Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adjusting to Less

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of comforting support from my readers in the last few days. Thank you one and all.

Hearing from people I've never met in person got me to thinking about fellowship, breaking bread together and how today's economic slide is impacting people.

My first thought was - we won't notice it much as we're already living way below the poverty line! We do without much that most people take for granted so we won't suffer the angst, frustration or anger at not being coddled and supported by a myriad of artificial "necessities."

Where "living on less" impacts us the most is mobility - both vehicle wise and physically. While others drive 22 miles round trip to get ONE pack of cigarettes, we combine trips, seldom ever take a detour and return home straight away. Mission accomplished. The "new" car we recently bought has made three trips. It's a backup vehicle; not a touring car.

Around here a common pastime is Copper Country cruising. A day spent traversing the highways, two tracks and neighborhoods with stops for a meal, a few drinks and visiting or shopping are a welcome diversion. Especially in the long winters. Or when boredom strikes because "there's nothing to do," meaning they haven't been sufficiently entertained or challenged in the last couple weeks - or less!

I'd like Sweetie to experience so many places I've told him about. We'd have to SAVE to do this. While others may be broke for the rest of the week or longer, or leave necessary tasks undone to go cruising, Sweetie plays Freecell or sits quietly in his chair lost in thought. I read the blogs or go for a walk. Both our diversions require some mechanical assistance via the computer. If we're ever unable to afford $9.95 for dial-up Internet, we'd both experience withdrawal.

If MS puts me in a wheelchair, I'd miss my discovery walks. Yesterday I ventured in a new direction and discovered two more junk piles from thoughtless litter bugs, a swamp where deer had been gathering and an old chimney amidst rotten logs. With the underbrush died down there's more to discover and it's easier walking over rugged ground. This winter I look forward to snowshoeing. Getting outside fills my lungs with fresh air and broadens my horizons beyond the 900 square feet we live in.

The high point of our week is my father's weekly visits. WE cook like the King is coming and laugh and build a Charles Wysocki puzzle and watch TV and take a walk and say "I love you." I grew up with a large family gathering at our home on Sundays for dinner. It was tradition, something seldom observed today. Entertainment was a walk in the woods, sledding, berry picking, riding horses, swimming in Lake Superior (a mile or less away) and long afternoons sitting around the dining table snacking and playing Rummy. Today, every one's busy but I don't think they're really connecting. In fact, "staying connected" seems to be texting, mindless games on Facebook, and watching movies with few other people around. Every one's entertaining themselves via a gadget, primarily by themselves in a room with snack available and no need to make one's self presentable. Slouch is in. Take out is home delivered and cooking, if done, is via a box from the freezer heated in the microwave. How bland.

A keen awareness of losing friends and family and staying home while others wander makes us cognisant of living on less. Others aren't so fortunate.

How different this country will be when there's less of everything but despair, poverty, displacement, broken relationships and shattered dreams.


HermitJim said...

There may come a day when, once again, something like the radio becomes a treat...not a daily habit!

While I would really miss the Internet, I can count myself lucky that I love to read, have many craft ambitions, and don't mind a bit if my mind goes to wandering over a cup of coffee!

Learning to slow down and appreciate your surroundings may be a good lesson to learn now...instead of later!

Did it MY way said...

Family times together can never be replaced.

See ya

2 Tramps said...

Yes, family is so important. I am at the beach with my Mom for a week and one of her sisters is joining us, too. I cherish my time with them. And I know that it can all change so quickly - we called lifelong friends of Mom's today that live nearby and found that they have had to move out of their home due to one of them having a stroke. Their children live in other states - lots of change and hardship for them all... I am very busy counting my blessings and enjoying my dear mom!!

Anonymous said...

Miss your posts. Hope all is okay with you guys. We MISS you.
My word verification is cowse....that is how dan quayle spells the animals that give milk..hope you are grinning just a bit.