Redlands 1

These are some images taken a couple of weeks ago when we went down south to visit my in laws. But they could have been pulled straight from my childhood.

My roots.

I once read somewhere that you should love your place, no matter where you live. I hated Tallahassee when I first moved here. My first spring here and I was done though, I fell in love and have fallen deeper and deeper in love with this place every year.

But there is something special about the place you were born.

I like going to the Redlands (a rural area west of Homestead, as you head towards the Everglades). Something about seeing palm trees and avocado groves makes me feel safe. We left when I was ten after Hurricane Andrew.

Each time I visit Homestead, specifically the Redlands, it gets hazier and hazier. The memories of where things were and landmarks seem to slip farther and farther out of reach.

I worry a lot that it will all be gone one day. So many avocado groves and farms have been developed already  My families land included. My Granny’s house managed to become a historical property, but there is only 5 acres around her house now, when it used to be oh, so much more.

I worry that the more the Redlands changes, the more it gets chipped away at, that I somehow will change too. As if they are taking a part of me too.

To see Penelope climb an avocado tree made my heart swell. To know that even if they cut down every last one, Truffla Tree style, at least Penelope was able to climb in an authentic Redland avocado tree.

And I feel better knowing that she has has had the experience of a strawberry shake and cinnamon roll from the Knaus Berry Farm.

I didn’t recognize a single face when I was there, but I will always have the memory of coming home from school to find a bunch of women from the Knaus Berry Farm swimming in my pool. They wear long sleeve dresses and bonnets, Amish style. I do not know how my mother convinced them to go swimming, but she did.

Where were you born? Where is your place now?


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  • Jessica
    April 5, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    I was born and raised in a small town in North Carolina. The Blueridge Parkway runs right through my town, and it is absolutely beautiful. At 18 I moved across the country to be with my husband who is in the military. He is stationed at Twentynine Palms, California. Talk about a change in scenery. I’m so use to bright and colorful trees and grass! Now I’m living in the desert where everything is just different shades of brown lol.

  • Amber
    April 6, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    I was born in St. Louis Missouri, but my family moved to a small lake community 50 miles to th south while I was an infant. My 2 sisters and I grew up in or tiny house with a big yard nestled in a wooded, hilly oasis. We spent our time swimming in the lake, building clubhouses in the woods, canoeing when we were older, gathering wild morels after the spring rains. I went to the same school from kindergarten to eighth grade. Everyone knew me, us, the Strand Girls, stair-step towheads. 🙂

    When I describe “back home” these days I’m quite aware it isn’t the best place on earth, but I miss some things. The changing leaves, the way the sun sets over the lake, barbecues with friends and “float trips” canoeing down clear cool rivers. I miss the rocks, the red mud, the hills, the flowering dogwoods and redbuds in spring. I miss COLD Christmases, with snow and hot cappuccinos from the gas station… Not Starbucks…

    Now I live in South Florida, and have been here nearly five years. I’ve gotten used to the sweaty misery of summers here. I still yearn to see the leaves change. Some odd flowering tree in my back yard loses it’s leaves in January or February, but it’s not the same. oh and pumpkin patches… Back home you get your pumpkin from the family who grew it, not from a truckload of pumpkins in a staged patch in some grassy lot. There are some things worth the trade off though. Being able to go to the beach on a whim. Having one wardrobe for pretty much the whole year… Flip flops.

  • Jessica Maia
    April 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I happenned to your site through Pinterest and was so pleasantly surprised to find this post! I grew up in Homestead and went to Redland Elem. and Jr. High. My mom taking us to Knaus Berry Farm after school for milkshakes and cinnamon rolls is one of my fondest memories. We moved to Texas when I was 14 and although I would love to, I haven’t been back since. Thank you for this post and starting my morning off with a trip back to the Redlands!

    • Stephanie
      April 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      What a small world!!

  • Angela
    April 9, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I know what you mean about feeling like you’re going to change if your home town changes. Every time I visit my parents; my old neighborhood looks more and more different. Trees cut down due to EAB, small ranch homes being knocked down and huge houses being build on the same tiny property, etc.

    Beautiful pics. I remember many, many, posts ago you wrote about your daughter’s necklace and where you purchased it from. Would you mind repeating that again? I think when I clicked on the link many months ago they were sold out and now I forget where you bought it. Nova Naturals? Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      April 10, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      I am glad I am not the only who feels like that. I actually got the necklace from a local business, Ecological Babies. I am pretty sure they still sell them. 😉

      • Angela
        April 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Thank you so much for replying!!!! I couldn’t remember that it was Amber. I ordered one for my 3 yr old.

        • Stephanie
          April 10, 2012 at 7:04 PM

          Nice! Let me know if you notice a difference.

  • Yesi
    April 15, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I found your blog/webpage through another friend’s Pinterest pin, and I must say I am truly impressed. We share the same values and goals. I was trying to figure out where you currently live, and although I did not find that, I stumbled upon this post. I grew up in Princeton, went to Redland Jr. High and I still go to Knaus Berry Farms every year, although I live in Miami now. What a small world!! Where do you live now? If you don’t mind telling. I’ve been looking for a good mom/baby yoga class, and the DVDs you posted might be the way to go.

    Well, thank you for your posts and sharing all the great information. I’m going to share you on my Pinterest and Facebook, I’m sure my like-minded friends will also find great value in your posts. Next on my list, I’m going to give freezer cooking a go. Fingers Crossed!!


    • Stephanie
      April 16, 2012 at 2:22 AM

      I live in Tallahassee now, but we will most likely be moving to Palm Beach County soon. Thanks so much for your kind words and sharing my blog with your friends!

  • JS
    May 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Oh, Knaus Berry Farm. That’s worth flying home for.