So much has happened in the past 2 years. Leaving work, surgery, new projects begun at the farm as I have healed up both mentally and physically, brought me back to the blog to share what has been going on and kind of where we are going. The end of this month marks my 11th month post back surgery. It is going very well, but, I fear it will never again be what one would consider “normal”. My new routine now includes a great deal of stretching and bending is a thing of the past. It takes a considerable amount of time in the morning to get up and loosen up so that I can face the day. The farm has kept me active, although I am having to get myself back into a regular exercise routine in addition in order to keep up both my stamina and strength. Having left work a little over a year ago and having had my injury sideline me for most of the first year, I have only now begun to figure out what looking forward might mean. I was a specialist in retirement planning and have had to remind myself to practice what I preached: Never make any major life decisions in retirement during the first year. Well, considering that I spent close to 6 months of that first year flat on my back and healing, it wasn’t too difficult to let that sleeping dog lie. But I have recovered to a great extent and now am now starting to fashion a life going forward. A life of just leisure would make me insane. The question to be answered was, “What does this farm life look like now that it is the only thing I have to concern myself with going forward?”
Retirement was very sudden and almost imposed on me. I was sick of being lied to by my company as well as the economic and political world. If you care about those you serve it creates an aire of fear and anxiety that eats away at you. There was fear about so many things I couldn’t control, not to mention the lack of understanding people had if I made a mistake. Fortunately, those were few and far between and I never had any complaints, but it wore me down to the point that when I was injured physically, mentally I knew I just couldn’t take it anymore. For those whom I served for some 30 years, I simply cannot and will not apologize for how I chose to survive this. I am still alive, I am healed, I am moving forward, and am able to continue to be a husband and father. There wasn’t much I could do or would do differently if again faced with the same circumstances. In fact, I’d have probably done it faster. The physical proof that the changes were positive is the fact that I’m losing weight, my endurance is picking back up, my mind is quieter and my blood pressure is down. I was mis-placed in finance and I am happy to be rid of it.
So the way that our new life is progressing is to a simpler lifestyle. We are embracing a self-sufficient way of living and working to move farther and farther away from this truly insane society. In a way it is a dropping out. I cannot abide the news any longer and it seems that there is nothing but hate, lies, and greed running everything this country does. We have dubbed the farm “The Island for Misfit Toys” from the Rudolph Christmas special. Indeed, it is rare to have people in one’s life that actually “get you” without pre-conditions. We welcome those that also share such a longing for a simpler and old fashioned life and I think that my life going forward will be to keep going deeper in that direction.
I think that as a society we are facing catastrophic pressures on too many fronts. One of them somehow is going to eventually give; be it economic (my first bet), political, geo-political, peak-oil, warfare, resource depletion, over-population or human extinction due to human induced climate change. One cannot prepare for every contingency, but 95% of this country is completely unprepared for even a 2 week emergency. My assertion is that it will last much much longer. It isn’t a question of “if” but “when”. I guess that is the financial planner inner voice coming out. After all, financial preparedness included adequate insurance and several months of cash-reserves. I would now include in that, non-paper currency like metals, and as much food and water stores as you can muster. As my wife told my doctor at an appointment when I had completely melted down over this, when he asked why I think that something like this is going to happen (I think out of concern for himself, not having ever really heard it before), she said, “He knows to much.”
So now that the majority of the storm has passed and we are now settled into a new routine and lifestyle, the lifestyle itself is taking shape. I keep informed about the economic scene because we are still a monetary society, I have tried desperately to filter out the absolutely child-ish and hateful political scene (I can’t even think what my life would be like having to be an advisor during this “administration”. They are simply the most horrible, ignorant and hateful people I have ever seen at the helm). We are planting again, livestock is back on the land, and I am even learning some crafting. Not only are we trying to become more self-sustaining, much of what we are learning now has to do with going pre-electric. Learning how to preserve food the way people did prior to refrigeration (smoking, drying, root-cellaring, etc.). Not all of this is in some grand “prepper” scheme, its that we find these lost skills far more interesting and fulfilling than the world of screens, gossip, social media, and the endless tennis court volleying of one side vs the other. Locally there isn’t much of a like minded community out there, but we are hoping to help build it. After all, your neighbors may soon be your only source of community. Wouldn’t it be nice if you actually knew who they were?
So in the next few posts I will try to get the blog back up to current. Then going forward, I’ll try to be more punctual about what we are doing and how we are doing it, and why. The past two years were devastating. Going forward all we want is to do is live like Hobbits, live the middle path, and enjoy a simple existence far from the deafening roar of a society gone completely off the rails.
This is so not what I expected to read on a farm blog, but is very interesting in a very different way. Without getting too carried away, I will say that I left society in 2006 for a variety of reasons, but society would not allow it. I could not live the lifestyle that I wanted to because of all the laws and restrictions and such, even though my lifestyle would have had far less impact on the environment than what I would have been required to do. I literally could not build a small home because it would not have been consistent with the expensive homes in the neighborhood. At a time when neighbors brag about what they do to use electricity, building smaller and less consumptive homes was not an option. Building a home without electricity is illegal. Fireplaces are illegal. We are supposed to clear the forest around our homes for fire protection, but too many of the trees are protected. (I am an arborist, so I know which trees are worth protecting.) Everything was prescribed, including building materials that I am allergic to. Ultimately, I lost my home. I still can not recover from the disgust with how society works. Conformity is required. I understand the need for building codes and such, and consider myself very compliant when and where necessary. However, I also believe that this is America, where we have certain inalienable rights. Goodness! I said that I would not get carried away.
I’m very sorry to hear about your struggles, although it’s not the first time I’ve heard this. Fortunately we are out in the plains and are relatively free to develop the place as we please. Keep searching. This lifestyle isn’t for the feint of heart, but it is worth all of the effort.
Jon glad to hear things are going well for you.Looking forward to hearing more about the farm life. Take care .
Thanks Lamar! So sorry for the silent absence but I had to regroup. Let’s talk sometime. I miss my Lamar calls and getting caught up. My best to Joyce to! Hope Florida is treating you well!