A place for all seasons | Living the Country Life
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A place for all seasons

This Michigan family finds beauty on their land every month of the year.
  • Missing the countryside

    Dean and Sari Solden never imagined themselves living in the country. Dean grew up on the New Jersey Shore, and Sari spent her youth in Detroit. Together they made a home in San Francisco before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan. After a two-week vacation in the pastoral English countryside, they realized they were missing the country.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • A pastoral dream

    The couple began reading the rural property ads in the local newspaper and talked to real estate agents about finding the right property. They found a big remodeled farm house and four ponds on 20 acres within 10 minutes of Ann Arbor, and began getting excited for the move. Pulling up to the property, Dean and Sari saw that the driveway was lined with tall pillar-like black walnut trees making a rising gentle curve toward the house. Two swans gliding in the pond came to greet them. They took a short stroll up the hill to the pasture where they petted curious sheep through the fence.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Tractor ride

    What clinched the deal, for Dean, at least, was a ride on the tractor. The owner offered to make him a "really good deal" on the tractor f they bought the house.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • The right decision

    Convinced, the Soldens made an offer that was accepted, and they moved out to the country by the end of the summer. City friends bet them they would only last a month. After four years, the Soldens are sure they made the right decision, even though the transition has been quite challenging at times.<br>Every season comes with its own set of rural jobs for Dean, including cutting firewood in the winter and mowing the pasture in the spring.<br>

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • The views

    Sari gets pleasure and contentment from the lovely views on the property, especially from her deck overlooking one of the ponds.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Sheep chores

    City life sure didn't include as many daily chores, says Dean, but he loves it. There is a calmness in the rural setting that settles in your bones.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Calmness

    City life sure didn't include as many daily chores, says Dean, but he loves it. There is a calmness in the rural setting that settles in your bones.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Converted outbuilding

    An accomplished jazz musician and composer, Dean converted a farm outbuilding into a music studio. His newest works are influenced by the sounds of the countryside.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
  • Four seasons

    Every season on the farm provides its own set of challenges, says Dean. He and Sari are writing a book about their experiences.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 30, 2012
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