My husband accused me of being a city girl the other day, which I found very disconcerting. When I told my kids this they commented; ” but you never even wear clean clothes to town, you always have dirty knees and your muddy boots on, how could you possibly be considered a city girl ? ” I wondered too what he’d meant. I’ve lived in the country for twenty six years now, longer than I ever lived in the city ( suburbia). Gardening and working hard; in tractors, backhoes, trucks and mostly on a shovel. I always built gardens where ever I’d lived in that time, also cleared land, built houses, ran my own companies. Was I really a city girl ?
My husband is very hard to pin down, never a straight answer from him or his family ( is this a country trait? ). So I had to follow after him trying to question him about what he meant. It took me a few days of questions to get down to it; I didn’t have faith that everything would be provided for. That bartering, working hard, taking care of others, being a good neighbor, would stand me in good stead for the things we couldn’t provide ourselves. That city people always had to worry about how to “afford ” things, country people figured out how to ” make it work, or make do with what you got”.
I think it might be true, I don’t let myself just farm because I’m too worried we won’t get by financially. I always have to run around gardening for others to satiate my anxiety (although I also love it too) . Maybe I still don’t understand what it means to live on very little. But it seems so hard as well , what about insurances? Car tires and repairs? Gas? Shoes ? As we pair our life down to the bare necessities to be able to farm year round, what do we really have to make to live ?
I think also, what about the infrastructure we still need to put in place here ? How can we afford to do that ? But the reality is that whenever we are getting another aspect of a project clarified, my husband runs out and ” finds” most of the items we would have bought, for free or for some exchange. We have been splitting redwood buckskins for fence posts, straightening bent T posts thrown away in the vineyard for our fences. Collecting left over fencing from where ever we find it. Maybe our fencing the next five acres won’t cost the fortune I thought ! Now if I wasn’t working so much outside, I might have the time to put that fencing up.