Birth of a Homestead
Just shy of ten acres, she has lain undisturbed since the tall trees blanketing her first set root. By appearances, it has been a few year and then some. With this week’s passing, new stewards have taken ownership; it is time to wake.
As the great Victorian John Ruskin said, “Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.” As I’ve alluded in previous entries, this journey is fraught with complexity. Every step brings with it new challenge. Now we have the land or, more appropriately, we own a solid ten acre wall of trees on a piece of land that we would very much like to befriend. A few Oliphants and Ents would do the trick. Alas, I am left contending with bulldozer operators and begging pardon from our old friend, The Lorax.
Here is a rough idea of what lies ahead in the coming the weeks for the yet-to-be-named slumbering lady, the homestead to be:
Meanwhile, back at the motel…(Shriners unite!…Ray Stevens)
Negotiations with moving companies have come to a close and, to kick off the move in a truly tree-hugger fashion, we have requested that our pods be delivered on Earth Day, 22 April. Yes, you heard me, pods. We debated buying our own sea container for later use on the island, using a full service packing company door-to-door, and even U-Hauling our goods cross country with us to launch them westward from California, but–in the end–pods resonated with our anemic wallets, and I like the privilege of now referring to our small clan as “pod people.” (If you are not familiar with the use of pack-it-yourself pods for big moves, give it a whirl on the ole google machine to explore the fascinating range of options out there. We have cast our lot with U-pack.)
Having previously relocated the family across the Pacific and elsewhere with the great convenience of full service packing and moving companies, all at Uncle Sam’s expense, it has been quite a learning experience to orchestrate this foray on our own. Strategies of the common man–those who move cross-planet without financial aid and physical assistance of their employer–are myriad. Some, it turns out, sell everything they own, move at little cost (to include stowing away on a ship), and repurchase what they need at their new location. Others try to carry as much as they can personally with their own means (a truck or rented van or a pack mule) and scrape by from there. Then there are the pod people and several other varieties in between. Based on our past experience, and what we have learned through this ordeal, it is astonishing to think about how many tax dollars are going toward the shuttling of government and military families around the globe to preserve the empire.
All this said, the virtual yard sale and slow pack out continue, and we can now commiserate with Old Mother Hubbard:
The Eldest Speaks
As a follow-on to last week’s premier guest interview with our youngest, here are some thoughts from the opposite end of the offspring continuum:
What are you looking forward to in Hawaii?
“Surfing, Hawaiian food, and meeting people.”
What are you concerned about regarding the big move?
“Not getting away from my parents because of homeschooling and having to live off campus at home when I start college. Not traveling and living abroad for a while.”
“The farm life ain’t for me.”
Outstanding this week were homemade individual pizzas at the fine abode of my good cousin Matt and his better-half, a kind of send-off as we wind down on the East Coast. Outstanding fare and company. Again I say arugula is an underrated topping. Huzzah!
We were also wowed by a look into the fascinating world of retirement living when we accompanied an aunt and uncle on a tour of a local continuing care community. In-house movie theatre and library, outstanding workout room with a full time trainer, white tablecloth dining with wine served three times a week, spacious rooms and closets, and activities every day. My youthful bride asked when we could apply for a pad.
And speaking of my lady love, we celebrated the passing of another year since the day she first graced this world. Still looking mighty fine… A batch of her popular grapefruit scented tallow balm was brought forth into being this week and stands ready for sale, along with a eucalyptus-peppermint version for achy joints, at a friend’s suggestion.
As for me, the stress of uncertainty presses like a smothering weight, but it exercises my faith. (And who doesn’t need an occasional spiritual workout?) Will two pods hold all of our junk? Will our cars survive the cross country drive? How long can we all live comfortably in that yurt and can we really build the kids tiny homes with our own hands? Is there any dirt under all those trees and is it really fertile? When will the volcano next blow and which way will the lava flow? Who really shot J.R.?
More pressing is the fact that, with a poor man’s internet rig and no cable, I am many episodes behind on the History Channel’s Vikings (season two) and resigned to missing the debut of the new season of Game of Thrones in the coming days… Argh!
Presently, I will take my leave, but I first gift you a few words of Emerson (post below) and free clickable passage to a unique, sustainable corner of the internet that will surely capture your attention if you have ever found youself pondering the word “bokashi.”