Monday, November 26, 2007

On holidays, weddings and funerals

This past week, while much of the country was going to ridiculous lengths to celebrate Thanksgiving, my husband and I attended his uncle's funeral on Wednesday and on Friday and Saturday his son got married - so we passed on Thanksgiving this year and since "Black Friday" isn't a tradition in our house, there was nothing to give up there.

I can appreciate a good tradition as well as anyone, I think - but if this past week is any example, our life celebrations have become ridiculously ritualistic events dictated by folks just trying to make a buck and keep the economy afloat. It's very natural to want to share the events of our lives with family and friends, but do we have to make a spectacle of them, and ourselves, in the process? I say - next time you find yourself planning a special event, resist the urge to make it 'bigger than life' and just let it be about life. Keep it simple. . . .and real. Let the economy suffer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Cabin

A legacy - a labor of love - a life-long dream - to be closer to nature - to have a garden - to make a living.

The fall foliage at left is a Sweetleaf tree. This delicate tree is the last to bloom in the spring and the first to turn in the fall. We were not familiar with them before, but they are numerous here and light up the understory with their gorgeous red leaves.

The land has been in my husband's family for many generations and it has always been his dream to build a cabin here. Hurricane Ivan and Katrina taught us how much we were capable of doing ourselves - and me the satisfaction that comes from hard, physical labor and doing the seemingly impossible.

Many years ago I picked up a copy of Your Money or Your Life
by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin and, although I've never fully implemented the concept, I've been on the journey ever since - and two things from the book are always with me. The peak of the Fulfillment Curve - the concept of enough - and the understanding that anything more than 'enough' takes us from 'making a living' to the realm of 'making a dying'. Of course, Dominquez and Robin are only two of many who have urged us to follow this path to fulfillment - which can be as simple as paying attention and finding one's own balance. Awareness is the key.

So many things had to come together for us to be at the place we are now - breaking ground on the cabin - and I am grateful for them all. I am grateful for my husband who feels a deep connection to this land and wants to restore the native vegetation and conserve it for his son and future generations - and I am grateful to his mother for keeping this legacy intact and giving him the opportunity to do so. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

The cabin dimensions are 20ft x 38ft with a 4ft elevation.
A basic 600 sq. ft. cabin with an 8 x 20 ft. screened porch, wood-burning stove and rainwater harvesting system.