[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
In the 25 years that my husband and I have been married, we have moved several times. I, being the more adventurous one, wasn’t as stressed by the changes as he was. I saw each adventure as an opportunity to usher in new things, new people and new experiences…blooming where I was planted. I could always hit the ground running, embracing the new venue in which to learn and laugh and love. My husband, on the other hand, warms up more slowly to change, to new people and new experiences. His family roots are dug in deep and uprooting them in any way always brought a time of adjustment for him. I have stated many times in our life together that he is my roots and I am his wings.

As we transplanted raspberries this spring, I thought about all these moves and the differences between how we handled them. Planting those healthy, sturdy plants, then watching them fight to take root in new soil, seemed to somehow bring all those memories back.
My father-in-law is an amazing farmer. He works tirelessly to keep his gardens weed-free and his yard healthy and immaculate. He takes pride in the old fruit trees, azaleas and peonies. His raspberry patch is just another example of the tender care that goes on at his farm. So when he offered raspberry starts, who could possibly turn that down?
I was almost giddy at the thought of bringing home another small piece of the farm, creating yet another bridge between here and there. With kids in tow, we set out on a perfect Sunday morning with plans to have lunch with my husband’s parents, raid the raspberry patch and head home. With our mission accomplished, we returned home and began planting these beautiful plants, hoping and praying that they would take hold and that we didn’t waste any of them. Once planted, watered and firmly patted into place, the shovels were put away and all we could do was to wait.
In the days that followed, we saw these amazing plants fight to thrive, at times looking a little wilted as we did all we knew to assist them. Now, weeks later, they are back to the same healthy plants we found in my father-in-law’s patch, with the addition of cute little berries starting to show. Those berries are a sign they have weathered the change.
Transplanting is a funny thing. The timing and the environment have to be right, and growing conditions just-so to ensure the best outcome. But it is the wait that can be the hardest. There is a part of the whole process that is simply out of our hands. We can do everything we know, then like it or not, we have to leave it to fate. Oh, what jubilation when we discover that they have taken hold, and we can let out the breath that we have been secretly holding in.
We have managed to stay in our community for the past nine years. While it isn’t the place where either of us grew up, where our roots were originally dug in, we have taken hold just like our new raspberry patch. I think coming from good stock helps, but so does having fertile soil in which to grow and sheer determination that you can grow there.
We both envy our friends and family who have never left home, those whose roots were never up-rooted or moved. Yes, we envy those who are firmly rooted on the family farm, with all its heritage and stories and rich traditions, but somehow we are okay with being transplants.

  1. Noeletta says:

    This is a wonderful piece. I love the photos to go with it to. I think you should think about altering it slightly to make a childrens book about moving and change. Such a good message! Thanks for sharing.


    Thank You, what a great Idea!

  2. Heather (Pickles) says:

    Rene – thanks for sharing your comparison!! Such a wonderful way to think of it. You rock! 🙂

    "Pickles" 🙂

  3. Lorene says:

    I agree…a lovely piece and very wise as well. May your berries be as sweet as you writing. Thank you so much.

  4. Florence says:

    I love your story, we too planted some new raspberry starts last fall, they came through our snowy winter and we have lots of blossoms on them.

  5. Blair says:

    I totally relate to to you and your husband’s reactions to moving. My fiance and I recently had a very similar experience when we bought our first place. As excited as I was about all the projects and possibilites, he was just as nervous. But like your raspberries, we have both become comfortable in our new spot and have begun to grow in so many ways…we’ve planted our first garden using the knowledge his mother and father passed on to him as a child and look forward to everything we will learn and experience together. I will have to pass on the "roots and wings" idea. That is exactly how we compliment each other. Thanks for that wonderful blog!

    Blair~ There is no better feeling than when we realize that the roots have taken hold. Pass on the Roots and wings…. I am glad that can "claim it" as well.

  6. Wendy Zenor says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I understand the moving and adjusting to new places. I was a military "brat" and then a military wife. Finally we have been in the same area for 12 years since my husband is now retired from the military. We did buy an acreage in this area last August and I have been putting in my first garden this spring, so I also understood about how transplants sometimes do and sometimes don’t take root. :-)It’s cool to see my little plants that I grew from seed take hold in the ground when I transplanted them. 🙂 It’s also cool to see how our family has learned about how to put down their roots when they were "transplanted". Thanks for sharing! It was nice to read this and understand!! 🙂

    WOW.. a military Kid and wife, that is amazing. My two oldest are in the Military., so I get a little of what that is all about. Thank you for sharing with me.

  7. Reba says:

    This is a thought-provoking piece, especially since my husband and I both are transplants. We are grateful that we did because we have bloomed here. My mother-in-law told me that I would "never get Kenneth to leave here" meaning the life-time of living in her small town (except for the Military years). Needless to say, almost 17 years later, we are growing and thriving well, and we are so thankful for the many experiences and new friends. Now, we are thinking of moving into the mountains and a more rural setting. There again is the time of adjustment for my husband. I could be "ready" in a week or so. But we’ll change a bit slower since we’re older "transplants" to give him time to adjust. I surely don’t want to lose this "plant"(my husband)!

  8. the hobbit says:

    Before we settled down we moved from Louisiana up to Maine then down to Florida. I felt like a yoyo.My husbands Co. transfered him wherever he was needed.We then had the chance to come back to N.H.I adjusted to all new places,my husband was slow to come around and make new friends but, we are back where we belong with many stories to tell.Being near the land is what is most important.Recently transplanted rhubarb and blueberries(2 different varieties)and know that the watching and waiting is a work in progress.Do enjoy your blog however can’t always get to it with all the chores that need to be addressed at planting time.Keep up the good work!

  9. Debbie Shue says:

    Being a "transplant" from Texas to the state of Washington I can so relate to the raspberries. Thanks for the great article.

  10. Rebekka says:

    Rene- I agree, what a wonderful book you have there. I can see a whole series of lessons learned at Rene’s Homestead;)
    And on a selfish note, we will get to try some of the berries right!


    I will put you down for some of the "harvest" LOL

  11. Sue says:

    I too was one of those who moved often when we were still at home with the folks. Now after 35 years in the same house in town, my husband and I will move to a country house 30 miles away this summer. How different it will be as the closest neighbor is a mile away. We can hardly wait to be transplanted to the country. And we plan on taking some of our rasberry bushes with us! So, your thoughts certainly hit home with me. Thank you for this lovely article.


  12. Brenda says:

    We also were transplanting raspberries this year. We already had plenty but my husbands grandfather passed away last year and he had the best raspberries when we would visit. So my husband and other cousins are taking some of his grandfathers plants hoping to have the same results. We will see. We have different soil and not as far north in Michigan as they came from so the end result may not be the same. But my husband says no matter, it is like having some of grandpa right here with us. If you do write a childrens book as the previous blogger suggested, I have a daughter that is an illustrator. That is her dream to illustrate childrens books.

    Hey, I love the idea of a farmgirl illustrator….I will totally save your email address 🙂

  13. Michele says:

    I have always embraced the "bloom where you are planted" philosophy. It isn’t always easy; like when you live in a condo and want to be on a farm; but you are so on target

  14. Diana says:

    Wow Rene’,

    This was an amazing piece! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

    May your day be blessed,


    Thank You so very much for your kindness. I am truly blessed!

  15. Gary says:

    Great Bloggie Rene’…!
    I can really relate to being "used" to relocating, as my Life sometimes seems like one long relocation. Now, I am preparing to move back to my native Smokey Mountains, having finished a long journey of career. This will be a very Happy move.
    I love that boxed garden Y’all made… that is a very cool idea, and I’m gonna try that.
    Thank You for the idea, and…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  16. Wendie says:

    This is the first time I have read your blog. I too am a transplant. My parents moved from Ohio to Fla when I was six and since he worked for a department store we transferred almost every two years. I went to 9 schools in 12 years. Then I moved to Tennessee when I was 30 and have been in the same town for 29 years. We are planning on moving south about an hour and half away to Chattanooga to be near the grandkids who moved there 3 years ago. I look at all of my plants starting to bloom now, the bradford pear trees have grown so big and I have a lovely view of the mountains I will miss but 3 years away from the grandkids is too long. Luckily I work from home and also take care of my husband who had a stroke 3 years ago so this will be a good transplant for us. Thanks for sharing. I loved your story.
    Wendie in Maryville, TN

  17. Pam says:

    Rene’, it is clear that God led you on a special path, and you were keen to all of life’s lessons. You are a gifted writer, and you share from your heart. This path has allowed you to touch others’ hearts.
    I have moved several times, but I too have been in this one home for 9 years. As I get older, my desire is to deepen my roots, and enjoy the bloom [my 6 precious grandkids!].
    I look forward to each of your stories. I agree with the other comments…I see a book in your future, or at least I hope for one!

    Thank You Pam. How honoring! Your words are so up-lifting and make me that much more grateful for the oppertunity to write. Blessings!

  18. SuzieQ says:

    Sometimes God sends us very positive messages. My husband has been hinting that we would prob. have to move from central Tx to Dallas area. Last night he confirmed no more hinting. I have been in my house 25 years and all my family including grandkids live within 30min drive. After having leaking eyes for a while I went and looked at my flower garden and then started gathering the larkspur seeds, hibicus, and amarylis seeds. We have started looking at houses in the Dallas area on the computer. To be close to my husbands job I get a very small yard and from what I have seen no landscape done. So long story short your message came right in time. Thank you.


    Good-Byes are always so hard, even for us adventurous types. And when your roots are dug in, all the harder I suppose. I hope that it wont take long for you to "bloom" in your new location. It isnt true, you know, you can always go home again!  Otherwise it wasn’t really "home".  Best of all to you!  I look forward to hear about your adventure.

  19. Kathy Aubrey says:

    You are amazing but I knew that when I first met you. You have such a way with words. Even though I have been back to my roots for 6 years. The 35 that I was gone was 35 years to long. Your Rasberry story says it all. Keep up that great writing I love your articles and can hardly wait to pick up your pieces of writing
    Love ya girl
    Kathy in Prosser

  20. Margie Smith says:

    Rene, I loved your account of being transplanted. I was transplanted 36 years ago from a small town in MD to a very very small town in WV. When I husband died 6 years ago, all thought I would go back to MD. Not!!! I transplanted and grew well. The comment about making your account in a childs book is great. I work in a public library and a book like that would be great. We have a federal prison here and many familys with young children move here for a short time. I am sure they could relate to you and your story. I am a farmgirl wannabe. I don’t have the energy that it would take to do all the things required for a farm to be sucessfull. Keep up the good work.

  21. Debbie says:

    I love your blog! I look forward to each and every one. I just transplanted my herbs. Sometimes, transplanting is for their or even your own good. Right away they looked happier in their new home. It doesn’t always happen that way but sometimes being transplanted is just what the heart needs. Thank you for sharing your insights with us. Blessings to you and all your transplants.

  22. katie says:

    I grew up in Spokane, my husband and I and our children transplanted to western Washington for many years. Upon retiring, it was good to come back home to eastern Washington. We have a few acres with a great big veggie and flower garden with lots of raspberries that a friend was kind enough to share with us. Some chickens and our cat Daisy… clothes hanging on the line and grandkids to pull carrots in the summer and go sledding in the winter,life is good. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am…

    Welcome back to Eastern WA. Sounds like you are back to "blooming where you are planted….Great JOB!

  23. alaina sato says:

    I have just started to read bits of this homepage and to be honest this peice is the first one I stumbled into. Funny, I almost chose the ID name "transplant" for myself! I am an Eastern Washington farmers daughter, transplanted to a country with the highest rate of foreign imported food in the world. Yet I live in an area with the potential to be 100% self sufficient and variety that may even surpass Italy. Got you curious? Hokkaido, Japan..right across from
    Russia. I enjoyed your article immensly! I could go on and on about the transplanting process but I have friends coming with new raspberry plants for my garden on Sunday and I have to go dig some holes.

    Alaina Rae

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