This post is meant to be a thought provoking post . . not a political debate post. Please don’t go off in the political direction. It has nothing to do with what the government is or isn’t doing . . it has to do with what we, as individuals, are or are not doing. Comments are welcome . . you can agree or disagree with me, but please make sure your comments are meant to add to the conversation and not put anyone down for their thoughts.
Our area is in pretty serious drought. Our local water district is considering going to Stage 4 water restrictions. We’ve been at Stage 3 since about September, 2011. Stage 3 means outside watering one day per week but Stage 4 will mean NO outside watering. It will also mean that water district customers are to cut their water usage by 50%. Figure that one out! Most folks have been pretty conservative already and cutting usage by 50% will be tough. This area gets water from Lake Brownwood . . total rainwater/runoff water. It isn’t coming from underground aquifers so those of us using well water isn’t affecting the lake levels.
Stage 4 will mean almost all grass and shrubs will die. Before anyone suggests greywater, it’s against the rules here to divert it to outside use. Makes no sense to me but . . that’s the rule.
I am not saying we do everything right around here but if you remember when we moved here, we had so much trouble finding a place. One of the reasons was because we insisted on finding a place with a good well. We were aware that we were moving into pretty much desert conditions, we wanted a garden and fruit trees and we didn’t want to have to be told how much or how little water we could use. Not only did we finally find a place with a well, but we’ve added a solar powered well for the orchard and we will eventually add a second solar powered well for the garden.
I think back to my grandparents’ days and I wonder what they would have said about (1) paying for water and (2) being told how much they could use and when they could use it. Once you’re depending on someone else . . whether it’s government or an individual or a business for your water, your food, your entertainment . . plain and simple . . you’re dependent on them for your water, your food, your entertainment and they’re in control.
Not everyone can have their own well . . I’m just using that as one example How many other areas of our lives are we dependent on someone else? Are there areas where you’re relying on someone else for something you could provide for yourself? Might take a little effort but anything I can control instead of having someone control it for me, that’s the direction I want to take.
We’ll never ever be in complete control of everything in our lives. We count on the medical community, most of us will never grow all our own food, many of us will never be able to live completely off grid so we’re relying on the electric company.
There are modern conveniences that I don’t want to give up ever — air conditioning comes to mind. Setting up a system to live off grid isn’t feasible here or at our age. So far, electricity here is dirt cheap and it would take more years than we have left to recoup the cost of a complete solar system and, as of now, we don’t have restrictions on our electric use so we’re sticking with the electric company.
Many of us will never do more than we’re doing right now but it is something to think about.
As I was hanging clothes on the line this morning, and trying to pat myself on the back for drying those clothes completely free of charge, I had to laugh about restrictions/covenants in subdivisions that prohibit clothes lines. We will buy hybrid cars, we will do all kind of measures to be more energy efficient, but because clothes lines aren’t “pretty”, they’re prohibited. That makes no sense to me. It makes no sense that anyone would agree to live under those rules. I know folks do. I know you have your reasons. Whether or not you ever intend to have your own clothes line, why do we agree to rules that limit our “freedom”?
We’ve lived in southwest Louisiana where it rained all the time and the humidity was always high but I had a clothesline. I hung clothes in Missouri, even when temps were frigid. There are places where clothes lines just won’t work — too many trees and I would never cut a tree for a clothes line, and I’m sure there are other reasons but because it’s ugly and the powers that be in the neighborhood don’t like it . . that one I don’t buy.
I’m fully aware that I think completely different from how about 99% of folks think but for some crazy reason, I feel like we bought the place, we’re entitled to do with it what we please. If my neighbors are so close that seeing their clothes on the line bothers me, I think I need a bit more space!
The other day someone on the radio was talking about potential issues and saying how many folks keep very little cash on hand and that people should keep more cash. I asked Vince if we needed to keep more cash and neither of us could figure out a reason why we needed cash. If things got bad or something happened and we were on a cash only system (I’m certainly not thinking that’s going to happen any time soon), we both said “what would we need to buy?” and we decided we weren’t going to worry about it. So, you see . . we’re not total alarmists! 🙂
As you go through the day, I encourage you to think of ways you could be more independent . . doesn’t mean you will do them but what are some ways you can think of — things that are cost feasible and things you would really use, even now?