5 01 2014

a post from Cindy and Martin…..


Our situation, living on our land, without normal North American housing, continues to fascinate me. I am intrigued by the adaptations we have to make, how habits created in a more “normal” living situation do (or don’t) continue to make sense, and the responses of friends and new acquaintances to the twist our life took when our house burned down.

Because I am in my mid-fifties and Martin is in his mid-sixties and has had major medical problems, some friends are fearful for us. Others simply want to know what our life is like. I realize that our situation stimulates the imagination of our listeners. They put themselves in our shoes … and all too frequently don’t seem to understand how we experience our daily lives. They focus on how they would resolve the situation and “get back to normal”.

One among many things we are learning is the influence of modern North American culture has on us and our friends.

When I say “culture,” I mean the interwoven interactions between us and our families, neighbourhood, city, region, and of course the natural world. Culture is how we live in context with the natural and man-made environments.

We get asked frequently “Where are you staying?” I have to ask “What do you really want to know?” Where do we sleep? Where do we bathe? Where do we eat? Where do we wash dishes? Where do we do our laundry?  Where do we cook? Where do we use computers? Where do we read? Where do we hang out? Where do we watch TV?

“We don’t watch no stinkin’ TV.  Life is just too interesting.” (Martin interjected that statement!)

A normal North American house is the usual answer for most or all of those questions.  We live on the land indicated by our street address. We sleep in one place, bathe in the back yard during hot, warm, or cool/not cold weather, and at the homes of friends or family when it’s cold. We cook and spend our computer time in one place on our land and sleep in another. We walk to go to the refrigerator or freezer or to get potable water. All those amenities are located in what’s left of our house. We sometimes “understand”   we are living in a huge mansion with great distances between rooms and natural hallways decorated with sunlight and other star light,  weather, plants, trees, and sky.

During Autumn, we were asked  “How are you going to survive the winter?”  or “How are you going to stay warm?” Read the rest of this entry »

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