Many times we look out and see the world is flying by us. Why? What is causing us to keep from living life? Is it school? Work? Bills? Family? Illness? Injury? Many of today’s conveniences are our shackles. I am a victim of that, as many of you.
My life was not always picturesque. When I was around 7 yrs old, my birth mother was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away at age of 9. I lived with family members, bouncing around from house to house. I lived with my grandparents and my room was in an old trailer house behind the main house that did not have working utilities whatsoever. There were times when there was snow on the ground, but I still had to sleep out there. The windows were screwed shut so I couldn’t open them in the heat of the summer, which it would get 100 degrees or better.
Some seasons during my childhood, I did not know if I would have plenty to eat, or even a roof over my head. I told my family I was staying at a friend’s house but just stayed in the local neighborhood tree house. That was not safe, but I was able to escape. I would go to friends’ houses close to a meal so maybe I would be able to have a good meal that day. My family tried to provide, and most of the time they did. I tell you these things to give you a background in my life, not to feel sorry for me. I don’t. All the experiences have shaped me into the person I am today. I was adopted at age 13, but my adopted parents separated when I was 17, and eventually divorced years later.
In my 20’s, I tried to show the world I had money (well, had a job) and bought expensive things. I paid for most of them but some were on credit. New cars were my kryptonite. When I was in high school, my cars were even below the classification of a junker. Most of them had a supply of water and oil in the back to top off before each trip, regardless if it was 5 or 50 miles. One car caught fire, twice. Another car I had to make sure I could pull out of my parking spot because no reverse. I was embarrassed by my vehicles.
Needless to say, I was the typical person, buying more than I needed. I wanted to impress with what I could buy but maybe not what I could afford. I thought I could do it all, still think that to some degree today. It wasn’t until 2008 when the market crashed, work was slow, and I was in a job I did not like and did not pay. I needed to change, but still wanted my lifestyle. I picked up handy man and lawn maintenance jobs in order to make ends meet. It was during this time I racked up a lot of debt.
I went back to school to get extra classes under my belt so I could get a teaching job. Yes, another poor-timing life change because massive budget cuts in schools left me to take a job in a place far from the world my wife and I knew. Through 6 years of teaching, I see the collapse of education. The “I show up to class so I should pass” attitude, the laziness that exists in students that is reinforced by the parents, and the addiction to technology the students have today. I still love the thought of purity of teaching, but the bastardization of the school system leaves many teachers second guessing their commitment.
Good things have happened as well. I could not ask for 2 better sons (4 and 2 yrs) and a loving wife. I am learning to garden (teaching the boys where I can), improving my carpentry skills, and trying to prepare for the unknown. This is what this blog is about, taking the things I am learning, and sharing with those that are like-minded. The ways that we can have some self-sustainability so that we are not dependent on society. Work a little harder, strive for what is simpler, and live life to the fullest. Not to go off grid but could if I had to.
I can’t help thinking bad things can and will happen. They have happened before, happening in other parts of the world, and it is just a matter of time that they will happen in our own little world. This is an experiment to see if someone can learn how to gain sustainability. Gardening, carpentry, homesteading, and all the other abilities one needs in order to gain freedom. This experiment is not just to prepare for the worst, but also to fund trips to enjoy life, by visiting God’s wonders, nature, and what man has built for our enjoyment. If I can give those reading this a some insight to achieving freedom, that is what I am trying to do. This is not for everyone, but it is working for me and my family. Along the way, I will have co-authors helping with helpful hints and advice about certain things.