Thursday, August 23, 2012

Building a Home... At Some Point

We prayed that the Lord would open a door for us to return to the land.  But we did not pray for a house.

Many people are crippled at the thought of buying land/home/property/farm, moving there and then maybe making it.  Or failing.  The Catholic Land Movement has been given the title of "romantic" many times, perhaps with a pat on the head to commend a good, but naive heart.  "It is just not realistic these days," they say, "What if you get out there and then don't make it?  Then what?" 

Modern thinking is so enslaved to the debt and consumerist fed economy that we can't imagine there are other ways.  Or maybe we can imagine, but we're just not thinking enough.

Before we can even dream of a farm of our own (yes, that is the goal), we need two things:

1 - We need a place to live where we are not tied down by multi-decade long contracts filed by computers.  Really, we need a place where we are hardly tied down at all.

2 - We need a place where we can learn.  Selling everything and moving straight to the land is probably romantic and imprudent.  Centuries formed agrarian cultures, not excited sell-offs. We have a lot to learn, and we are well aware of that

So where are we moving to?  We have found an old farmhouse on a 250 acre peace of property where one family has lived for over a century.  Right now, there are 3 generations living there (though you can't see one house from the next).  They are hardly a full-scale farm, but the do have crops and animals, with a pasture almost ready for some cows.  In exchange for part-time labor from us, we stay in the house for free.  In exchange for education, I work part-time for them.  Get it?  Bartering, that's what that is.  If you want an agrarian life one day, start bartering now.

The situation meets both requirements above.  Also, by entering into the bartering system, while I, my family and the landowners all benefit, the economy suffers.  When you barter, you are no longer a measurable "consumer."  Somehow we live in a system where something that benefits every party directly involved somehow "hurts" the economy.  They'll label it a lack of consumer confidence, but you and I know the real story.  If too many of us start doing it they might need a new regulatory office up there on the floating pyramid. 

So yes, we want a home, and on our anniversary this month I bought my wife cast iron door handles for that home (presents of iron are traditional for 6th year anniversaries).  We'll move these handles around a few places I'm sure, but hopefully it finds a home as right and fitting for us as it is for the door.

In the next post I'll describe how we found this family and worked out the arrangement. 

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