The dream awaits...

I quit a good job and moved my folks in so I could take care of them in their final years. It was stressful as hell, it shredded me emotionally, it made me suck it up and do things I never thought I would have the courage to deal with. And.....I would do it all again. I think I now know the full meaning of 'a labor of love.' My folks are gone now. I miss them like hell. For all of their flaws and quirks they were, one of my greatest blessings in life.

Now they're gone. The job is done. But where do I go from here? I've been out of the work force now more than six years. I'm at this crossroads looking back on what I've done in life and then looking forward and wondering how to take my next step. So I did a lot of thinking, soul searching, trying to picture my retirement years and what they would look like.

My husband and I have spent the last few years going green. It started with little things like giving up a dozen different cleaners to using only non-toxic options like vinegar and baking soda. I started researching and moving to homemade alternatives for things like deodorant, shampoo, moisturizers. I already was a person who valued slow cooking long before it became a trendy buzz word. Then I started going one step further by milling organic grain and dehydrating things. I have yet to start canning and making my own cheese but it's coming.

The more we embraced these things the more we came to realize we were heading for a simpler existence, like the pioneers of long ago. The only difference was that we have the advantage of the internet to help us find the information that will be the basis for our learning. At some point we realized that living in the city, we had come as far as we could go. To really simplify our lives required a mini farm. Neither one of us has ever lived on a farm so we knew this would be a gigantic change for us. But we dreamed of growing as much of our food as we could, of going out in the morning to get eggs from the chickens, and to milk a goat for what will become milk, cheese, yogurt, maybe even butter. We longed to be free of our shackles to the great corporations that hold everyone captive with the necessities of life; power, water, heat. Oh! to have a woodlot to stoke a wood stove. To have solar panels and wind turbines to provide our power and a well to give us our water. To be free from the shackles of dependence in favor of the freedom of self-reliance. It's a big project whose magnitude is sometimes daunting. But it starts with land in the country.

At this moment I am two weeks away from starting that journey. It starts with a three day drive to Prince Edward Island in a tiny little Echo that will also transport two cats and one freaked out bird. Thanks to the huge generosity of two very special friends, my journey will pause at a lovely cottage in Souris while I seek employment and hunt down a house. After that, the learning curve begins in earnest. For now, the dream awaits.

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