Thursday, September 30, 2010


Tonight I am sitting here wondering at the ways of modern technology. I am now connected to the internet in my house. Our new home is at the end of a very long dirt road. When the telephone company came to hook up our telephone, a month ago, the technician commented on the old connections on the house. Cell phone coverage can be spotty. We are at the end of the line. We investigated radio internet, dial-up and finally decided on a toggle from a cell phone company. So now we are connected and this space should be filled with more of my ponderings again.

In the time that I have not had regular internet access, I have been busy. I've been planting garlic, sheet mulching new perennial beds, cooking dinners, reading an incredible amount of Roald Dahl to a certain 4 year old, knitting up abandoned projects and discovering the joys of making sourdough. An absolutely amazing process. I've been ferrying the teen to many days at the blacksmiths forge.

Which has me pondering the juxtaposition of this life between the old and the new.

This homesteading life embraces the old skills. Each year I learn a new skill that harkens back to a more traditional self sufficient time. Sewing on a treadle, growing my own, knitting socks and leavening by the microbes in my own kitchen. These are skills that save me money, mean I am less dependent on an external system to provide it for me, give me the satisfaction on doing for myself.

I was also reminded of this paradox of past and present this past weekend. On Friday evening we went to the Farmington Fair. It is a fair that Tristan had been working all week giving blacksmithing demonstrations. It is a fair with animals, exposition hall and carnival rides. Evan had a ride on a carnival ride. He enjoyed that novelty of the experience. The following day we went to the Common Ground Country Fair. There were animals, an expositions hall, blacksmithing demonstrations but instead of the carnival rides there were piles of hay for kids to jump in, a dress up parade for kids, and cardboard scraps for kids to slide down a berm.

I am glad to be able to be back in this space, connected to the interwebs and all the information it provides. But this respite from the modern technology has been productive and valuable in lessons it has provided me. I have found stillness again. I have discovered old technologies.

I don't know if I can tie this thought process into a nice neat bow. I will keep on the homesteading path. Each year gives me new knowledge. Some of those lessons will be gleaned from from the internet and some from native knowledge and quiet life I am living. It is what is is for now...


Ellen said...

Welcome back, you have been missed!
Internet is wonderful, but it can be time consuming and I still find it difficult to have everything in balance.

Wendy said...

It's good to see you again ;).

I think your introspection is very interesting. I've recently read Meanwhile, Next Door to the Good Life, by fellow-transplant-to-Maine Jean Hay-Bright, and your comments made me think of her writing - in a contrast sort of way, because she was living this low-energy, homesteading life, but what it felt like, as I was reading her writing, was that she was not happy having done it. If you ever have time, I'd bet your words re: your experience moving back (in time ... to the land ... whatever we call it) would inspire in ways that so many others have failed.

Welcome back, and I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures ;).

A Northern Farmer said...

Glad to see you back! I'm still trying to find the balance between reading how to do things, and getting out there and actually doing it. I know how to do a hell of a lot of things... in theory ;)