Friday, January 14, 2005

What's new here.

What am I reading: Ferenc Mate's _A Reasonable Life_: Love it, love it, love it!!! How have I not read this before? Its a rant against...well...modernity, and it is totally brilliant. I don't always like other people's rants (infringes on my territory, I guess ;-), but I love this one. Run out and get a copy. Be a better person than me and buy it new, if you can.

What am I listening to: "Best of Solomon Burke" - really good bass voices just make me want to weep with joy, or throw myself onto the person who has them. Seriously, ex-spouse Matt's attraction was in large part his amazing bass voice. So Solomon Burke makes me seriously happy.

What are we eating, and where did it come from?: Oh, you don't want to know. All the rain we've had flooded even the pop-up greenhouses that are supposed to mean winter greens. Forget it. It mostly came from the supermarket, its probably doused in poison.
Oh, we're still eating our own pickles, kimchi, jams and squash, but that' about it.

What's new?: Grandma comes back from 5 weeks in CA Sunday, I start seeds next week, we're starting to debate new critter acquisitions for the year - another dog? Goats? How many more chickens? More geese? Turkeys? Barn cats? Honeybees? Definitely no more ducks. Sheep? We're still waiting for Isaiah to walk - he's been on the verge forever. We think he's waiting for Grandma.

The big thing that's new, however, is that Eric and I are (vaguely, generally, sometime in the future) considering moving. Now that shouldn't shock anyone who knows me - I'm into change, the more radical the better. But anyone who has met Eric should be stunned into unconsciousness by the idea that *my husband* would contemplate moving. And I admit, I've been very happy here. This is entirely in the "maybe one of these days stage" - first of all, I doubt Grandma will go for it. Second, Eric would need to get a job at a small rural college in this area - or I would. Finally, the right house and land would have to be available, at the right price. It requires a confluence of factors that seems extremely unlikely - the job, the house, Grandma's consent.

So why are we even talking about it? Because the one thing we both despise about rural living is *CAR OWNERSHIP* and we're fantasizing about getting out of the car game. The other thing we both hate is debt and high taxes, and we've got a little of both (small mortgage on the property, and growing taxes). We'd like to live off grid, and on the cheap if possible. Right now, that's not really feasible.

But if Eric could get a job at one of the small SUNYs (or I could) or Community colleges in a small community with walkable/bikeable/horseandbuggiable resources available within four or five miles of farmland, we could give up the car entirely. We'd probably keep something old and semi-functional with no reg or insurance for racing children to the hospital in the most major of emergencies, but otherwise, no car. Oh, we'd probably rent once in a while to visit family, maybe even barter produce for carpools in nasty weather, but oh, what joy. Even walking to work in sleet and snow would be a considerable improvement over the fucking car. Less convenient? Sure. Happier, healthier, cheaper, less smelly, less dependent, better? Absolutely.

We'd love to be completely mortgage free, and frankly, I think after Grandma is gone I want a smaller house. The new addition gives us lots of space, but I'd rather live in a smaller house and be more crowded, and have less to keep clean. And I want a good barn, land that isn't as wet, and maybe more of it around me.

These things are just fantasy. I write them down because sometimes, if you are very lucky or you make things happen right, fantasies come true. We love our home, we love our life, I have a hard time thinking about walking away from this beautiful place and our wonderful neighbors, from the quiet and the trees beneath which are buried some of our beloved animals. I'd be grieved to lose it. But the dream, the one where we are never more dependent upon gas prices, never again in any kind of debt, and free to live on less, and thus earn little and live more, draws me in.

Sharon

6 comments:

Rurality said...

Hi Sharon, glad to find your blog! I am right there with you on the "no more ducks". I believe they are the messiest creatures ever invented. And one of the most aggravating.

We want to get goats but lack proper fencing and shelter at present.

I have to admit that I already ordered some more chickens. :)

Misi said...

Hi Sharon, came into your blog for the "100 things" list and am delighted with the rest of it. I just had to tell you that I read Mate's "A Reasonable Life" several years ago and I LOVED it. He's so ferocious and opinionated, bless him!
Oh and hey, I believe that a it's better to buy 2nd hand no matter what... but I guess you meant as a way to support the awesome author.
Just had to say you sound so much like me and I noticed that we're both Leos - not that I'm "into" all that too much... but there's got to be something to it, huh? Other than that I guess I'm old enough to be your mother. In fact, I have a daughter who's 38 and a son your age.

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