As of today, my two children and I have been in the “Shire” for four whole weeks. We conveniently landed in our new home after the last snowfall and before the hot humid summer. Mostly I’m buttering my kids up for what I know is ahead of us. Ticks. Mosquitoes. Blizzards. My son has promised to shovel snow. He thinks it’ll be no big deal… Score!
We left California--where I spent my entire life--for good on February 24, the day after the judge let me off of formal probation for a felony I was given for attending a birth in 2007 while I was a midwifery student. I was not allowed to leave Los Angeles County while I was on probation and was restricted from my work as a midwife. Because of my felony, I was unable to find work in a county with a nearly 20% unemployment rate. My income had decreased to one-tenth of what it had been before my arrest. I cleaned toilets, babysat, washed cars, ran errands... all for friends, because strangers ran criminal background checks.