Oh… for Corten Cabins in the Pines…

24 May

This oil spill is the last straw.

While I have been trying for quite some time to remove my family from this part of the South, now I must.

Even the fumes from the oil are a threat. My wife, as many of you know, has Stage Three Cervical Cancer. It doesn’t get much worse. We have done all that there is to do. Now, we wait for the end.

The hardest part is watching her with our young son, a two year old terror, who runs and plays like he thinks he’s on some soccer or football field, vanquishing his foes at each foot fall.

Their lungs, their respiratory systems won’t take the contaminants that will come with this oil. The spill will literally reach out from the coastline, to harm those it can’t reach any other way.

And our gardens? Plants are filters. Food grown in contaminated soil, plants that will filter contaminated air…  cannot be consumed.

It is heartache after heartache.

So, what to do?  The unemployment rate here is astronomical. That’s about to change, but it’s a bitter pill, none the less. The damage that will be done cannot be undone by simply throwing dollars at it.

It will allow Me to move my family out of harms way, while I work to help fight this battle. The revenue it brings will help us take that big step we need, to begin building what will be the last home my wife ever lives in, should she survive to see it completed.

But, where do you build?

After a long life with spells of city, suburban and rural living, I read something recently that reminded me of a truth that has guided me for much of my life. It’s quite possibly MY “ultimate truth”;

“Only in certain rural locations can one live free, unencumbered and annoyed by unnecessary bureaucracy, power mongers, fees, applications, approvals, regulations.”

If you think about it, it may occur to you that this is how we are DESIGNED to live. And, the benefits, from a life lived in self-responsibility and self-reliance… are  both psychological and environmentally invaluable. You cannot put a price on “inner peace.”

As a tradesman/idiot savant, I do what many do. I design homes to capitalize on safety, comfort, affordability, sustainability, energy efficiency and again… serenity.

The Internet is a wonderful thing, easily the largest reference library in the world. Just surfing cyberspace will provide you with enough so that almost anyone could feel quite comfortable not consulting any “building code” books.

I for one embrace a “rural existence”, a place where you can be quite happy to live a life free of the scorn and approval of “inspectors”.

If you don’t believe me, I was recently reminded of this site, a veritable gold mine of information:


Let’s face it, for all the hustle and bustle, cities are becoming “graveyards”.

How many foreclosed homes are there, on your street? Are you seeing houses change hands around you? It seems to me that the “economy” (or lack thereof)  doesn’t seem to help much either. Where I live, there aren’t enough jobs available to allow those empty houses to fill back up. So, they sit, carefully recorded on bankers spreadsheets, while families go on being homeless, staring into empty windows. It’s just tragic.

I have a very good friend (more like an “adopted” daughter) that has a grandmother who lives in Detroit. “H” and her husband drive to Detroit regularly to visit her. Her grandmother is an amazing woman, a woman full of “life and art”, who has watched Detroit rise, and now… she’s watching Detroit fail…

Detroit had already lost half of its population before the economy collapsed. Now, it appears that the best thing for the city will be to “downsize”, and  dismantle the city politically, into a few separate governments, with large greenspaces stuffed in between them.

Has anyone thought this thru? Yep. This “transformation” has actually been predicted for several decades…

Some prophecies apparently DO come true.

Much of the “inner city” of Detroit, is turning into fields of garbage and debris. The people who owned homes there, are often losing every single penny of their investment, and then some.

And with economic failure comes despair, heartache, and “the predators” that prey on the  weak, to make their own ends…

My friends had thought to take one of those “bargain” homes in Detroit and renovate it…

Until I warned them that they needed to go see that potential “new home” after darkness had fallen, possibly with a cop in tow, for protection.  Many places are not passable at night, without risk. Between the drugs, the gangs, and the prostitution… it can be a life-threatening event to go to the corner store for a gallon of milk, after night falls.

It’s like New Orleans, but without being able to use Nature as an excuse.

Detroit was hit by an economic hurricane.

And it appears that the Hurricane Season is beginning again…

20 acres and a mule is sounding better and better…

I wonder how many mules it would take to drag a shipping container into place? 😉

My thanks to Laren Corie and his Little House cronies for reminding me of “more things” that will assuredly keep me up nights… 😉


One Response to “Oh… for Corten Cabins in the Pines…”

  1. Madrigorne May 25, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Come to Wisconsin, we’re waiting for you, or Rochester MN – there is a Mayo Clinic there that would be helpful in Char’s care. You could try Zion, IL – the Midwest Cancer Treatment Center is there.We haven’t the ocean, we have the great lakes though, we haven’t hurricanes – though tornadoes do come a-calling, and there is indeed flooding. We do have snowy winters too. But maybe heartbreak won’t follow you so closely up here.

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