> jumping into life.

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Though I am suspicious of the thinking that maintains that all things old and folksy are superior to all things newfangled - as much as I am leery of the idea that all things new and shiny are better by virtue of shininess - I do have a warm feeling toward the revival of old-timey skills that seems to be unfolding, at least here in Vermont.

Or, perhaps more accurately, I have a warm feeling towards the unfolding of my own collection of old-timey skills.

The farmwork is satisfying in the way I'd hoped it to be: I use my body, I figure out problems, solve them or work to solve them. I have a concrete result at the end of most days. It is messy work, uncomfortable often. Yesterday we cleared six months' worth of shit - two feet - from the chicken coop. But then we laid clean sawdust and straw, and let the chickens back in, where they set to scratching and discussing immediately. The sugarhouse smells like steam and smoke and sweet, but the wind comes right through and it takes three days of boiling before we get any syrup. But we get syrup. One calf dies and breaks my heart, but the other leaps around his pen, bronco-style, bouncing off bales of hay and my laughing self.

It feels like a quiet rebellion. Today I learned to darn socks, and spent the morning doing it: two pairs of socks that were on their way to the trashcan, saved. No great thing, but a good one.

We've been making some nothing-bought-in-a-store meals: black-bean soup, with tomato sauce, corn, and a zucchini relish I made last summer; and potatoes, carrots, onion, dried hot peppers, and beans from the farm. Lots of scrambled eggs. Latkes with potatoes and onions from the farm with applesauce I made in the fall. Sauerkraut with the last of the root-cellared cabbage. I've been amazed at how corn-y the canned corn is - I swear to god you can barely tell it isn't fresh - how good the potatoes are, how good the eggs are, fresh from the hens.

It isn't anything like self-sufficiency, not yet. But it feels good.

I bet it does. An authentic life, a real life lived close to the land...those are good things.

it's a damn sight more self-sufficient than pissing about the place all the time getting drunk and showing people how to use the trams and telling them which regional specialties they should be trying and how not to die in a foreign country. not in that order ALTHOUGH I SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY.

i just hope that when the apocalypse comes i will be in bosnia. i've grown quite attached to it, even though it's just under a month until i go there. i suspect the end of ends will go down smoothly there. apparently the ice age mostly missed it, which means it will roast first and i will have a good tan already when i get to hell.
(new zealand wouldn't be bad, either. nor chiapas or jalisco.)

love your friend, me. -n

lovely writing, thank you

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