Who is Orange Grove Road?
I grew up in Washington state where the green is abundant, and was blessed by a father who loved to garden and make and fix everything with his own two hands. This girl completely took it for granted and often questioned why he would go to so much trouble. It wasn’t until my adulthood that I began to understand that he had developed these skills out of a necessity to survive his poverty-stricken youth.
My Father was one of 8 children, and their father was off to war (and thought to be killed). His mother and 7 siblings survived by eating weeds, milking a cow, hunting, and at times even chewing on road tar just to have something in their mouths. Should I mention they had no running water? My Father was relentless and dedicated, and he became a pharmacist and gave me a life where I was able to take these basic needs for granted. I really had not grasped the gravity of all that my Father had been through.
When I was about 15, the home I had been raised in had reached a “Garden of Eden” semblance. I was genuinely surprised when friends would come over and enthusiastically harvest fruit. I only saw it as an allergy inducing torturous chore!
Tides began to change
It was right about then that we moved to a small town to live on about 6 acres in the forest. My father constructed a beautiful pond filled with koi fish and lilly pads. A majestic maple tree sat along the main trail which led to a swampland that rested just at the end of our property. One morning I remember looking out my bedroom window to see a doe with her fawn chowing down on apples from the enormous tree in the front yard. Inconceivably, somehow I remained unimpressed.
Some years later as my final college year was coming to an end, I found myself becoming increasingly fatigued with the smallest tasks. I had unexplainable pain in various places in my body and I became embarrassingly forgetful. At the tender age of 25, I was branded with this weird condition called “fibromyalgia” or FMS. That was supposed to be something that you didn’t have to worry about until your 60’s right?! I felt as though I was not going to be able to live a normal life and worried that I would not have the endurance to ever have a family.
Orange Grove Road is a symbol of choosing a healthy path, and being willing to work for it
…Plus we live in an orange grove 😉 I tried in vain to just eat “healthy” and exercise a lot which made things much worse because I didn’t realize I was overtaxing my endocrine system. Thankfully, one fateful day I met a dear friend, Brenda, who was bold enough to intervene. She was the landlord of the building that I had just set up my fitness studio in, and ended up being an answer to my prayers. This brilliant woman had seen a need, and created a support group for people with FMS. This was not a place to complain, but rather a place to research and learn. Her research led me back to a symptom free life…and right to a point of deep appreciation for the lifestyle that my father had exemplified.
Her website, fibromyalgiarecovery.com, explains a lot of what she found, which empowered us both become symptom free for over a decade now. For pete’s sake she’s on her 4th SENIOR mission with her husband overseas!!!
Proof is in the puddin’
Now we live on a 50-year-old orange grove in the Arizona desert with my husband and 2 children, striving to do exactly what my wise father had done all along! I’m grateful to say I have the gumption to homestead, cook from scratch, and enjoy my fitness routines. And there’s energy left over to do my best to raise my children to appreciate each blessing and be good stewards of the earth. It would be silly to say that it’s all easy or perfect, but I feel more fulfilled and satisfied with life than I ever imagined possible.
I intend for this blog to become a community where we can safely gain and share knowledge with each other. I’m not an expert in anything, but I do feel like I have some good stuff to share. 😉 I believe we all need each other.
My complete FMS recovery details
Please enjoy and pass it along to anyone you know who could benefit or contribute!
Best Regards and welcome to Orange Grove Road,
Liz Graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She opened a fitness studio where she worked as a personal trainer, helping clients achieve their fitness goals while developing a passion for holistic health. After having children, Liz became a full-time homemaker. She went on to complete all but a few classes toward a degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College when they mysteriously shut down, leaving her unable to complete the degree. She now uses the knowledge gained, caring for her family and her little homestead, as holistically and sustainably as possible.