Beliefnet
My Happy Place

I’m about to step out of my comfort zones:

I avoid talking politics and religion because I know such conversations make one’s social circles small. People feel threatened if you disagree with them so then they avoid you. If you talk politics and religion, you will soon only have people in your life who think and believe just like you do.  I like a wide variety of people in my life and positive human interaction is important to me.

When I write a blog, I have a reason. I tell a story and the story becomes a message. The message is something positive and happy because–hello–my blog is called “My Happy Place.” 🙂

Today, however, I came across this video, and had an emotional response to it because, in a round-about-way, it has to do with my “happy place” (the farm). I’m not really sure what I think or how I feel. Today I’d like to share this video with you and I hope you’ll excuse my ramblings–I can’t be eloquent when I don’t know what I want to say! 🙂 I’m stepping out of my comfort zone because I don’t have a happy conclusion and this subject does have a bit of a political bend to it…for some people it may even touch on their religious beliefs.

This video is about some people in the California dessert who live in homes off the grid. They have solar panels and wells so they don’t have to connect in with the system. Some of them do this because they want to live inexpensively and be self-sufficient. Some people do it for religious reasons. They are being told by the government that they cannot live like this.

Here’s the thoughts from one side of Kirsten’s mind:

I live in the country and on my drive to town I have to drive by some *really* ugly properties.  There are families who cram a house and a mobile home and three or four campers on a two-acre lot, piling their garbage in what is left of their front yards. Soggy couches line the porches and chained vicious-looking dogs protect the perimeter. I admit it…it’s hard for me not to judge and sometimes I wish “someone” would make them clean things up.

A few years ago there was a house on the outskirts of our town that welcomed visitors with a graffiti wall, a hand-written sign that proclaimed “Tobacco Road,” and a yard full of men enjoying a BBQ meal and a beer at all times of the day. I was embarrassed by it and didn’t like the image it presented of my town.

Once I gave directions to our home by saying, “Turn left when you see the couch in the ditch.” Why? Why? Why? Why can’t people take care of their garbage?

Now…let’s take a look at the other side of my brain:

We moved to South Dakota to leave behind places like Tobacco Road. We were enamored by the beautifully kept yards and cute little houses in the small towns. We soon realized, though, the reason the town looked so nice was because the police enforced such things. Citizens were required to follow strict building codes and were quickly and frequently ticketed for not obeying the many laws of the land. We didn’t like it and moved home. When we saw Tobacco Road house on the way in to town we yelled out the window, “FREEDOM!” and laughed with joy.

I truly think it’s important to have the freedom to live off the grid if that’s what you want to do. I would love for my  farm to be equipped with solar panels, a well, garden, and livestock. It would be fabulous to know we could provide for ourselves if needed…maybe, even, if not needed.

We bought a place in the country so we don’t have to worry what the neighbors think and we relish living the way we want to live.  Just because we keep our property neat and clean, it’s the freedom of country- living that allows others to leave the couch in their ditch.

And so I have no conclusion….

I wonder if *you* do? What is your experience?