Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

October 31, 2008

Answer I - How I got here...

Q: Hiya Paul, have been reading your blog for a while and yes I am curious as to how you came to the life that you now have. A little info would satisfy my curiosity :-)
Best wishes
Well Babs, here you go. (I'll get to the other questions in order if that's alright?) It's probably more information than you could ever have wanted, but it is a good intro to me and It's something that I'd like to have down in print for the future anyway. I hope you enjoy.

A: I have to admit first off, that while we do do a lot of things around our house that might/do raise some eyebrows when seen or mentioned; feeding my chickens first thing in the morning in my go to work casual dress clothes before I head out, making homemade cheese or yogurt, grinding wheat for flour etc. I don't really see ourselves our lives as all that different. We take our kids to a pretty normal school (Charter school though...LOVE IT!), I work at a normal 40/hr week job and we live in a very suburban area just north of Salt Lake City UT. But on the other hand, unlike our neighbors, we don't have dogs barking in our backyard, we have chickens clucking and announcing the arrival of fresh eggs, I come home from a full time job and work many days until the sun is down to accomplish the things at home that I feel are just as important to our family as my going to work outside the home. We are a little different, and evolving all the time. But that's the root of the question isn't it? How did we get where we are today?

I have to take most of the credit for initially steering our ship toward this harbor. I've always been a little bit different like that. Growing up in Southern California I had two great parents that really let me explore a lot. My dad taught me to use hand tools at a young age and my mom taught me to sew....err, fabric weld. We had a family bookshelf and I remember my favorite books being the Do-It-Yourself books by Time-Life or something like that. I've always had a passion for creating, doing, learning and experimenting. I wasn't a great student, but absorbed what I wanted. Around high-school, I started dreaming of building my own "RV". You know, the old hippy renovated school bus kind with the sweet barn wood walls and recycled everything. What can I say, there were a lot of them at the beach and I lived at the beach!

I've also had the opportunity to see much of the world and it's helped a great deal in shaping who I am. I was born in Sweden you see, and although I moved here as a baby, half of my family was still there. I took my first oversees flight by myself at 9 yrs to go visit family in Sweden, had the chance to travel Europe with my family as a 12 yr old (11 or 12...Mom, help me out here?) and went through checkpoint charlie in Berlin before the wall came down. After high school I studied art locally in San Diego but then had the opportunity to spend a semester studying (and I use that term loosely.) at the University of London, it was one of the greatest times of my life. A couple of years later I enlisted in the US ARMY. I needed some direction, and more than a little discipline. I got both in spades. I also got to spend two tours of duty in Saudi Arabia where I got to learn about the culture of the mid east in person. My last big adventure was almost ten years ago when my oldest son and I went to Singapore and Bali to visit my parents who were then living there. I bring up travel for one reason. Seeing other cultures, talking with people from different circumstances cannot help but shape a persons outlook on the world. I know it did mine.

Recently, if nearly ten years is recently, I met and fell in love with a woman that can only be described as my soul mate and while today we are living a pretty comfortable life, that wasn't always the case. When we met, we were both going through very messy divorces. It wasn't the best timing, but like I mentioned in my last post, it's hard to go wrong following your heart. The first few years we were together we were basically broke. We got help from others, did what we could, and just kept plugging along. We have known what it is to want, to be burdened with debt and to feel helpless. That is not a feeling either of us wants again.

A couple of years ago, we began a process of "cleaning house". Two of our sons had been diagnosed with asthma, and one had missed nearly three weeks of school from it. We didn't know where it had come from. No one on either side of their family tree had it and we didn't know what to do. We learned about how pathogens and chemicals in our homes and food were so common, and how many experts believed that they were a great deal of the reason for many children's illnesses. We made a decision to start small and added on over time as we learned things. We made changes to our home like removing carpet and sealing our walls will zero VOC paints. One thing lead to another and food was the next logical step in our evolution. I began to see what I believed, still believe, was a threat to our future food security in the industrialization of it and it's reliance on fossil fuels that are reaching their peak. I got to a point where I was getting depressed because I wanted so badly to move to a place with some land. To have a small but productive acreage where we could do more for ourselves but couldn't make it happen. It was then that I found the Path to Freedom site, and my eyes were open to a whole new world of possibilities. A~ and I began to change our focus toward producing as much sustainable, healthy and secure food sources as we could right here on our 1/4 acre property. We expanded the garden, worked towards making keeping hens legal in our town and have been actively encouraging others to do the same.

It's been a long strange trip, to quote "The Dead", but I couldn't be happier with how it's going so far. A~ and I often work side by side. We have a common goal and faith in our future. We feel secure in our ability to provide food for our family and live in a healthy home. Our oldest son, the one who missed so much school, has hardly missed a day in the last two years. He still has triggers, but it's controlled 90% without medication. The future looks like it'll be a interesting one...but that, is a topic for another post.
Till then.


farm mom said...

HA! Love the fabric weld thing!! ;) I'm glad your son is doing better now that you've made the changes. Eric has had asthma his whole life, so we know what it's like here in our househild as well. Great post p, it's always great to read about you, the lovely A, and your wonderful family.

Robbyn said...

Love this post, P! Jack and I have some interesting similarities with you guys...we've both traveled the world (I was at checkpoint charlie, too!), I studied art in college, was a nominal student (way to busy trying to do everything)my first two college years, but I want to get my degree and have excelled in the courses I did later...still want that degree, though. Jack and I met after prior marriage, having learned a lot and are so delighted to be on this journey together. We're fusing our health needs into some solution-finding and life changes. You guys are far ahead of us, but what joy to see it can be done. We see you guys as kindred spirits...we applaud your empowering yourselves to make the changes you need yourselves to benefit your family for the longterm :)

Anonymous said...

Could you give us more information on keeping chickens legal in you area. We live in a small town and we can keep chickens but we are not suppose to have a rooster. We have heard lately a lonely rooster near-by so I guess the neighbors are trying him out?

Great Post!