Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things

Yesterday we made one of our bulk foods shopping trips.  It’s an hour and a half drive one way, so we don’t go but two or three times a year and when we do go, the car or truck is heavy with groceries.  Our pocketbook was much, much lighter.
I sometimes consider going back to work……for like ten seconds.  But the thought does cross my mind often as the extra income would be most welcome.  We had to make some major financial adjustments when we decided to move to our homestead - our income has literally been cut by 70% since we left the city.  And things aren’t 70% cheaper down here.  Most groceries are actually more expensive, especially the fresh items.  The only things that are cheaper here are property taxes and home prices, but since those were the two items that sucked the biggest portion of income from our wallets, it still made sense to move. 
But the biggest reasons for our move weren’t monetary in nature; if they were, we really screwed up.
We wanted a place with some elbow room.  Trees and hills and peace and quiet.  Some place where we could raise livestock without having to worry about conforming to some silly homeowner’s covenant.  A place where we could till up a huge patch of land and teach Rhiannon how to raise a garden.  Somewhere one could plink tin cans with a rifle and not have the cops show up at your door and arrest you for possessing a firearm.  A place where I could run outside in the middle of the day in nothing but my underwear, flailing my arms about and screaming at a baby goat that was munching on the leaves of a newly budded apple tree.  (Sorry about the mental picture.)
You can’t put a price tag on everything.  And even if you did slap a sticker on things like that, I wouldn’t sell it to you for twice that!
Well, maybe that baby goat……
So why do we do this?  You know, why do we do things the “hard” way.  Why give up a great-paying job to move to a hick town?  Why raise your own chickens when you can go to Walmart and buy one already butchered, plucked and packaged?  They also have eggs and milk and bread there you know.
I guess some people just don’t get it.
But then again, they don’t have to get it.  Just like I don’t have to get why someone would pay $4.50 for a cup of coffee every morning or want to live in a neighborhood where you’ll be fined for raising a chicken.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. However, I still have to keep my job in the city. Bummer. But, I also get to go home to my most-bucolic homestead with my chickens, sheep, ducks and rabbits. It's worth the commute. Of course the fact that gasoline is now $3.90/gal hurts like heck.

  2. Well, one of the reasons we were able to come down here & buy our farm was because we DID work in the city (well, 'burbs) and saved, saved, SAVED! Make the money while you can & enjoy your farm-buddies on your "off" time!

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  4. Hello...love your writing style...and I agree on the $4.50 cup of coffee...never could figure that out! but like you say...each to her own. Looking forward to reading your past and future posts..

  5. welcome aboard A.F.C.G.,
    Going to have to stalk you on your blog now! Looks like fun.

  6. I always feel like I need to defend myself when I tell people we have chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, etc. and I garden and preserve foods. Then I get kinda mad... but I love my life, even when the dang dog comes flying in the house covered in mud and gosh only knows what else after helping me feed the critters... Love today's post.

  7. We had the same decision on if I should keep working or not. But when you do the math, it doesn't pay. For example you may look like your making 70% less, but when you subtract your fuel, insurance, work clothes, meals bought out, paying for things that you can do yourself when not working, etc, the percentage comes down real fast. And the biggest plus, is you come down several tax brackets when you make 70% less, so less taxes at the end of the year. And that is the best part. Needless to say, I never went back to work and love every minute of it.

  8. Very nice post...I like this alot!

  9. Love this post!! Sums it up pretty well, I think. :)