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For Dick and Kathi Immel, life was changing at an uncomfortably fast pace. The Immels had started a family soon after Dick completed his service in the Korean War then took a job as the director of housing at Chico State in Northern California to be near Dick's parents. Now it's 1966, and they discover that they are not prepared to let go of the "father knows best" approach to life that the students in Chico have so unceremoniously shoved aside. Situations like student protests and drugs abound. Dick has not been trained to deal with these issues, and Kathi, prone to psychological breakdowns, can't deal with the constant stress. A switch to teaching at a junior high school calms things down. But then dread sets in when Merreli, their ordinarily cheerful fifth-grade daughter, comes home one day disturbed about peer pressure to try drugs. Looking for an escape to a place where good old-fashioned family values still thrive, Dick becomes interested in the "back-to-the-land" movement advocated by the new magazine "Mother Earth News." Before they know it, the whole family of five is packed into the Plymouth station wagon and heading to Maine. The next decade is filled with life lessons-some humorous and others, deadly serious-as the young family discovers that the "simple life" is not quite so simple after all. Although the Immels are dubbed Damn Californians by the neighbor who helps them out of one predicament after another, they learn what granite strength of character it takes to survive the severe winters and thrive on the rocky land so far away from California's sunny shores. Dick Immel's matter-of-fact tone, down-to-earth sense of humor, and gifted storytelling combine to make his memoir a delightful read celebrating the pioneering determination that is one of America's most enduring strengths. It's inspiring, for if this bunch can start a new life and overcome so many unforeseen obstacles, so can you!