Saturday, August 26, 2006

Off the Grid

I have spent most of the last two weeks ‘off-grid’ at a church retreat. We were at a lovely campground in Maryland. We had electricity and running water in the buildings (though not at the campsites, of course) and there was a phone for emergencies at the camp office. But that was it. No television, no newspapers, no internet. Even cell phones didn’t work out there. It was surprisingly nice, to get away from everything for a while. Though news junkie that I am, by the time the last day arrived I was desperate for a newspapers or anything else that would let me know what was going on in the world!

It wasn’t idyllic of course. There were bug problems, and there was sand everywhere. And we had more people than expected, which really strained the kitchen. So there were a few light meals before they were able to make a shopping run. But overall it was wonderful, and I was sorry to have to come back to the real world of traffic, strip malls, advertisements, and of course my dismal job. School started this week as well. I made it back in time to pay my tuition and make my first class. I’ll be glad when I finish so I can (finally) change careers.

Progress towards my goals of Simplifying my life and coming into the Compact has been slow but steady. It has taken me a while to change everything. But with every step I take it gets easier, and I feel a little more free. I have both a couple of new things since I joined. For instance, I bought one of the retreat shirts. I didn’t have to, but I wanted a souvenir. It was new of course. And last night at the grocery store I found a canning funnel. I’ve been looking for one for a while now, and since that one was on clearance for 99 cents, I went ahead and picked it up. At least I was able to get my textbooks used this semester. It still cost me $121 but hey, that’s better than it could have been! I also visited my favorite used book store today. I found two books on canning and a copy of The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible. I went ahead and got them because well, frankly, I need the help. Two of them look new, and all together they were just over fourteen dollars –cheaper than any one of them new!

So I’m making progress. Slow but steady wins the race. ;-)


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