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Power plant troubles in Packerland.

Some of our "Questions of the month" bring in such a great response it's impossible to print all of them in one issue.

"What do you dislike about cities? was one such popular topic. Here's another reply to that question.

What do I dislike most about cities? After much thought (and some crumpled paper) I'd say I dislike how cities seem to insulate their dwellers and give them a false sense of reality.

A "no-class" homesteader?

I worked off our homestead three years before coming home to stay. My husband still works off the homestead, in nearby Green Bay. We both were and are the targets of amusement, pity and downright disdain from our co-workers. I was considered "no-class" by the younger, more "sophisticated" career-minded women in my office.

Now mind you, I did bathe, and I did change my clothes after morning chores, but I was unable to offer much to the office conversation regarding my hair designer, make-up parties, the latest plots on nighttime soap operas or how my credit card had gotten maxed out at the last mall sale. People thought I was insane because I got up at 3:30 a.m. to do chores before coming to work. No one could believe I enjoyed the time to clear my head before coming to the "rat-race. "I was constantly told I worked too hard, yet many of these same people stayed late, took work home, made the office their life and suffered depression and high blood pressure. They would pay extra for all-natural, no preservative food, but couldn't understand that our lifestyle afforded our family all of this at a much lower price tag.

Most of the people I worked with belonged to the local health club, at a price, of course. I never understood the need for paying for exercise, especially after a day of pen cleaning, gardening or fence building.

Forget "this animal stuff"

My husband gets near-hostility from his co-workers. When I quit my job to stay home, they told him that we'd "never have anything, unless you make your wife get a full-time job and forget this animal stuff." He's constantly mocked for driving cars with 100,000 plus miles (which, I might add, he's a genius at fixing and they run better than many people's newer vehicles), for living in a mobile home instead of a "real house" and "always working." They don't consider that our homestead is our hobby also, and we don't spend thousands of dollars on new boats or other toys, or hundreds of dollars in the bar after bowling, volley-ball or dart games. They don't grasp the concept of "if you spend less money, you don't need to earn as much money.

Politics

Here's an incident that really drives this point home.

During the last presidential election, one of my husband's co-workers was a very vocal supporter of the Democratic party. His sole reasoning? Well, it seems in the past couple of years, he had purchased a bigger house, in an area with higher taxes, bought a new car, put in a swimming pool (now adding on yet higher property taxes and possibly higher insurance costs), bought a huge-screened tv, stereo system, etc. He was having trouble meeting all his payments, and it was George Bush's fault for screwing up the economy! No matter where your political loyalties lie, I think anyone using full brain power could see the problem with this reasoning.

When we pass the newer subdivisions, with homes costing six figures, we marvel at the nearness of the next door neighbors, with very small amounts of land surrounding these houses. Maybe we are just (dare I say it?) more Crash-Conscious than the average person, but we wonder how you can raise your own food on 50 cents worth of land, or how you can eat a $200,000 house?

A passionate irritation

Our most passionate irritation with cities at this time concerns the plan currently under consideration to build a coal-burning electric plant a couple of miles down the road. Is this electricity targeted for use by the people of Northeast Wisconsin? No, of course not! This plant is going to be built to supply the Greater Milwaukee area with electrical power. Why not build nearer to Milwaukee? Well, it seems that the area has too much pollution... so let's move it up to the great Northland, where the air is clean. Makes sense, doesn't it?

The worst part of this for us is that the deal hasn't been finalized to date, and probably won't be until mid-1994 or so. Do we sell? Do we take our chances and stay, praying it won't happen? Do we give up what we've worked hard for, taking a lower price than we paid for our land, or do we stay and see what happens and take the chance the people, lured by the rumor of 600 jobs, will want to live close to work and will buy us out? (I may be getting old and cynical, but while I believe there may be a total of 600 jobs involved with this project, I have a hard time believing there will be 600 decent paying, low-skilled jobs generated for the local people like we have been led to believe.)

Well, we'll do what many, many Countrysiders and pioneers have done before us. We'll pray, we'll continue to work hard, we'll fight with all we've got. Then, if we need to move on we will, knowing the Lord has a new plan for us, somewhere else beyond the sidewalks.
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Title Annotation:homesteading near Green Bay, Wisconsin
Author:Berth, Mary Jane
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:930
Previous Article:Good neighbors make good fences.
Next Article:Check market before selling timber.
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