Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Homesteading vs. Internet

I've been laughing about this for a while. Actually 3 1/2 months. Since I got my first tablet, and then my laptop for Christmas. The whole idea seemed funny to me. If I'm homesteading or off grid then how does being on the computer fit in to that life. I don't laugh anymore about it. I hadn't used a computer in about 10 years and aside from the tech shock of how much things have changed I love it.
I've seen the conversation come up with several different groups and all have valid points. There has to be a balance in how much time you put into the internet and what get's accomplished around home. I know I'm guilty of looking at the clock and thinking "wow".
I do think the benefits are worth working out the bugs.

I have a lot of respect for the people who live totally off grid. It's not easy and takes a lot of planning a lot of hard work to make it a sustainable life. I also have a lot of respect for anyone who is trying to learn to do more for themselves and be less dependent on others to supply what you need. To me it's not a matter of how much or how little, each step is a conscious decision to take control of your life and not quietly follow the "Jonses'" off the bridge. Whether you call it homesteading, or homemaking or self-sufficient or sustainable it all falls under the umbrella of do for yourself and your family what you can to make theirs and your lives better.

I suppose it's a circle of life kind of thing. Some had the benefit of growing up in families that kept "the old ways" going and passed them on, some are working really hard to rekindle that way in themselves and in their families. With a vast expanse of new technology, amazing breakthroughs in medicine, basically one touch communication with entire world and all of it's information, there still needs to be a balance. Predator and prey, supply and demand and new and old.
I do believe that great-great-grandma would have been thrilled to have access to a pressure canner. She was trying to feed her family and if she could put up quarts of green beans in 2 hours instead of 6 it would be unthinkable not to. On the other hand she may have easily hurumphed off the idea of electric lights. Far more expended energy (having to continuously pay for it) to have it than she would have gained from it. A phone so she could reach her family (or the doc. We had some large families in my history) would probably be a yes, but one that told her when Betsy changed her 'status' maybe not so much. LOL. I do truly wish there was a way to share this new tech with her and ask her what she thought. I can imagine a lot of laughing. Some things that are simply a part of peoples day to day now would seem silly. I'm sure she would be fascinated by some of the techniques that we use now to do things that she did daily. And of course plenty of "those looks", the ones you get when someone is trying really hard not to pat you on the head and say "bless your heart" (southerners get this).
 Just added this pic of gr.gpa cause I like it.

Since that's not likely to happen I have found myself amazed by the kindness and inspiration of the people that I have been able to connect with through the internet. The majority seem at least interested in the subject, at worst not terribly friendly, and then the best, someone else's experience that they are willing to share with strangers. And can't forget the wonderful people that are just starting out and I get to be a tiny part of their experience.