Thursday, October 27, 2011
My new-found local bargain store is called Hoover's Discount Grocery on St. Johns Road, outside of Berrysburg, Pennsylvania. They sell bulk quantities, expired or near-expired products, and seconds. Yes, the prices are incredible on some of their products. It's run by Amish and the majority of shoppers are Amish. Today, it was pretty full of Amish shoppers. Standing in the narrow aisle checking out the black beans with barely butt room between me and the elder Amish man pushing the cart that his wife was filling, I hear in a bold voice, "I like when they dye their hair grey." I couldn't help my big grin when I turned to answer, "I like it too!" And he says, "so does my wife." It made my week, month, and year. What a classic line! I'll never forget the moment. (In case you don't know me, I'm very grey and never dyed my hair -- we joke I paid a lot of money to have my hair streaked grey!).
Friday, October 14, 2011
In two weeks, my daily two-hour round trip commute to Harrisburg City in Pennsylvania, to my full-time job as a government manager, will come to an end. I retire on October 28. Years ago when I first started reading about going green, homesteading, living off the grid, and using less resources, I dreamt of the day I wouldn’t have to commute to work. The day is here. My daily commute will be by foot to the backyard to prep the gardens to grow our food. This is the part of retirement that gets me the most excited. I’m the type that likes many activities and I don’t always ‘stick” with one. Being a triathlete is a good example. From 2004 to 2008, I swam, biked, and ran my little heart out all the way to a world competition. A bike accident put a quick halt to that short-term endeavor. Through the years I’ve picked up and put down probably 15 or so hobbies and interests. But through all of them, one thing stuck: gardening of some sort. For twenty-two years, I’ve tossed together horse manure, straw, kitchen scraps, and grass clippings to feed my food. As a kid I helped my mom harvest and preserve which instilled the canning notion in my brain. I’m a farmer at heart. It’s in my blood and I can’t put it aside like other hobbies. To know I will now be able to garden every single day for the rest of my life is an awe-inspiring feeling. To know not only can I grow it, but I’ll now have the time to preserve it and eat it in the middle of the winter, is equally awesome. I’m excited to grow, preserve and eat my own food on a full-time basis. Warm up the stove... let's get cooking!