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"Expect the best and prepare for the worst." (Lessons Learned, Changes Accepted, in the Last 10 Years of Homesteading)

I think the reason we are still homesteaders is because of the satisfaction we get from raising our own food, building our house ourselves and just being able to say we can take care of ourselves. Since we live a half-mile from the road, surrounded by trees, we have a chance to really enjoy nature at its best--and worst. During muddy times we walk in and out a lot, sometimes for 3-4 weeks at a time, but it really isn't a hardship. It gives me time to reflect on things.

As to how things are different now from 10 years ago, we live in a house instead of a trailer. We no longer own the land thanks to a dishonest real-estate dealer. We are lucky that our youngest son stepped in and bought the land. So we are still here and can still live the way we want. I think coming to terms with that has been a big challenge.

We also have found we cannot make enough money without working away from the home. We are lucky that we have a job where we can set our own hours most of the time.

The most important lesson I've learned is to accept and take responsibility for whatever comes into my life. My motto is "Expect the best and prepare for the worst".

I think it is very difficult to become totally self-sufficient at this point in time, at least for us. We do produce most of our meat, milk, eggs and vegetables every year, but this particular year was really a challenge. Raccoons killed all our baby chicks and the hen, and the weather wasn't kind to our garden. We replanted a lot. This is the first year we didn't get tomatoes. We had to buy some from a neighbor. Since we are close to being 62 years of age, we move a bit slower but we still look forward to going on and doing what it takes to homestead.

What aspect has given us the most pleasure? Living the way we do, raising our garden and animals, cutting wood and trying to live without harming our Earth Mother. The most pain? Having to work away from home because there is so much here we want to do.

What would we change? Nothing, really. We believe in Karma and all that has happened, good and difficult, were lessons we needed to learn.

Why have we stayed with homesteading so long? Just because of the satisfaction and knowing this is the only way for us to live!

We don't have many--if any--friends or neighbors who homestead. We have just met some and they are just beginning, so time will tell for them. Our children live totally different lives and most don't care at all for our lifestyle.

Our view of the future is that it would be wise for more people to get back in tune with Mother Earth and we think they will be forced to, the way things look.

Homesteading is our way of life right up to the time we leave our bodies. There just isn't any other lifestyle we want. We do our own doctoring with herbs and vitamins and are in pretty good health. This is another phase of self-sufficiency that may not be right for everyone but it is for us.

If the economy does collapse, and we don't see much hope for it not doing so, more people are going to need to learn self-sufficiency in all areas of their lives. We hope to be prepared for whatever comes by our homesteading way of life.

In the event of economic collapse I think I will miss COUNTRYSIDE magazine the most of all, and that's the truth!
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Smith, Allen; Smith, Barbara (American fashion model)
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:Advice on finding the right locale: read local newspapers, and fly over.
Next Article:"We will die here, fighting to complete our dreams." (Lessons Learned, Changes Accepted, in the Last 10 Years of Homesteading)

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