Friday, December 5, 2008

A Week Ends...and I ramble

Ok, I am limping along with the computer now at home. Seems I can at least reinstall the modem by bypassing this and that in the gene pool of the OS here. We'll see how long that lasts. It's aggravating, to say the least. Stupid technology.

Today is meat and fabric here.

Yes, quite a combination, I know. I have to get some things stitched up and off the "waiting" pile here. Of course, I say that knowing that as soon as the "waiting" pile is lessened, I'll start cutting and rebuilding it again.

The meat, well, that's a given. I tell you, I've seen and handled more raw meat that a person needs to lately. We may well go vegetarian for several months....my prideful side wants to see that pantry filled with the fruits of this bounty for a while before anyone dare touch a jar.

I have all the pipe and such needed to fire up that cookstove now. I'm no carpenter, though, so it's not getting done. We need to remove a window, reframe it with the spacer pipe sleeve, enclose it and then install my pipe. Sounds so easy, doesn't it? Well, I won't even attempt it -- it's been far too cold at night, and only in the middle 40's during the day to pull out a window and not have a clue from that point! I'm not a patient person though...I fight God on that all the time...I don't know that I won't attempt to do it before Dewey gets home again for Christmas!

Why do you homestead?

What a loaded answer that question could produce! Everyone has different visions that have led them to that word homestead. Some days I know I don't homestead at all. Not by anyone's description. I have one foot and half the toes on the other in the world around me. Other days, I just know I am not only on that path, but running down it full bore.

If I went off the grid today, bugged out and left society completely, we would not last long at all. We'd half-starve before next harvest due to very bad planning on my part, we'd freeze in the winter because I have not moved strongly enough to alternative anything, and I'd have a definite mutiny brewing within a short time because I have not trained well enough, and I have allowed far too much from the outside into my home.

Why do I draw myself a connection with the word homestead? Simply put, I live in the country because it's where I belong. I've always felt that way. Yes, once upon a time, I had visions of a great warehouse apartment in the center of New York City, smack in the middle of life and concrete. I just knew that that was the place for a dancer-to-be. LOL...that was long, long ago. I couldn't find my ballet positions, let alone execute them now if my life depended on it! Not to mention my tu-tu would be more akin to a six-six or something :o)

But, common sense (and reality) prevailed upon me to be a country gal instead. I am a combination of Olivia Walton and Ma Ingalls, with a good dose of Ma Kettle thrown in for good measure. Since first married, and even a bit beforehand, I have envision my family living out...way out off the beaten path. I have always wanted to be far into the country. Rural beyond rural. I pictured a small cabin, nothing fancy or elaborate, just cozy and practical. I could see the barn yards, the fenced areas here and there. I saw several garden plots, even some pretty areas of just useless-but-eye-appealing flowers. My days would be filled with the simple but necessary tasks of Ma ingalls...survival tasks, to be sure, but done without the drudgery of what some tasks bring me to mind of today.

I also envisioned my husband, our leader and provider, being much closer to home with his work. Everything was a family affair, from building to animal husbandry to church going. Everything was so intertwined, not a single thread could be coaxed away alone. Maybe we were off the grid, maybe not. That isn't important really. It's how that grid is used and the importance it plays in our daily life that matters, really.

There wasn't a sense of urgency in my dreams. Things flowed along together in a simple drifting of importance. No one complained about doing this duty or that. It had to be done. Rural beyond rural depends on everyone working together no matter what. There wasn't any intrusion from outside things...like computers, televisions, radios or people. Family life and family time was guarded strongly, as strong as any military base might be. Dad and Mom were the gate-keepers, and anything coming in was suspect and thoroughly analyzed for the better good.

I imagined long days of working side by side, Dad, Mom and children. I imagined talkative family meals where the plans and goals of the homestead were always top of the conversation. Where after dinner, other plans were made...a quiet walk together, a peaceful rock on the porch watching children run around in the yard, quiet humming as a baby was rocked to sleep.

But, my present reality is a bit different. Not that I havve foregone those first dreams really, but they have adjusted to meet the life around me more than I cared for them to. My life is far more directed by the ebb and flow of the world around me than I like and I don't see a clear way to move out of that. I see some paths here and there, and I work toward steering toward them, but there just isn't a light at the end of that tunnel just yet. I don't see the same distance I once did in my visions of homestead and family. I have muddied visions because of the worldly influences that surround me daily.

My reality at present is against everything I have ever wanted. I have a husband working in another state. I truly feel as though I am the single parent I always felt a bit of grief for growing up. I just never saw 'parent' and 'single' as going together as it should. Rose-colored glasses, I know, in this society of divorce and plain old single parenting without any marriage involved. In my heart, it's always been Dad and Mom together, though, a force so strong that nothing short of death could pull apart.

My rural beyond rural homestead is close to being the dream I once had. We could get more rural here, but it would take some looking and hunting to do so. We are removed by a mere handful of miles from small town living, but our surroundings are hundreds of miles apart right here in sense. There is a vast difference in the folks living in that close small town and the folks living in another decade here on this mountainside.

I also don't have the strength of connection I thought we'd have to church and family. Extended family is on the other side of the moon in practice and in motive. I think that is why I like reading about the Amish and such. There is close community and closer family ties. I don't have that, and I know it won't ever happen. I can still imagine it, though. It would be wonderful to have.

So, why do I homestead? Because I have always felt a pull to the land. A pull to nature around me. A pull to peace and quiet, simple living and no-fuss existence. Because I know that this world offers nothing of any substance. Sure, I have been goaded into using many of the trappings the world has to offer...my large van, the grocery store, the Super WalMart, this computer...but my heart just isn't in it. Never has been. My heart is in a garden, a root cellar, a full pantry. My heart is at my sewing machine, in the school books we teach our children with, in the barnyard and in the hay field.

My heart is in my husband and that original dream of homestead and family...still. My heart is learning Scripture as God breathed it into existence. To not blend it with the implanted thoughts and theories of the world around me, but to take it simply for what it says, and what it whipsers into my heart of hearts and into my soul.

My heart is to simply live a quiet and peaceful life without intrusions from that which surrounds me daily in this life. To maintain my focus...to find my focus again. I want to unplug and disconnect from all that surrounds me.

Is that even really possible these days? I just don't know.

2 comments:

Beverly said...

I love your blog Deanna. You echo so many of the same things I think about. I'm a combo of Olivia Walton, Ma Ingalls and Granny Clampett! We do live in the middle of nowhere in a 115 year old log cabin, but we are caretakers, it's not our own land, but we're having fun anyways. I'm glad you are back online, you've been missed!!

Mama Ant said...

Wow! This was a great post. Thank you for sharing. This is how I feel as well. We live out but not too far and we will never be totally off the grid that I can imagine but we long to live simply and peaceful and do our own growing of food and meats to know what we are putting into our bodies. Not to rely on the grocery so much and other things. It is hard.

Just wanted to say thanks for this post. It is so close to my heart!

Hugs Deanna!

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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