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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

With the recent change of seasons comes a change of mind and a change of life.

Michael and Lynda, the two of us who write this blog (when it gets written at all) have been having some interesting discussions lately. You see, we’re a couple and while we’ve been living some distance apart for the past few years, we’ll be blending households this summer. And as we enter this new phase of our shared life, our vision of that future is crystallizing.

The short version is that we’re going to be trying to live more energy-efficiently and to rely less on other people and transportation infrastructure to meet our basic needs.

Some of this has been in the air for a while. Lynda creates art with cross-stitch and is a good cook with a good eye (and palate) for fresh ingredients. Michael likes eating the results of the cooking and is interested in learning how to grow vegetables. These are ambitions we’ve had for a while, though we’ve been holding off on starting the gardening project until the move was closer at hand, simply because the time needed hasn’t been available. When we’re together, one person can handle household needs and we won’t need lengthy periods of time with one person visiting the other, both of which will free up some time for digging and planting and pruning and picking.

But lately another factor has come to our attention. We’ve been reading and talking about the availability and cost of energy now and into future years. I’ve just read The Long Descent by John Michael Greer, and have his The EcoTechnic Future on audio. (His blog, The Archdruid Report, is already linked in our blogroll.)

His thesis, in summary, is that the two extreme views of energy — continued abundance or imminent apocalypse — are both wrong. Instead, we’re facing a gradual decline in energy availability and rise in energy costs, which will change just about everything about the way we live. The changes have already started — remember the new word “staycation” that came into vogue in 2008 when gas was over $4 a gallon? — and will unfold over the next several decades.

Greer is hardly the only person to make this argument, although he is one of the most accessible and engaging. There are many others, though, and we’re sold on the case. The question is what to do about it. Last year, I added insulation to the attic in an effort to cut my heating oil use. I’ve also started composting in preparation for trying to grow vegetables. And we have some other plans to put into place over the next couple of years. The overall goal: Use less energy and depend less on energy for basic needs.

So while we’ll still write about other topics in this blog — hopefully with more frequency than we have been — a new major focus is going to be on our efforts to make the life changes that we hope will prepare use to thrive as the world changes around us.

We don’t see this as changing the spiritual roots of the blog, by the way; how we live on the Earth is a profoundly spiritual concern.

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