Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Corn cobs, firewood, and oats

When my grandparents got married, they moved into a one room log cabin home.  Yes, the genuine thing.  They later built another house just down the hill.  When my grandparents married, horses and wagons were the mode of transportation.  You have to realize that this was in the backwoods of Western Kentucky right around the turn of the century.  (1900, not our current century) 

When Papa (Grandpa) needed fuel to heat the house he went out to the woods and cut down some old trees or picked up coal laying around on the ground.  It was coal country after all.  During cold weather months, Mama (Grandma) was always up early to fire up the wood kitchen stove so she could cook biscuits, pancakes, bacon, eggs, and start a roast or stew for the day.  She would throw in a few corn cobs to get the fire going really fast and to heat up the kitchen.  There were tons more corncobs out in she shed; and every year, after the corn shelling, she had a new supply. 

When Papa and Mama went to town to sell eggs, butter, and cheese; which gave them enough money to buy coffee, sugar, flour, and a few other things they couldn't produce on their own land; the horses ran on hay, corn, and oats Papa grew himself. 

Today, we depend on electricity, gas, and oil as fuel.  It's too bad that coal, gas, and oil can't replace themselves like corncobs, firewood, and oats.

Let me ask you a question...... What would you do if your income disappeared today?  The reason it disappeared doesn't matter.  The question is.... what would you do?

Most of us have been raised bombarded with the idea to spend, spend, spend.  Our economy depends on it.  We hear it on the news almost everyday now.  Our economy and our government wants us to start spending again so this recession/depression can be over and people will go back to work.  They tell us that spending will create jobs.

We have been encouraged to consume as much as possible to make jobs for everyone.  Eat!  Drink! Drive your gas guzzle car! Buy a house you can't afford!  Buy everything you can with a piece of plastic that guarantees you are giving up your future paychecks to keep the economy going!  Buy disposable whenever possible! Consume! Consume!  A person is made to feel almost guilty if they aren't out spending money so the economy will survive.

I think those days have passed.  Our suppliers of energy can't go on doubling every decade.  The race to produce more oil has created disasters none of us could have imagined a  few years ago.  The news has had the oil spill in the gulf for weeks.  Yesterday I heard that China also has an oil leak off their shore.  Can we go on destroying our world this way?  Have we now entered a time of scarcity? 

So.... what would you do?  Suddenly you have no income.  How will you react?  I'm sure some will refuse to admit they have a problem and continue living as they did before by putting the cost of everything onto a piece of plastic. Some may have experienced a sudden loss of income before and know they must survive on government assistance until there is a new income.  While still others, those who live in impoverished areas, won't notice a big difference other than it's a new adventure in survival.

Ok, so you haven't lost your income just yet.  But in today's economy, can you be sure you won't?  No one can be sure.  Not even the owner of a business can be sure his/her income will continue.  It's better to prepare for it so it doesn't suddenly jump right up and slap you in the face.  Let me leave you with a few questions to ponder.

Can you make the changes necessary to live like your income won't be here tomorrow?
Can you stop thinking in terms of increasing your standard of living to keep up with the Jones'?
Can you tell yourself; "This is enough! I have enough gadgets and appliances."?
Can you tell yourself it's no longer true that "there's more where that came from" and live with less?
Can you cut down on conspicuous consumption and being so concerned with making a big impression?
Can you make a statement to manufacturers saying you no longer want to buy planned obsolescence, you want goods that will last?

If you adopt a simpler way of life, while preparing for a possible loss of income, you may embark on an adventure that enriches your life as well as those around you.  You might just realize that less is better.  You might realize the fewer possessions you have, the more time you have for neighborliness and friendliness. You might just discover your conscious feels better when it isn't trying to race to grasp so many worldly goods around you.  You may find that simpler living has fewer pressures.  You might just figure out a home a little less hot in the winter and a little less cold in the summer actually feels good.  You might find you will feel more relaxed, healthier, and not living so much for your "stuff" has it's own set of rewards. 

Think about the question again.  What would you do if your income disappeared today?  What would be your action plan to survive until you found another source of income? 

1 comment:

kathi said...

EXCELLENT. and VERY IMPORTANT question for ALL OF US to ponder.