Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Hippie Farm?

I had to laugh. I received a one-sentence email that asked, "Are you a hippie?" Oooooh my. No, I'm not a hippie. I lived right in the midst of the hippie era, but the closest I got to becoming a hippie was wearing bell bottom pants, soft moccasins, a leather fringed vest and matching leather floppy hat. Drove my grandmother nuts!!! My mother wisely ignored it and defended me in a low key, flick of a hand sort of way. But my grandmother never gave up. Her harping led me to purchase an unlined leather jacket, which I stoically wore all winter long. I froze but stubbornly refused to admit it. Hippie? No, not really. 

I'm living a comfortable, subsidized (hubby still works his regular job for now), homestead life. Nothing hippie about it. Although we've given up a lot of things that had been standard in our previous life, I wouldn't say that we've forsaken comfort or material goods. We still use money, though I'm developing quite a nice trading network. The last I checked, Amazon wasn't interested in trading bananas or eggs for electronics. So money is here to stay. 

I don't advocate mind altering drugs. I hate, absolutely hate to lose control of myself and my thinking processes. Thus I never developed a drinking habit either. And I don't believe in sucking off the government tit if I can support myself. I'm not adverse to working and doing hard, sweaty labor. Never got into black lamps and psychedelic colors, nor weird music. Back then I never had issues with the establishment, other than I believed in equality regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, or cultural background. Nor did we paint our VW bus funky colors, though I admit we did install an orange & white shag carpet. 

I have plenty of old hippies for neighbors. Their lifestyle and mine are miles apart. 

I wonder why homesteading has been equated with hippies? This is not the first time I've heard the association. Quite frankly, I don't see most hippies working industrious enough to maintain a true homestead lifestyle. Growing some food in a garden, yes. Farming enough to sustain oneself? I don't see that. Every one of my hippie neighbors (and including my hippie brother) is living off a government subsidy of some sort. They are all signed up for food stamps, every one. They all line up for the free food from the churches, food bank, and other hand outs. They use the free or low cost clinics for dental and medical, qualifying for often free services. They get free eye exams and free glasses. They are the converse of self-sufficient homesteading. Plus they all still use mind altering drugs of one sort or another. 

Now don't misunderstand. I don't mean to criticize their lifestyle choices. It's theirs. So be it. It's just that it's not mine. 

No, I'm not a hippie. I am a stand-on-my-own-two-feet farmer, or at least I'm heading that direction. 

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