Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Mother Earth Period

Insane Diego asks in comments:
your "Mother Earth period?" Do tell...
Nothing much to tell. I was an environmentalist before it was cool.

Back in 1980, my first wife and I commenced raising kids. We subscribed to a magazine called The Mother Earth News and bought a piece of land in the southern portion of Natchitoches Parish, LA. Ten acres with a pond. We cleared it, mostly by hand, and with Dad's help, built a barn and fenced the land. I had a pond, a woodlot, two pastures and a place for a garden. Lots of room for kids to roam.

We were trying to live with the smallest possible economic footprint, which means we grew our own food, hunted, fished, gardened, had chickens, turkeys, cattle, milked goats, raised horses, you name it, we did it.

I was working a day job as a Parole Officer and when I'd get off, it'd be another three or four hours of work on the farm before bedtime. My days started at 5:00 a.m with feeding livestock and ended at dark or later depending on the season. I heated the house with wood, hauled hay, raised our own meat, canned vegetables. At one point we had our own grist mill and milled our own flour and meal.

I worried about things like sustainability, our septic plume, groundwater supplies, compost, rainfall, forage growth and being organic. In short, we were green, very green and it was hard damned work. Satisfying, certainly, but hard, steady, unrelenting work.

Nowadays when I see someone claiming to be "green" by driving a Prius, I snort and laugh. They have no clue. Most of those folks are assholes. A very few have walked the walk that I walked in the late 70s and 80s, but most of them are assholes.

Air Conditioning is a wonderful thing when you don't have it. Central heat is magnificent. 99% of the weenies saying that they're living a green lifestyle have absolutely no clue. Put them in a basic living situation from the 1930s and they'd be begging for indoor climate control inside of a week. I lived in a basic living situation from 1980 till 1995. That's when we put central heating in the house and I no longer had to build a fire before daylight so the kids could dress in a warm room.

It was a wonderful time in my life and I wouldn't change the experience for anything. I'm a better man for having done it and my kids understand being self-sufficient. And, at this stage of my life I thank God every day that I live in a house where I can be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I am thankful for my blessings.

I am also contemptuous of 99% of the green movement today. They have no clue. None at all. And now you know about my Mother Earth Period. Today I live in a subdivision and consume what most of America consumes. I buy my meat at the grocers and I only grow a few tomatoes and peppers in the summer.


Castr8r said...

We lived a "green" lifestyle when I was growing up- it was called being poor. I started doing chores when I was 6/7 years old- Dad was trying to farm with old equipment, the hogs needed feeding, and the cows needed watering. Mom had a large garden and canned all summer and when we got electricity down our road; why, it was wonderful! We had no choice in this, and many of our neighbors were in the same boat. Good times? Maybe, just maybe...

Old NFO said...

Agreed Pawpaw- most of the eco-weenies don't have a clue...

J said...

I suspect most of our grandparents were conceived when greatgrandpaw jumped back under the covers with greatgrandmaw after building a fire in the stove or fireplace.

Unknown said...

Spot on Pawpaw.

We raise most of our own food and pulled the plug on the TV quite some time ago.

I'm not even thinking about pulling the plug on the AC though.

The next time I get a lecture from some city kid about how I should live more like they do in order to be "kind to the planet" will not be the first time.

I'm glad they live in the city, it's crowded enough out here as it is.