Lana was raised in the Finger Lakes region of central New York in the historic town of Auburn. Her parents bought an old farmhouse that sat in the middle of 16 acres when she was young.
Lana recalled, “It was very wholesome and organic growing up on the homestead. We were always kept busy helping with one thing or the other.”
Living in the country required the whole family to maintain a slew of chores and projects on a daily basis. Lana’s father was a carpenter who never really took time off the job. Over the course of her childhood, that old farmhouse was transformed into a progressive settlement.
The practical and medicinal quality of plant life was a gift from Mother Nature that Lana and her family appreciated and utilized.
“We had an acre of herbs and flowers in our garden,” she said. “Going out to till the earth was routine.”
They also relied on community members to obtain fresh milk and other essentials. Remembering how she used to feed the geese and check the chickens for eggs, Lana laughed.
“It was like living at the Little House on the Prairie, we had the big potbelly stove and everything!”
Instead of sending Lana away to public school, her parents decided it was morally important to teach her how to live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Her mother was a homeschool teacher through Christian Liberty Academy, and the classroom tripled in size after the births of her younger brother and sister. Although her parents felt they were raising their children the right way, it was viewed by many as an unethical upbringing back then.
A typical day of school on the homestead began with miscellaneous chores and hitting the books for a few hours. When it was time for break, Lana and her siblings would run around in the hilly woods to climb trees and build forts. Their mother would take them on regular hikes outside to enjoy nature and learn about various species of wildlife.
Although very family-oriented, Lana felt isolated and always wished to have more friends. Her first big trip away from home was traveling across the country – from New York to California – to visit Grandma in Granada Hills with the family. They stopped to see many sites along the way, and spent quite some time in the Petrified Forest. They stayed in California for six months, but Lana did not want to leave.
They hardly ever left the homestead, and there she was basking in the glory of opportunity.
Soon after they returned home, Lana received her wish for more exposure to people and friends – though probably not the way she expected. Between the years of 6th grade to 12th grade, she went to public school. Due to family circumstances, she ended up switching schools a lot, which prevented her from making many lasting relationships.
Upon graduation, Lana enrolled in a local community college to study psychology. She had always been interested in the inner workings of the human mind, and felt compelled to help people with psychological disorders.
“I feel for people who have a hard time being happy because of illnesses that limit their capabilities,” she said.
Her passion to help others through difficulty was beginning to take shape, and discovering her true natural talents was soon to come.
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