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November 23, 2014: The Rural Lifestyle, Part I

Tonight Pete and I went to see the movie Birdman. The main character, Riggins, is essentially a has been who has previously gained notoriety in playing Birdman, a superhero, in three previous movies. He decides to forge a new path and decides to adapt Raymond Carver’s story, “What we Talk about when we Talk about Love” into a play, and put it on Broadway.

It was a good movie, gave me a great deal to think about. One of my thoughts was related to the urban setting and mindset of the central characters. All of the characters were frantic and edgy. There were absolutely no relaxed

moments at all. I found myself hoping that some of the actors would take a break and head for Central Park. I really yearned for some more rural vibes.

Riggins also (as Birdman) flies in this movie. So I also found myself wishing that he’d give the other actors and actresses flight lessons. (I have an ongoing dream in which the central character teaches people to fly.) In the end, I realized that I could visit New York City, and in fact would enjoy this, especially if I had a nice place to stay. But at the same time, I could not live for any length of time in such close proximity to so many other people.

I now live in an area where there are few people, in a somewhat rural setting. I say somewhat rural because we do have neighbors. As it is, most are not around very much. I think that this is because off-the-grid living requires that one remain attentive to basic things that on-the-gridders get to take for granted. For instance, fuel consumption.

In urban areas, most just turn up their thermostat, and their houses heat up. They mostly heat with natural gas, oil, electricity, or propane. Not us. We heat with wood, which means that we have to go and get it. We could have it delivered, but that is woefully expensive.

Today was a good example of how our life differs from that of our urban counterparts. The day began with our talking about the day’s plans over breakfast. We decided to go and get more wood early on. We got caught a bit on the low side because we had so many other things to tend to this past summer.

Pete got the saw and other implements ready, and went on over to our wood source, a place that we call the Moose Wallow Woodlot. Actually, its private property owned by a friend – she agreed to let us clear out some dead trees. There Pete cut down some trees and bucked them into rounds.

I then saddled up Raudi and rode him to the lot. I tied Raudi to a tree and began moving the rounds to the roadside. Pete then loaded them into Sputnik, our truck. He took the first load home and then returned for a second load. He brought some hay for Raudi and a lunch for the two us. We sat on a log and had ourselves a picnic. Yep, these days 30 plus degrees is a comfortable temperature.

I headed for home once all the day’s wood was by the roadside. I untied Raudi, put her bridle on her, and trotted off, almost literally, into the sunset. She wasn’t all that enthused about the hard road surface, so as soon as I was able, I cut over on the trail, and came home that way.

I was just a few minutes ahead of Pete, who returned with the third load. He took Tinni and the dogs for a trail ride, and I took Hrimmi for a walk, coincidently meeting up with him on the trail.

Once home, I did the evening chores by the light of my headlight. Nope, no motion detector lighting here. Tomorrow will be much the same. Watching Birdman made me feel glad that I live the way I currently do.

Next: 313. 11/24/14: The Rural Lifestyle, Part II: Hrimmi’s ongoing training