Thursday, September 16, 2010

So here's the deal.... *or* FAQs

My friends, family, and acquaintances have had NO IDEA what I have been up to or where I have been for the past 2 years. No one seems to be able to keep my story straight, and this has most often included me. BUT. I am here to fill in the blanks and get this sorted out once and for all. This is not as eloquent as I feel it should be, but here goes. My lone reader (Hi mom!) can take this as yet another 'planning session':

WHAT are you doing?
In a nutshell, moving to the middle of North Carolina, to homestead and (for lack of a better phrase) go back to the land. *shudder*

WHERE are you going?
The central region of North Carolina, near the newly designated Haw River Valley viticultural area (woot!). I will be living on my parents' property that has been in the family since my great-grandfather. He happened to be the civil engineer on the project when they made the lake, which is how it ended up in the fambly (the lake was renamed after him). I believe he used it as his man cave, and gardened and hunted deer out there. People still ask if the asparagus beds he put in produce (we think so). My father bought it from him in 1982, and it has always kind of been in the background - a kind of 'someday' thing. It has been quite interesting so far, especially as upon visiting it recently I was shown proof that my father was once a small kid. Evidently he did not spontaneously spring into being as I had previously thought. My mother has always had a bit of an itch to go out there and do something, as has my father, and so we're doing it.

WHEN are you leaving?
Sunday. As in this Sunday. As in please-don't-tell-me-Sunday-is-only-technically-three-days-away-Sunday. *silent panic attack*

HOW are you getting there?
By car. I'm planning on being there for good, my mother is coming for at least a few months to help get it set up, and my father will be out for a few weeks. At least that's this hour's plan. But my mother and I will be driving 2 cars out there over the next week. From Vancouver to NC. If we were going from Alaska to Florida, the route could be longer, but that's about it. Actually I haven't done a road trip (my frequent NorCal to Vancouver drives do not count, thankyouverymuch) in a while, so I'm really looking forward to it. Oh. And Zora will be coming with me. (people keep asking me if I'm taking my dog. Umm. Stop asking that, people).

We're still working on things like electricity, water, an address, etc, so....for the meantime we'll be living in a 32ft 1974 AirStream trailer. I can not express how excited I am to be moving into an airstream. Holy buckets, they're cool.

(this is the tricky one) WHY are you doing this? or Are you nuts? (yes)
*I am NOT interested in commercial farming, but I do want to grow my own food, and am aiming for 90% self-sustainability over the next few years. I don't think that it's necessarily responsible for people to shoot for the moon in terms of 'self-sustainability' - we have the phrase "it takes a village" for a reason. 100% is improbable, impractical, and, for me, impossible. I'm not going to stop eating grains because I don't grow them. Yet a lot of us live in an area where not participating in growing our food - either by doing it ourselves or supporting local farms - is just dumb. When you don't live in an extreme place where growing food takes more energy than it produces, I feel there's no excuse not to. I feel that it's more important to shoot for an attainable goal and continue that trend as a lifestyle change rather than fail miserably and go on to shopping only at Safeway. I couldn't do this financially in California (love it as I do), and my parents already own 40 acres in North Carolina outright. They are also gracious enough to let me go muck around on it. You do the math.

*Sanctimonious asshats bug me. Yup. While I am forever entertained by people and what they do, I pass no judgement on your lifestyle (unless you're a sanctimonious asshat. In which case you can bite me). You want to eat TV dinners and drive a gas guzzler, fine. I don't. So. Instead of sitting around loudly badmouthing those around me that aren't living their lives the way I think they should, I'm going to go live mine the way I think I should. If someone takes that as an example, great. If no one gives a hoot, great. If someone disagrees with something I do, great. I don't really care. I'm more impressed by and learn from those that are actually doing something, and I want to be a member of that club.

*I had a lot of changes in my life almost 2 years ago now, and I decided then that this was something I was going to move towards. It has been a slow process, but I must say that far away from anything actually coming of it as we may be, I'm mildly surprised we've come this far. Everything I own is in a storage locker in Bellingham, WA. I left my beloved cabin of 8 years. I jettisoned 10 boxes of books (I still have 9. Only one is not filled with cookbooks). I left my beloved town of Point Arena. Every article of clothing I own fits in a Rubbermaid container. My KitchenAid mixer and my juicer are the only appliances I still own. I'm passing on my 2nd computer (it's coming, D. It is.). I've left my friends behind in CA, my man in the midwest, and my sisters in the Great White North. I'm hell-bent on giving this as good as a go as possible. I secretly want to get back into food. I secretly want to make cheese. I secretly want to make honey.

Other than the burning desire to be elbow deep in food again, if you know me well all of these things should be surprising to you. And I hope that fact successfully conveys the importance of this and how seriously I am taking this.

Stay tuned. Keep your fingers crossed. Send money.

Just kidding.

UPDATE: Current plan is to leave Monday. Due to the change in trucks, the front end needs to be rebuilt first. Woot. Family tradition, upheld.


samb said...

very clear! i like seeing the plan laid out like that. =) only a few more days left!!! LUCK!!!

caitlinvb said...

Thank you thank you! I'm so good at confusing people with my rambling, mumbling, and going off on tangents :) Being clear is tough for me!

Kerri said...

Bravo, Caitlin!

There are so many quotable quotes in here, and I just may have to quote them to the sanctimonious asshats around me.

I am so excited, awed and encouraged by this next phase in your life. I can't wait to watch it unfold!!!

caitlinvb said...

Quote! Forward! Do what you need to do! Down with Asshats!

Thanks Kerri - you're pretty awe inspiring yourself, lady. Can't wait to hear details of your sailing adventures.