This morning, a few friends dropped into Wildlands for coffee, fresh-baked cranberry almond scones, and some fig pickin’ from the 100-year-old tree out back.

The vibe was perfect. Women, figs, and a beautiful fall morning in Sacramento. I am still smiling ear to ear. So why post on this?

Well, you see, 5 years ago today, Ben rang me up from Australia and broke off our relationship. He ceased all communication; he did not answer a phone call, text message, or email ever again.

People can die from broken hearts; I firmly believe that. I buried myself in my career, breathed but didn’t live. There was no color, no sound, no life in me. I took care of the pets and Wildlands on autopilot. I had a few friends, but they were, for the most part, mutually exclusive, not part of a larger whole.

A year after my relationship ended, I still felt alone, crushed, and for the first time ever, I was lost. I considered selling Wildlands to move back East. I missed being a part of a community. I missed my friends, my sister. I gave myself an 18-month deadline to make Sacramento home or leave the west coast—not because I didn’t love CA, but because I didn’t feel I was a part of something more than just me…and well, I didn’t feel loved.

Then… a community began to form as I was folded into old-school Sacramento. It all started with this woman.

Some of you may know her. We became friends at the Sierra2 dog park. She introduced me to a few people and quite literally, my life in Sacramento transformed itself. This woman and the man next to her have enriched my life more than they probably know. Sappy, but true.

The few friends I had have become a part of this larger community, every person adding a layer of depth to my life’s colour and texture. It seems anymore, I can’t throw a rock without hitting someone I know or someone who knows a good friend—the beauty of a community’s interweb. There are good people here and they make Sacramento great.

Heather picking figs

This is a snapshot of my morning—a few ladies came over. We talked, laughed, and well, just had a Saturday morning. It wasn’t an organized event, we just got together.


That deadline of mine has come and gone. I have a community that rivals the one I had in Kent, Ohio during college— the one I left to wander the country in search of something more. A variety of people come and go through Wildlands now. I never know who to expect when there’s a knock at the door, but I know it’s going to be good. If I need help or simply want to make dinner, people show up. I didn’t have that for a long time.


On this day, I can’t help but smile. I appreciate each and every one of you who come through the front door or back gate. And I love you to pieces. I’m off now to go camping with two dear friends and their son. The black dogs are going to splash in a creek and meet a few goats.

As fall moves into winter, expect a few more of these pictorial posts— it’s going to be a crazy few months getting the backyard together, working on projects with friends at their homes, etc., and I plan on documenting all of it for you see, I am inspired again, not by life afar, but here. It’s ironic that on this day, I am present here at Wildlands, not wandering off to sentimental times of long ago.

Thank you for making Wildlands home.

xoxo JIG