bittersweet change that always felt inevitable. Like the end of something so beautiful and so dear and so deep that I can't really wrap my head around its impact until I'm looking in hindsight. But something that I knew, at some point, would change.


I love this CA community more than I can express. The friendships, the colleagues, the collaborators, the arts community that has taken me deeply into its folds and dusted off my falls, celebrated my successes, fed my family when we had newborn babies, and exchanged fears and dreams over coffees, whiskeys, and wines. I grew up as an artist in this community, came into adulthood here, found myself in a world of creatives and crafters and thinkers that bore deep into my heart.

But it also feels like I'm teetering on this epic new beginning. A home. That we own. That has three bedrooms and a barn for our studios. That has a yard for a dye garden. That has great public schools for our sons. And I just have to keep moving towards this vision that I can't quite put my hand on because it doesn't exist yet. It's only existed in my imagination until right now.

But I just have to keep moving towards it trusting that I have everything I need to make this work. That I have enough. That I'll always have enough. And that this just might be the beginning of the most beautiful adventure yet. This just might be what it feels like to reach into the ether and catch the tail of a dream before it's completely out of reach. Like it just might be the feeling of reaching out to catch that tail and letting it steer me to my future. 

Beloved CA, you will be in my heart forever and ever. Hudson Valley, we'll be there soon. Upstate NY, we're coming home... all grown up but starry-eyed as ever.

xoxo,
k

12 comments:

  1. quite the life change! I envy you, and wish you all the best of luck

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    1. yes, such a huge change. but so many years in the making. thank you for the good luck.

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  2. Anonymous8/22/2015

    Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! It all seems wonderful and full of life and adventure.

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    1. thank you!!! it feels very full. and very exciting. and very full of the best kind of risk.

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  3. so excited for you! following your dreams is always worth the risk, and sometimes not following is an even bigger risk :) wish you the best of luck on your new adventure!

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    1. thank you so much. well said, "sometimes not following is an even bigger risk". i have to agree. thank you for your good wishes.

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  4. I completely understand you when it comes to moving. I found myself when I moved to Texas and I built quite a life for myself there; meeting my husband, making amazing friends, having my kiddoes there. But then the pull of NY and being closer to family made the decision for me on when I should move back and this new phase has been absolutely wonderful. This weekend was the perfect example of getting together with a huge bunch of my extended family as we celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday and it was very humbling to be back in NY with everyone and seeing my kids getting to experience the joys of a close knit family. And there is not greater beauty than Upstate NY. Every day as I drive to work or o just meander around, I am amazed at how gorgeous everything is around her and the changing of the season just adds to that as nothing stays the same. Welcome back! (And I'll be getting in touch with you once you're settled in to conduct some workshops at the library...we have a new maker space that is concentrating on textile arts)

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    1. such a lovely note. thank you so much. i think there are these moments of huge transition that actually accumulate slowly in our psyche for years before the moment happens. a tugging. a drifting. a redirection. so now is the external action after so much internal consideration. phew! exciting. and yes. i'd love to connect about workshops, thank you for thinking of me. xoxo, k.

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  5. Yay!!! I live in a farm house over 150 years old. The history that I've heard so far is amazing.

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    1. I'm so excited to live in an old farmhouse. I can hardly believe the house was built in 1820. But somehow that just adds the charm. Glad you agree!

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  6. Wow, you're coming East! What a lovely treat for those of us out here! Congratulations on buying a house and joining the vibrant Hudson Valley! I hope this means we will have more opportunities for our paths to cross! Coming to teach in Maine won't be such a long journey.....

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    1. Yes! We are moving back to NY. Back to our roots in many ways. I'd love to teach with you in Maine. And I'd love to spend some time in Portland and up the coast--I haven't been there in almost 20 years. Thanks for the welcome home. So excited...

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Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.