Rhenda in the redwoods

A Tree Without Roots

Jim and Rhenda in a TreeWe love trees.

We recently read an article about trees. A tree with well developed deep roots can withstand a great wind storm without falling over.

We watched many trees with shallow root systems topple over in heavy wind and over moist ground in Oregon.

A tree depends on a strong root system to reach down into the ground and receive nourishment and water to live a long strong live.

Some trees develop a long deep tap root with smaller roots coming off that main root.

As they grow, there is very little visible growth above ground for the first few years as the growth takes place below the surface, deep in the ground.


Some trees develop deep lateral roots that anchor them firmly to the ground.

Trees that produce a deep taproot can handle most any soil conditions while other trees may fail. They can take drought, cold, heat, or dry.

The taproot keeps them upright and strong. The tree adjusts where ever it is planted.

Same kind of different as me

This week we watched an amazing movie. Same kind of different as me. We highly recommend this true story movie. The subject of homelessness is a focus.

In this next section, please do not think we are callus or showing disrespect for the people in the world who are homeless. We are not comparing our rich full life to those who have no home. We are simply using the word as a metaphor.

As we went to bed that night after watching the movie, we had the weight of the decisions we are making about a place to live. Jim said with great thought, “We are homeless. We have no place that is ours. No place where the roots are deep. We have no tap root.” Our roots are shallow and allow the tree to topple easily.

We both have moved our entire lives.

Prior to our marriage and after the Air Force we continued to move with no roots, anchor, or grounded purpose.

We swayed where the job might be.

We moved where family was.

We moved when we got tired of the stress of the job.

We had no tap root in our life, so we had no reason to stay put.

Unfortunately our children were also never allowed to have roots.

Thankfully, They have made their own roots and for this we are grateful, even though their roots are scattered over five different states,


we still find ourselves a tree without roots.

This time,

we choose a place where we can learn how to grow a taproot deep within the earth.

Not because we are changing to something better.

Not because we don’t like what we have. We don’t really have anything right now.

Not because we don’t have a job or are getting a new job.

Not because we are moving because of a family member.

It has been five months since we left Oregon. We have looked, thought, prayed, searched, settled on, become unsettled, looked, and looked and looked. We have seriously looked at Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Missouri.

They say,

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is now”.

But where? We are getting closer to knowing.

We have discovered that no place is perfect. We actually knew that all along. We also know that we need to find a place where we can drive in and feel good each time we do. We felt that way in Oregon, but it was not our place.

Interestingly enough in the reading we were doing on trees, the article stated, “A tree with a deep taproot does not transplant well.” We know this is true because many of our family members will never move.

This is where we are taking ourselves. We are really good gardeners. It is time that we allow the Master Gardener to lead us to our last garden where we will put our tap room deep into the ground.

We no longer want to be homeless.

We desire to stay put, sway in the wind, withstand the drought, the cold, heat, and obstacles that come our way. We think we will make fine trees with deep roots in a place to call home until the Master Gardener calls us Home.

3 thoughts on “A Tree Without Roots”

  1. What a wonderful blog! I loved reading it and I truly hope you find your permanent home and put down your taproot. Love your Youtube videos and reading your newsletters and blog. Thanks so much for sharing all that you share with us. Rhenda has helped me to begin eating healthier because of her showing us how easy it is to cook real food. Please add more cooking videos. Jim has helped inspire me to get back into exercising on a daily basis and I thank you for that. I am feeling so much better since I began and it makes me want to keep going.
    Have a blessed day!

  2. Thomas Thompson

    This was a very interesting read. You have to choose a place and make it your own. Adapt it your needs. No matter where it is. I’ve found that having family near is not always a blessing. Distance does make the heart grow fonder. I liked that book you recommended, The Dirty Life. Urban NY City to a North Country farm. When I put search parameters in to Zillow: up to $200K, 3+ bedroom, Houses, 2+ bath, 10+ acres, I get a lot of listings. Many would make excellent homesteads. It’s the other search criteria that are not put in to the search engine that make the final decision. All the things that make a vibrant community. Nearest family members. Support from church members, I would imagine is high on your search criteria. The list for for self-sustainability has a lot of common elements with prepping. So certain states are high on the list. Probably highest would be West Virginia.

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