Tennesseetransitions


Good Investments

Yesterday was our first taste of winter here in NE TN -some of the higher elevations close by had snow flurries and even a bit of sleet! The gray skies and windy conditions forced us to turn on the gas fireplace stove, immediately drawing  the cat and dog in close. We picked the remaining tomatoes and then brought the baskets and bins of fresh produce from the porch inside to the pantry to protect it all from tonight’s expected low temperatures. We’ve got two cases of apples to store away, along with onions, grinding corn, butternut and spaghetti squashes, red, yellow and white potatoes and sweet potatoes all cured and waiting for the real cold to move in before we begin eating them daily. You know, when that time that comes after the Farmer’s Market closes next month when there’s very little fresh, local produce available, all these root veggies will be combined with whatever greens and Brassicas we have under the hoops to make lots of great meals. All this food was grown organically on good soil and is full of vitamins and minerals. Soil and compost building is a ‘good investment’ in successful gardening and the resulting fruits and veggies are  ‘good investments’ in our health and future well-being.

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Every single person that has seen Michael since he’s undergone his cancer treatments has commented, “Well you look good!” Even though his body’s been completely poisoned with the chemotherapy and ravaged by the radiation, he pulled through easier than many his age do and we are certain it’s because he was always investing in good health, even though all the while that damn tumor was growing undetected. Eating healthful foods and getting exercise every day may in fact be the best investment he’s ever made. This picture was made a week ago.

michael on bike

I’m glad the government shutdown was discontinued and the debt ceiling raised, but I think we all know it’s temporary. A friend remarked the other day that she has never EVER tended her garden with as much care as she has this year. Why? I think she’s simply being prudent and wise based on her own observations of how precarious our current economic system is. If ever, in the course of our lives, there was a time to plant food and learn a craft or skill, build a pantry and invest one’s money in one’s life, it is now. I recently offered a talented friend use of my washer and dryer twice a month to do her laundry in exchange for giving me advanced bass lessons while her clothes get clean. Michael and I make our ‘mad money’ by playing with a local band. The better musicians we are, the more likely we are to be hired to play. (AND learning to play any instrument is right up there with learning a foreign language and doing brain exercises as ways to keep sharp as we age) Plus, we have so much fun playing music!  I consider the trade another ‘good investment’.

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 Get to know your neighbors–you’ll need each other as shortages force us to relocalize. Work toward establishing new, more community-based economies.  Last week I traded a neighbor some of my fresh organic veggies for a big sack of his pecans. He feels like he got the best end of the bargain, but so do I. That’s what I call win-win. In the business world, networking with others in your line of work is considered important for success. The same holds true in our private lives. Volunteering for your favorite charity, sharing space in the community garden, even joining a church or club are all great ways to network and make friends. Our church community has rallied around us during Michael’s illness and we’ve felt uplifted and empowered by their support. Many studies have proven that a strong social network of friends can stave off depression, dementia and other illnesses. Building those relationships are ‘good investments’ for everyone concerned!

I think by clearly envisioning the joyful, healthy, earth friendly lives we most want and then by making ‘good investments’ during this transition period that we are currently experiencing, we’ll be able to make that vision a reality.

PS I apologize in advance if some the words in this post are highlighted in red and take  you to an ad. I have no idea why it’s happening and will try to fix it in future posts.

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7 Comments so far
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Did You Hear That Jonesborough Is Thinking About Opening A Farmer’s Market Store?Year Round Even! 🙂

Comment by Doug Chaffin

Yeah but the article I read online made it sound like it was a ‘done deal’ although I see that they are now taking a survey. I think it’s a great idea, hope it works out!

Comment by simpleintn

It’s so great that he looks so good! Good food and good exercise for him were good investments.

Ya, those red words taking you somewhere, never saw that before….what’s up with that!

Comment by sarasinart

I think I’ve got it figured out now, I hope so. That’s very irritating.

Comment by simpleintn

I love the way you are bartering a service for a service. It’s something we try to do as well. As I type this, the cat is lying in front of our propane fireplace as well.

Comment by Heidi @ lightlycrunchy

Funny you commented today Heidi…I almost did on yours too. Your daughter sounds like some kinda special! I suspect that has a whole lot to do with her parenting. Congratulations to you too!

Comment by simpleintn

…bartering the TALENTS we’ve been GIVEN is a big “DUH”…we’ve done nothing to earn them, and they don’t belong to us, anyhow…”swarping” my ability to teach “a person” (it’s the East-TN generic) how to play an instrument, and then CASHING IN when we make Incredible Music TOGETHER?!? I call that a GREAT INVESTMENT (plus, I get to sleep in the LOFTy Place with the Drool Machine)…Life is Dandy…

Comment by Rhodyjane Meadows




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