These old bones are aching today. Since 10 a.m. I've been raking leaves and dumping them by wheelbarrow on our garden. Before that I did two loads of wash and hung them on the line, made breakfast, doctored the pot of chili and read the blogs. It's about 2:30 p.m. and I'm whipped.
But raking leaves has a meditative quality. The rhythm of moving a rake just carries me to other places and times when life was simpler. If I have any regrets in life, which I tend not to as they are a waste of time, it would be that I didn't remain at an 80-acre non-electrified property I used to own. I think I've spent my entire life since then trying to get back to something similar.
Can you even begin to imagine owning 80 acres with a two-acre pond, a granary, a sauna, a two-seater outhouse and a four-room house for $21,000? Oh, and a creek cut the place nearly in half. The tiny home was an original homestead that had never been modernized. I even had a stone lined well in the yard with a rope and bucket. My Dad and I modernized the place by piping the water to the house and attaching a red pitcher pump to a second hand cast iron sink - the kind with the big built in drain boards. I added a gas refrigerator and 24" gas stove and gas lights. The walls were entirely covered in 12-14 inch hand planed knotty pine that had been cut on the property! God, I was crazy to ever leave that place.
But, reality is just that. I no longer own it and could not buy the place today for love nor money, as they say. And the new owner has ruined all that was special about the place.
And as my mind wandered some more today, I was thinking about this place and the fact that it hasn't sold. But we still dream that one day it will and we'll move north. In the meantime I feel fortunate to be living as peacefully and simply as I do. I probably have an acre to rake - in three different spots, and that's fine with me. Yet across the road from us the absentee owner is at his property driving a commerical lawn sweeper across the yard. The damn thing sounds like an airplane that never takes off. And he drives up here every weekend from Detroit - three and a half hours southeast of us - to mow the lawn and play with his other assorted pieces of heavy equipment. What a waste.