Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Real Reason I Gave Up Television Was the Stupid Theme Songs Still Stuck in My Brain

Some days I get up in the morning, and I look around and I think how very, very lucky I am. The actual thought is "I love." That's all. It's not a fill in the blank. I can't narrow it any further than that, because it's everything and everywhere I look.

I love.

I feel filled with it, almost to the point that I want to cry, but it's so amazing ... whatever it is.

I love.

I have an amazing life, a wonderful husband, beautiful children. The garden is bursting with life. We have the bunnies and the ducks and the chickens, and everyone is happy and doing their little thing.

I love.

Most of the time I do work that I enjoy - or at least that I feel has meaning beyond just giving me a paycheck.

I love.

We have the same concerns that everyone else has. The proverbial hammer may be ready to fall, and Deus Ex Machina may not have a job next month. He's been working at 2/3rds pay for the past two months, which means we've been living right at our means - spending nearly every penny that we make ... and maybe even a little extra. There won't be one more month of mortgage payments without having to dip into our savings. We discussed it last night, and at first calculation, if he lost his job, at our current rate of spending, we could make it to November.

But on doing the numbers again, we realized we'd have a little longer - not much, but a little ... at our current rate of spending.

He said, we might have to put our house on the market and find something cheaper, if it came to that, and I said, if it comes to that we won't be in any position to buy another house. The time to have done something that drastic was last year, when the job situation was more secure. The key factor in securing approval for a mortgage is being able to prove the ability to repay that loan - if he doesn't have a job, we can't show that ;).

Of course, last year housing prices were still pretty high, and it would have been foolish for us to sell this house and try to buy something cheaper. Cheaper would have been smaller than the 1500 sq ft we have right now, which might not have been a bad thing, but it would also have been less land than the quarter acre we have, probably in the middle of town where we couldn't have our chickens, and likely an "as is handyman special", which would be okay, because Deus Ex Machina is very handy ... but not okay, because *I'm* not very handy, and he is very busy - too busy to be rehabbing our house.

Or it would have been more land, less house, handyman special way out in the middle of nowhere, and we wouldn't be able to consider riding bikes. We would have been tied to our cars.

I've probably put too much thought into it, but that's where I've been for a long time. My mantra has been keep the house at all costs. In fact, the project I've been working on for the past few months really centers on that premise - on the supposition that in the hardest of times, those who fared the best were those who had a secure place to live with a little land on which to grow food.

Every peice of literature, every article, every book that discusses surviving economic collapse supports my belief. In fact, if we're being completely honest, my belief comes from having read all of that material, and the list of literature I've read with a theme of poverty is long.

I've thought about it a lot - some might say I've been obsessive ... I know, me, obsess - bah! (*grin*) ..., but because I've spent so much time considering it, I've come to the realization that we have a low cost or no cost alternative to every thing we spend money on right now, except the house, and if we were to switch to our low cost/no cost alternatives for everything else, we'd only need to earn enough money to pay the mortgage with just a bit extra for things like feed for our animals during the winter.

But the only reason I can be so confident is because we have this house, with this quarter acre and our animals, and I live in this amazing part of the country where there is *enough* of everything out there free for the taking - enough water, enough forageable food, enough wild game ... enough.

I wake up each morning with the realization that if we have enough *money* for the mortgage, we will always have enough of everything else to have a pretty damned good life.

And I look around me at all that I can claim as mine, and ...

I love.


P.S. I thought I should explain the title of the post. It is so named, because while I was writing it, the theme to the 1970s show, The Love Boat, kept going through my mind. Like I said, stupid theme songs ;).

And, thanks to everyone who has expressed concern, but like many of you also said, we will be fine. The post was just to say that I have an amazing life - even with what might not be the best circumstances, my life is incredible, and I'm so very lucky ... so very blessed ;).

10 comments:

  1. Can I say AMEN!?!

    I would like to keep the homestead, but we have worked out the money thing, and not feasible. But I am lucky enough to be able to take up an offer on larger more fertile acreage. So many of us are falling (I didn't say failing) it's hard to hear others say things are getting better. I don't see it, I only see things getting worse. blah. . . if there is anything I might be able to do to help, just ask, please.

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  2. I have a friend who has been unemployed since last fall. She lives with her parents on their homestead. She helps to plant their rather extensive garden and she has managed to keep some money coming in by doing odd jobs: elder care, house sitting, house cleaning, baby sitting. She is subsisting in the informal economy. It may not be the most ideal place for her to be but it is the most secure.

    This is why you have prepared and thought about this eventuality. It can be unsettling to find yourself there. But this is why you have done the work.

    And, yes, if there is anything I can do to help just let me know.

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  3. What a beautiful posting. It certainly puts all things in perspective for me. I can't say "thank you" enough. May you be blessed.

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  4. Great post! I live in the informal economy and have had to determine "enough" for us. It's not been easy but we're getting there. I've actually been homeless, not fun, so having the homestead is something I'm obsessive about. I hear you loud and clear and you are R.I.G.H.T.

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  5. If I read about your situation on any other blog--I would worry about that person and their family. HOwever, I have no DOUBT you'll make it work. If the rest of America was as sensible as you and your family, then I really doubt we'd be where we're at.

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  6. Wendy, scary situation! But like Bezzie I trust that you guys will be ok.

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  7. The post is beautiful, Wendy. It is good to love your home and know that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way....

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  8. It sounds like the PMA is there (positive mental attitude) so the rest, while perhaps not easy, will at least be OK.

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  9. Keeping our home is what I obsess about too. There are so many variables that go into whether it's possible or not, if things get really bad. I can live without almost everything else, but we've put so much into this place, I don't want to start again. And in spite of it not being "the perfect place," I've come to love this spot.

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  10. Your positive spirit is so amazing! I so wish I had that ability to just love. just love.

    Anyway, I wish you all the best and like Phelan said, if there is any way I can help, please let me know. I may not live in Maine, but I am still your community!

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