Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of smoked meats, apple cider and guide boats

In the years before my dad died he would smoke meat, can summer vegetables, and make his own blueberry wine. He knew how to get by. By that, I mean, he never went hungry because he grew, made and preserved what he could in order to supplement his daily living.

There is an undeniable appeal to me to be more self-sufficient. When I was growing up on the farm we butchered a lot of our own meat, we hunted rabbit and deer, grew vegetables and we made our own butter.

I would love to make my own apple cider, keep some chickens, grow vegetables and, in general, be more self-sufficient.

Part of the reason that I want to move to VT some day is to have more opportunities to do just that.

But self-sufficiency has its limitations. I can’t do everything by myself. There are some things that are easier done with extra hands - life can be more enjoyable when it is a shared experience.

Sharing labor, meals and play can enhance our lives and encourage us to not be so inward focused.

We were recently paddling around the pond and got into a race with some friends in a canoe. It was one of those fun, spontaneous moments that just happen in the company of other people with whom you share a sense of community.

By the way – rowing the Adirondack guide boat by myself – I beat the two of them paddling their hardest in the canoe.

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