Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Satellites mediate for us

Another extended exposure picture. I think I'll be posting these for a while, because I love them so much.

The problem with traveling more is spending more money. The problem with spending more money is that I worry more about money. “A fool and his money are soon parted,” as Solomon said. Am I a fool? I used to see it in the Bahamas—rich American vacationers throwing around dollars like they were worthless, to the point that Bahamians began to believe they were worthless, too. Tourists blew as much money on a week’s vacation there as I spent in six months. Easily. A lot of them blew twice as much money.

For one year on the boat, we spent $6000. For two of us. Mainly because we ate canned goods and big bags of rice and caught fish and anchored rather than docked. But still. It was amazing to see how little one can live off, given motive and opportunity.

That’s my goal with the homestead in Alabama, too. To live as cheaply as possible, to produce myself what I need as much as is humanly possible. That’s the goal. It may take me several decades to get there.

For a while, at Aldi, my favorite grocery store, they were selling eggs for 49 cents a dozen. That’s one of those things that makes all the anti-factory-farmer people angry. When I asked about them at the front, they said they had made a special deal with a specific farmer at that price. They’ve now gone up, and oddly, don’t taste as good anymore.

By contrast, the eggs at the closest chicken co-op cost $2.50 a dozen, and I’d have to drive twenty miles to pick them up. This is one of those things that is a money-spending dilemma to me. Should I buy the 49-cent eggs? Or invest in the co-op? What I like to say is that that $2 difference is going into my homestead pot, and that eventually my goal is to raise my own chickens, to fry up my own eggs. Is that morally suspect? I don’t know. The point remains, though. If I spend that $2 on boiled peanuts at an Alabama gas station while touring, does that count as part of the investment?

Maybe the key is, as with everything, is just to continue to be mindful of the way I’m spending money. To be conscious of it, the way I should be conscious of every moment in my life.


Anonymous said...

Boil your own homegrown penuts and keep a few hens for eggs ;)
Send me the two bucks to advertise your blog...

Fair winds,
S/V Selah

wfrenn said...

You wrote: "To live as cheaply as possible, to produce myself what I need as much as is humanly possible. That’s the goal. It may take me several decades to get there." I hope not. It sounds like you will make the plunge soon.
Don't sweat the small stuff, like $2 peanuts. They are part of the exploration. Money will become less obsessively important to you when you learn how to translate your writing skills in the electronic age into easier acquired income.
Ever thought to building your own log cabin, using your (used) car or truck as the winch to raise the walls? Cheap, especially if you buy a wooded five acres with some hard woods.

The Capt'n