Dear Springfields: an interview with Suzanne Landen

posted by: Sarah Springfield
Thanks to Sarah’s darling grandmother, Suzanne Landen, for her time in thinking of the best questions to ask about such an unusual situation while weathering out the terrible storm in PA.
Obviously, you are a creative motivated couple with the courage to even THINK about embarking on living for an indefinite period without a house or other ordinary dwelling place. Having three children, Lily (6), Emmaline (3), Finnegan (1), makes this even more daunting!
Daunting? We laugh in the face of daunting! We prefer terms like “challenging” and  “inspirational.”
What compelled you to make this decision and what preparations were necessary for such a move?
Well, to be honest, we weren’t planning on moving onto the land until we had a building permit in place for our future house. However, the landlord of our rental decided to sell the house we’re currently living in and we were given a sixty-day notice back in January.  So we decided that it was a sign that we really needed to bite the bullet and just get out there.
The preparations are still in progress as of right now and so far it’s mostly a lot of packing and cleaning – nothing extremely exciting YET.
Tell me about your daily life. I hear you homeschool your daughters. Why?
Right now Sarah’s daily life consists of packing and storing the things we’re not currently using, trying to keep the things we are using organized and figuring out what we can live without for the next however long while simultaneously feeding/teaching/entertaining three children and keeping a one year old from unpacking all the boxes and climbing inside them.
Noah’s daily life revolves around a 40-hour work week. In his spare time he can be found under the bus, in the bus and on top of the bus fixing various things. Painting and flooring are the next step in the process to making it livable.
Regarding schooling: Lily is the only one being “officially” homeschooled currently, and we’re doing it through a local charter school so she’s in class 2 days per week. I like to think of it as homeschooling with training wheels. The other three days of the week we’ve been doing more of an “unschooling” type of learning, which means that she pretty much does what she’s interested in. Currently, that includes A LOT of reading of The Magic Tree House series and Calvin and Hobbes. Between the two of them we’re pretty sure she’s learning everything she needs to know about life as a six year old.
I’m not sure other young parents would be willing to make such a lifestyle change. It actually might NOT be such a hardship for you in Southern California. You’ll be living in a double-decker bus and/or a motorhome. That might be fun – for a while.
Well,  other young parents would be completely right in their reticence to embrace such a lifestyle. We’re not even sure we embrace it yet. Current concerns include, but are not limited to:
-having no a/c
-having no heater
-having no electricity
-having no hot water
-having no laundry facility
However, we did just find out that we will have mail delivery, so, that’s something at least.
We’re very excited about the CHALLENGES and INSPIRATION that these obstacles present. Ahem.
What are the plans for building your house?
As of right now we are planning to build a kit home – it’s like a cross between a stick-built house and a manufactured house where they send you all the pieces and you put it together yourself.
We are talking with a general contractor who seems very excited about the project and are working to finagle the numbers into something workable for our budget.
I must tell you that I admire and am inspired by your spirit of adventure anticipation. Do keep a written record of it for us all and for your grandchildren and theirs.
Yes ma’am, will do.
Thank you Grandma Landen!
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