|Samplings from a New Jersey journal:
April Fools Day. Cabin No. 13.
Is the joke on us?
David says if we can make it through to April 7, a lucky number and
just one week away, we can make it through the summer. It’s 45 degrees
out. I hope the kids will be warm enough.
It’s raining again.The roof leaks. The cabin stinks from the wood
stove. Rick and Hazel stop by and suggest incense. Rick says fight fire
with fire, smoke with smoke.
This is the week of the meat boycott. I want to join, even in our
isolation, in the kind of protest that reflects consumer anger, that
makes us more than passive shoppers. So here we sit in our little cabin
in the woods, eating super simply, especially since I haven’t yet
figured out how to cook on the wood stove without creating even more
smoke. Eggs, beans, fruit, vegetables.
The old German socialists [Nature Friends] who came here before the war
made trails and built summer houses. More Germans settled here after
the war. Hard workers with practical trades. With all the German
accents and wood choppers around it gets to feeling like the Black
Forest--or one of the Show of Show’s automated people clocks. Chop,
turn, step, turn, chop, all at the appointed hour. I feel like one of
them too, doing all my survival chores.
The kids are getting into their own camp style routine now, running to
the outhouse, washing up at a communal faucet, happily racing down the
forest path to meet their new friends and catch the school bus. I had a
taste of that old-time country life too as a kid, un-spoiled open
spaces and unpolluted skies, when I lived in my grandfather’s old
wooden farm house in Jeffersonville. We lugged well water, used a wood
stove, and made do with an outhouse. We washed up in a portable tub and
decorated the ceilings with fly paper.
We had no farm animals, but the family down the road had a working
farm. Good, kind people. Their kids didn’t want to stay down on the
farm though. When the couple got too old to handle the work alone, the
farm was sold. So was my grandfather’s house. A passing era, and, for
some reason, I seem to be reliving it. I wonder, is Eric Berne right
about life scripts?
How I cried when I was 7 and we left the East coast! I wonder, will our
kids cry when we leave this cabin in the woods? What we see as
hardships and deprivations have been an adventure for them. David
marvels how much we can get along without. This stripped down way of
life is settling. Do thoughts of consuming and possessing increase
proportionately to the amount of consuming and possessing going on?
We’re getting down to the basics. I’m wearing Indian mocassins. For
now, I don’t think I can get much closer to nature.
Food--I’m getting a terrible craving for meat. Even though the boycott
is over, I feel guilty about buying it. Meatless week was more
successful than I thought it would be. Sales were way down all over the
country. People can get together on an issue. It’s depressing
though--what happened to those people when McGovern ran for president?
Is the price of meat more important than war?