We moved back to California in 2007 in a moderately ‘well off’ financial condition.  Due to a family situation, by 2012 our most of our life savings had been whittle away and there was no income for five years of full-time-working, seven days a week.

Fate, timing, whatever you want to call it … intervened. My Mom had suffered a brain aneurysm, and I had been traveling to Oregon to stay with her. On a walk with a friend up on the mountain, she pointed down into the valley at an abandoned house. After a long, complicated series of events, we took the gamble of losing even more of what was left of our savings, and began the new journey.

Living in the country is very hard on finances, but we moved here primarily to be near my Mom. If we had not done this … we could have far more easily recovered by simply leaving the prior situation and living in our giant motorhome.

It was the right choice, but still it has been complicated. Our income hovers in the ‘legal’ poverty region, but we are better off than we were in California.

We’ve …………… maintained, always living on the edge, but … still … not crashing.

It is amazing what becomes unnecessary when life becomes frugal. I’ve realized that so many things are just junk. The more money there is, the more wasteful one can be.

Many people in this community struggle financially. And one thing has becoming astonishingly clear: The less that some people have, the more generous they are!  I’ve been witnessing this phenomena consistently. And people who are farmers/gardeners are extremely generous! There is also a lot of ‘sharing’ that goes on.

Being ‘poor’ financially does not mean being  unhealthy. It is quite possible to purchase organic products and eat healthy foods.  In fact, often it is less expensive because less ‘junk’ is purchased, which is more expensive (pound-for-pound).

It is stressful … there is no escaping that.  But so is living in a city, or working in cubicles. There are many things that are stressful.

Whatever happens … happens. We just do the best we can. We need to be here for my Mom, so we work with what we have to make that happen.

Our wood stove keeps us warm, the river sings, the trees whisper, the birds entertain, the flowers dazzle, the herbs nurture. We have shelter, running water, and half the year we have a functioning septic. When we don’t have a septic, we use a grey water system for dishes and laundry and sink baths, and we use buckets that get poured into deep holes with ashes in place a toilet that uses 2 gallons of fresh water for flushing.  And before the next winter season, the compost toilet will be installed.

We are a lot better off than many people. Shelter, land, running water, good food, wonderful friends, and a solid community.

Now, if we could just get a few days of sunshine! 😉

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