Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Possum Living

Last night, while stooging around in my 'recommendations' on Amazon, most of which appear to be on homesteading, I ran across a book called 'Possum Living' by Dolly Freed.  She wrote it as a teenager in the seventies, and while having been out of print for many years, it's available again. Reviews are mixed, naturally, but what I found more compelling was the three-part interview I found on Youtube.  If you decide to go there, do watch all three parts, although I'll warn you that watching her dance with a friend to seventies easy-listening music was a bit excruciating, particularly if you've lived through the seventies and might have once danced to that very tune. Excruciating because it's embarrassing, maybe?  Uh......yeah.

Anyway- after viewing all three parts, I came to the conclusion that at nineteen, she was pretty well grounded, more so than her mother, anyway. Much more so.  I would venture to say that it would not have been possible for her and her father to live that way, had they a mortgage with which to contend.  But the fact that they didn't and were completely happy not working is a great incentive to me.  She poses a good question that I'll paraphrase here: if fishing and gardening and otherwise scrabbling for your existence is something that you enjoy doing and prefer doing rather than joining the rat race, is it leisure, or is it work?

Maybe it's because I'm currently unemployed, or maybe it's because I've never really felt that I belonged anywhere in the many jobs I've held along the way, but I really, really want to get us to the point where we can work at something that rewards us, rather than having to earn a paycheck.  The Big Obstacle is going to be health care of course, because that only comes with employment with an employer who offers it.  I know it's not the only way to get health care coverage, but it is the only affordable way.  If the economy continues in the same direction as it has been though, I can see more and more employers dropping health care benefits in the move toward lowering costs, which will be easy for them to do if unemployment continues to rise.  Why should they worry about current employees if there are so many desperate candidates out there from which to choose?  The national unemployment rate was reported at over nine percent today, so it's quickly becoming quite the employer's market.

But maybe congress will have that health care thing all worked out by the time we've paid off the mortgage.

Which reminds me that I need to take another check for the principal to the bank tomorrow....


Anonymous said...


The Sprouting Acorn said...

Just reading (and enjoying) a bit of your stuff… have seen you on Cold Antler a few times. Have you been to Dolly's blog? She has one now. I'm in the same boat, wondering if running on the rodent wheel is really worth it when I can stay home and hang clothes out on the line, and mix up a great portion of our foods. The hubby works, and has health care through that, so maybe we could afford for me not to work.

Read Dolly's book -- quite the interesting read. Also, another book worth mentioning is "The Radical Homemaker." This one will put you firmly over the edge if you're standing too close, which by the sound of it, you could very well be. It's all about the woman taking control (again) of things that matter: family, food, home, education, etc., etc., etc. Highly recommended.