what’s life like in your town?
…either figuratively, literally, or both.
do you live rural, urban, suburban? is ‘your town’ full of boarded up commercial buildings; have thrift stores sprung up in lots of formerly mom-and-pop stores? has your town been gentrified and the poor people forced to ‘relocate’ (creative destruction)?
what’s your local ecosystem like? do you have access to healthy water or do you have to buy it, non-toxic soil, and common lands? if you’re at least semi-rural, have you seen any monarchs (an indicator species) or swallowtail butterflies this year or last? have other insect species been far fewer than in the recent past (bugpocalypse)? what is the current state of climate chaos in your town? are you living in smoke from the plethora of wildland fires in the west? if you’re in a drought, what intensity level are you in?
do you have a garden? do you have skills for moderate self-reliance when the next batch of shit hits the fan (i.e., home repair, electrical repairs, sewing, light carpentry, food preserving, etc.)? have you made community with those around you and share & trade aid among yourselves? have you always been thrifty, as in: how many times do you wash your silver foil?
Are there fracking operations afoot nearby? Does your area get sprayed for mosquito control, and if so, can you opt out? if you’re in an agricultural area, do you get ‘accidentally’ bombed by glyphosates like RoundUp? are the wells and aquifers, if any, in your area drying up and toxic?
if you rent and aren’t under rent control, has the rent increased almost beyond affordability? I’ll assume, maybe incorrectly, that most of you have actual grocery stores to shop in (as opposed to many inner-city food ghettoes)? are there summer farmers markets?
do you have access to ‘affordable’ health insurance if you want it? are you on medicare, and if so, do you like it and the costs of its extra plans? do you even go to doctors? (I don’t, will never again). are you and your spouse/partner if any, healthy enough? what sort of psycho-spiritual state/s are you evidencing?
are you financially okay, or is the wolf constantly at the door? are you, as the saying goes, one medical emergency away from bankruptcy or having to hit the streets? are you on the street, or couch-surfing with friends or relatives? do you have any of your adult children or grandchirren living with you?
do you need to (ahem) ‘partake’ of what’s left of the social safety net? Is your neighborhood mixed race or homogenous?
Mr. wd and I are on a very low fixed income (SS: see the negative effects of the IRS ‘paperwork reduction act’, ptui) for the most part, save for when Mr. wd at age 70 can pick up work as a master finish carpenter, so the wolfs’ almost always at the door. I’d had to ‘retire’ from 30 great years of body/soul work my k-nees k-rapped out from Amazon-woman over-work, causing our savings to plummet. When appliances and our old car or truck or ancient tractor go belly-up: OMG. We live in the Four Corners in Bumfuck County (h/t Edward Abbey), CO east of Mesa Verde National Park, in the shadow of the La Plata Mountains.
We hand-built a 12-sided hogan in the late ‘70s on 20 aces that we’ve paid off, and are tryin’ like hell to hang onto it, partially to have something to leave our kids. For that matter, thinking of leaving this golden oxygen-rich hill on which we’ve planted a couple hundred trees and shrubs on which critters of all kinds find refuge for some plastic-fantastic drywall ‘affordable housing’…well, never mind.
We’re healthy in general enough save for the fact I’m otherly-abled, as they say so politically correctly. Mr. wd finds himself of needing cataract surgery, so had to buy some extra Medicare plan to cover it. He got fined for every year he hadn’t bought the plan initially, too, and pays up the wazoo (for us) for it every month; he’ll be eligible soon for the surgery.
We use spices as medicines in food, and a local natural foods store allows us to buy bulk foods and spices at cost+ when we order through the store, bless the new owner’s heart. As we tithe a hella lot of food into the community, the savings sincerely help that effort.
We’d had to give up our big veggie garden some time back, but have a wee one out the backdoor of the unfinished basement, and a greenhouse to start seedlings. We grow flowers and herbs galore, plus a few veggies, tomatoes, and prize-winning cannabis. So life’s good, except when it ain’t, and we do remember to say prayers of thanks every night before sleep for all that we have, knowing how little others have.
tell your stories as you will, excepting maybe your sex lives too very graphically, grin.
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)