This has been a very satisfying week on a number of levels. On the strictly personal one, every last bit of stuff has been removed from the old house, and it is “officially” on the market. With luck, it’ll go sooner rather than later–fortunately, the housing market is still moving in that area. (I’m also left with that “good” soreness–the one that comes from plenty of exertion doing something productive…)
On a somewhat deeper level, I found another site that describes some of the things I’ve struggled to convey, yet does so in a much more elegant, eloquent manner. The site in particular: Granny Miller’s blog, specifically her post from November 4th of last year, entitled “Survivor, Prepper, or Housewife?” I won’t quote the entire thing here (thus the links); I will say that while I don’t necessarily agree with every last thing she says (“traditional gender roles” are 99.9% hogwash, in my opinion), I certainly agree with most of it, and understand where she’s coming from with all of it. My favorite line from the entire thing: “For many of you reading this, your great-grandma was a hard-core prepper.”
Why this assertion? Well, the “normal” way of life for a sizable majority of Americans (up until at least the early 1950’s, and in areas into the 1970’s) included, among many other things: a vegetable garden, canning & preserving food, making at least some of your own clothes, and having some small amount of livestock (a couple of chickens, anyway). What you couldn’t produce for yourself, you could often procure (purchase, or more frequently barter) from a neighbor, or someone in your local community.
That last bit is really the key to the whole thing–and where I think (hope?) we’ll shift back to as things continue to fall apart. It’s not about the overall economy so much as it is about the household economy, and how it interacts with other household economies. That is what forms the local economy–and, by extent, it is the aggregate of those local economies that form the true picture of the regional, national, and ultimately global economies. Unfortunately, from where I’m sitting, it seems we’ve (mostly) forgotten the smaller end of things, and the bigger end of things isn’t looking all that great lately.
Still, with all of that being said and done, I think that movement is being made, however slowly, back into local economies. The more of it we do, the stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient the local economy–and that can only be a good thing, right?