“No Christmas until after Thanksgiving”, is a common refrain when the stores first start putting the displays out even as they put up fall and Halloween. But at the first signs of chill, we all start anticipating our family gatherings for Thanksgiving and soon thereafter, Christmas. The first chills after a nice long hot summer make us all want to blanket up and start the fireplaces.
Ms. SpoolTeacher is trying to make her way “off the grid” so she can accomplish her goals to live simply, live with less, make do with the least of things and have more time, not exchanging her labor for money but using her labor to effect the changes in the world she hopes to see. At the least she wants to make the changes in her own life that will reflect the values she holds, organic food grown by herself, time spent studying things that will broaden her perspective, studying nutrition and health so as to avoid the pharmaceutical fiasco, spending time loving other people and building relationships, sewing, caring for her animals, keeping her own house up.
So instead of running expensive utilities for heat, she just piles on more clothes. She has done this now for several years, and it is doable. A little uncomfortable, but doable.
She resents that prices keep going up on everything. Especially insurances.
She thought lately about dumping cars and getting her bicycle in gear to make her rounds about town for the essentials of her life…
But, just yesterday, one of her elder clients who hires her for housekeeping, had gotten so ill he was taken to emergency for what turned out to be pneumonia, again. He had called her up to make his bed with new sheets. When she first saw him he was grizzly with an unshaven face and mussy hair. He was laboring to breath. She patted him on his skinny little arm and said, “You feel so bad, you haven’t even shaved?” To which he replied, very slowly and labored, “I feel so bad, I couldn’t even take a shower.”
He’s a handsome man, looks a little like one of her favorite actors/musicians of all time, Levon Helm but with much whiter hair.
While she was scuttling about making the bed, another friend came in and together they decided that he should go to emergency hospital. She finished her chore and left just ahead of the two of them.
It wasn’t much later that Mr. Frail Client called her, “I hate to ask you to do this, but I’m waiting for them to give me a shower. Could you bring up a pair of shorts and a T-shirt?
“Of course”, she responded. He gave her detailed descriptions of where to find and what to bring. She would need her car for that.
She no sooner got home from doing that when he called and said, “I’m sorry to bother you again, but I should have thought, I will need a pair of pajama bottoms too.”
Well, she would get one thing to him and he would think of two or three other things he had forgotten… brush, deodorant, razor; steak in the fridge that needed to be cut and frozen for when he came home; sleeping pills and more shorts and T’s for the days he anticipated staying.
She must have made five or six trips. “I’ll catch up with you for money when I get home, is that okay?”
“Of course”, she said as she thought of how she gets to be too friendly with her clients and hates to even charge them for things she does for the love of them. But she knows they love her also and want to keep her going and handy and wouldn’t think of not paying her.
But she sure did need her car for all that. So the insurance that she just changed, probably two months ago because of rate changes, has gone up now too. She sure would like to dump it. She hates (strong word but accurate), hates, hates insurance. It’s a racket and completely unfair to consumers. She thinks regulations aren’t strict enough. She’s assured by seemingly everyone that “that is Capitalism at work”. Where’s the competition if the only competition is a tiny discount to get one moved over and then two months later they raise it to “allowable increases” at the first opportunity?
Well, she will get rid of car (or maybe she’ll get a Harley and ride off into the sunset with Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend) as soon as she can find the right things to make with her abundance of resources (of which she wants to rid herself) and is able to sell them on Etsy or at a fair or some such way.
And she wants to write a book. Those are all things she can do without a car.
Car is dying anyway and that would require more labor for wages and a trap she could never get out of if she started that cycle again.
She marches on.
So she is giving thanks for all the things she does have that make it possible for her to keep on living the life of which she has become accustomed; off the grid, simple. Great friends, Old Harley-Davidson-Riding Boyfriend, (who came to visit lately and took her for a day of fun), family, pets and God.
Thank you God for everything.
Thanks Giving. It’s a good practice to keep everyday, don’t ya think?