Thursday, August 27, 2009


My recent visit with my cousin in Oregon caused me to really take a step back and examine things. He's got about 3 acres of gorgeous land. A creek runs through it, he has blackberries, thimble berries, salmon berries, and huckleberries. He's a self-sufficient kind of guy. He can fix anything. He can make just about anything. He has no concept of the fear of failure. Oh how I envy him!

For a year or so now, I've had this quiet nagging voice in the back of my head asking me what I'm doing. What am I doing with my life, with my family's life? Is this all there is to it? Just wake up, go to work, come home, be a consumer? Am I satisfied with that? Is that the life I want my children to have?

Spending that time with my cousin seems to have made that nagging voice a tad louder, a tad more _confident_.

But I'm just so darned comfortable here in my modern life. I like my modern conveniences -- every one of them. I love that we have some disposable income (hello new camera!) and some of the "freedoms" that affords us.

But at what cost? We have our three urban chickens and our 30 square feet of vegetable garden, but that's hardly a dent in our carbon footprint, mere lip service.

We have our comfy excuses for not making a radical change in lifestyle: We're not getting any younger. Our kids will have a more comfortable life. What if we fail?

But that voice...

Lately we find ourselves having discussions that start with "If we did sell everything and go buy some land..." Like we are discussing it by approaching it from an obscure angle. We're joking, but we're not. Occasionally I'll grouse about how I don't have any skills that will translate "after the apocalypse" -- things I could do to earn a living if the economy every totally collapses. "You can cook and sew and stuff," I complain, "but all I can do is manual labor. There won't be much call for Technical Writers..."

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