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The definition of adventure  RSS feed

 
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I read one time that the definition of "adventure" is someone else having a hell of a rough time at least 1000 miles away from you.  While that is at least partly true, I think your personal adventures have more to do with attitude.

My Daughter and son-in-law are currently on an adventure.  It may not look like but they are winning.

They recently bought a small 8 acre homestead in south central Alaska (both are from that region, so it's more just going home).  They are currently living in a 300 square foot cabin with five kids, three dogs and a couple of cats.  (The dogs are needed because they are finding bear sign next to the house often.  They make sure the dogs are out for several minutes before they let kids out to make sure they run any nearby large fuzzies off.  I've told them they need to leave the dogs out at night, but they haven't gone there. 

The cabin is insulated but was previously used as a summer cabin.  My son-in-law is seriously disabled and while he does what he can, it's not much on the physical side.  My daughter is learning lots of new skills like plumbing, caring for raspberries and carpentry.  They will add on to the cabin come spring and this is where they are starting from.  They are both excited about it and view this as a move forward.  My daughter reports that the family is happier now than they, possibly, ever have been. 

One of my sister-in-laws (a really wonderful woman, by the way), who grew up in upper middle class suburban home and lives in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood outside a major city, expressed horror that my daughter is in this situation, pushing for members of the family to step in and save them from this unendurable situation.  My daughters response was "How many of our ancestors a few generations back lived in situations like this.  the answer, of course, is All of them!"  The funny part is my sister-in-law's mother told me once how, during the depression, when she was a girl, her family lived in a cave for a while because they had no money and lost their home.

We need to be willing to readjust our view of 'normal and acceptable' in order to get where we want.  I know people that are working their lives away 60 - 80 hours a week at a job they dislike, in debt, but sleeping in a fancy house and driving a new car.  If that is what they want, more power to them.  There are alternatives though.  What do you want, and what are you willing to go through to get there.  Most of the world is living in very small houses and pretty happy doing so.

If you can adjust your view a bit, the rough patch you're going through becomes an adventure.  (I just realized I sound like I'm channeling Merry Poppins and now I'm embarrased).  It's true though, it's all in how you view it.  Develop a sense of humor and
go forth and conquer.


 
master steward
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This post reminded me of a homesteader's blog post I recently read: When Bad Becomes Normal. The post is about how easy it is for little bad things that sometimes happen to become "okay." That could be noticing mold in the walls and saying you'll get around to fixing it when things get less crazy and then never getting around to it. Or letting your chickens free range unattended just this once..over and over again...even though you know there's bobcats in the area. Or not getting around to picking up that glass that broke on the ground while your baby toddles around and will soon likely step on it or eat it. We might let the rats multiply in the chicken coop because we we'll get around to fixing that someday. Or we might think there's something wrong with the well water or a leak in the roof and we say we'll get around to fixing it, but never do. Etc.

We often think, well, our ancestors lived in caves or tiny cabins...but if those caves or cabins are not warm enough, or sanitary enough, or stable enough, or free of mold, there's a problem.  And, when we are living a homesteading adventure, sometimes there's just SO MUCH on our plates that we let little bad things become normal.

This hits home for me, because the homesteading adventure is HARD. I have a 1,000 sqft home with a 11 month old and a four year old. It's hard, especially at times. It's hard to not let bad things become normal. It's hard to continue to fix all the bad things when there are so many and they seem endless, and to never let our guards down about predators. It's especially hard with two young kids to teach and watch and love.

And, this is totally not to say your daughter and her family isn't doing a good job--One can totally live a safe, healthy life in a small cabin, and I'm sure they are! It's just to say that, on this homesteading adventure, we really have to be careful to maintain healthy conditions for the animals and children in our care. And, it's HARD. Homesteading really is an adventure. It's worth-while, but it is hard, and we have to be ready and willing to do the hard work to keep everyone safe and healthy.

I spent a lot of my youth reading books and viewing adventures with rose colored glasses. I never thought of them as "someone else having a hell of a rough time at least 1000 miles away from you." But, adventures are rough, but they can be fantastic, like you said, if we're willing to do the hard work and have a good perspective about it. I find music and jokes really help with that!
 
pollinator
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A few years ago a friend of my wife's ended up in a homeless shelter when her boyfriend kicked her out, and so we allowed her to stay at our home for a few months. After three days she looked at us and said, "is your life always like this?" We thought about it for a minute and said, "Yeah, it pretty much is."

Katie and I live a pretty adventurous life, and we have thought of blogging it, but honestly are too darn busy living it out to actually take time out to blog about it. We pretty much do not put out relentless fires, it is more like trying to control a forest fire constantly. But we would not want it any other way.

Katie came from in town and was not used to this life, but has grown to love it, all to the chagrin of her mother. They live a VERY predictable life so our lives to them is the seventh circle of hades. We know we cannot call them on Tuesday's, or on Thursday's because that is shopping day, and they freak out if anything hinders that. That is when they shop...In contrast we do not know what are doing this afternoon, let alone get upset if shopping has to be delayed.

What is on the agenda for today? Well we are moving an old barn from my late-Grandmother's house across the street to our home so that it can get a new lease on life. It was built around 1900 and already has been moved once, about 1965 from about a half mile away. Now that is not something that happens everyday, even on a farm. Interestingly enough, this is our 5th building to be moved as it is cheaper to move buildings then build new ones.

To me, adventure does not mean moving 1000 miles away, cramming yourself in a small home, or doing something foreign. Adventure is not having a predictable outcome and doing it anyway. It could be something as simple as producing a new breed of potatoes, or taking a farm from hobby to full time status, or just moving from the city to a permicultural farm. Under those terms today is an adventure; we have no idea if the equipment we have will pull the building, if the building withstand the move, or how it will look after it is positioned in its new spot. Yet to the credit of permies everywhere, they have no idea if their farms will make it...the average farm lasts only 3 years before going under, they have no idea how their families will take the radical change if they are going from intown life to rural living, or if their different methods of farming will even work. That is just as adventurous.

 
garden master
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Mick Fisch wrote:  My Daughter and son-in-law are currently on an adventure.  It may not look like but they are winning.

They recently bought a small 8 acre homestead in south central Alaska (both are from that region, so it's more just going home).  They are currently living in a 300 square foot cabin with five kids, three dogs and a couple of cats.  (The dogs are needed because they are finding bear sign next to the house often.  They make sure the dogs are out for several minutes before they let kids out to make sure they run any nearby large fuzzies off.  I've told them they need to leave the dogs out at night, but they haven't gone there. 



What a wonderful adventure they have.  Maybe by spring they will find they no longer need to add on that room.  There are ways to make life in 300 sq ft a lot easier.  Bunk beds with curtain to partition individual areas,  under the bed storage, etc

I wish them the best on their adventure!  Thanks for sharing!
 
pollinator
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As with many on this forum, I am a hobby homesteader. I have a regular job and could easily fall back into a regular (i.e. historically irregular) life if I get too uncomfortable.

I have a great deal of respect for people that take the plunge, and I envision that as part of my role- extending resources they may not have forseen a need for. I hate to say it, but it allows me to study the situation in vivo rather than in vitro, and it is a small price for me to pay for what I learn.

I used to be an entrepreneur, and for all the stump speeches from politicians of most any party, policy is lined up against entrepreneurs- and you are willfully blind if you don't know that going in. It is the same with homesteading, the tax breaks are largely unavailable, grants are obtuse and take lots of time and com with conditions, life is hard! But I absolutely salute the people who make the attempt. I know several who have tried, failed, are collecting their second nest egg and going to make another run. These are quintessential entrepreneurs.

The big win in homesteading is that the soil health and genetic diversity has no value to the IRS. I love the Gert analogy in that sense, because it is a truly contrarian investment. Some people hoard gold or silver, and I understand their motivations, but soil health is probably the most invisible investment you can have!  I was in Argentina when the currency was collapsing, and it was effectively a time machine to the great depression. Venezuela is the same. You can buy favor with gold, but you can feed yourself with soil.

I cheer for the soilpreneurs!
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