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Category: Rural and small-town living

Life far from freeways, Starbucks, malls, and other benefits/distractions

What good neighbors should (or shouldn’t) do

Rusty* was a likeable guy. He attended neighborhood parties. He had another group of friends he met every morning for coffee. Always ready to chat, he could often be seen at the side of the road, talking with neighbors and passersby. Youngish women seemed especially fond of him, and he of them. If you needed a hand, he was there to lend it. Rusty was also smart. Clear into his 80s he had a sharp mind, a good sense of humor, and an awareness of the larger world. In his past, he’d been a private pilot, a small-boat oceangoing sailor,…

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Blog. Soon.

I owe you a blog. I had one all planned out and intended to compose it this afternoon and evening. It was about what neighbors can — and can’t — do for each other in these strange times. Then I volunteered myself into a situation that put me in the house you see below. The first two images are the living room (if you could call it that) of a deceased neighbor’s home. The third is, I suppose, a storeroom, and reasonably orderly compared to the rest of the entire two story house. But the little brown sh*tty stuff on…

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A freedomista symbiosis for our future? Part II

I just re-read Rod Dreher’s FAQ on the Benedict Option. I love it. Although Dreher is talking exclusively to Christians (though inclusively among varieties of Christians), there’s a lot there for the rest of us, as well. He opens with a quote from his inspiration, social critic and historian Alasdair MacIntyre, that says in part: A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What…

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A freedomista symbiosis for our future? Part I

And so our “awkward stage” continues. The awkward stage is that excruciatingly, endlessly frustrating phase in which tyranny, brutality, and bigotry against freedom grow ever more oppressive but the oppressed feel powerless to act effectively on a large scale. Moral though it may be to string lawless, dictatorial rulers up on lamp posts, it isn’t what good people do — at least not until provocations and deprivations exceed endurance. Yet without effective options, we good people find ourselves ever more bound and restricted. In the 25 years since I opened 101 Things to do ‘Til the Revolution with my infamous…

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When the decline of civilization gets personal

No, what I’m about to relay doesn’t really show the decline of civilization. Or rather, it’s too early to tell whether it does or not. Hopefully, what’s happened in my small sphere in the last few weeks is just “one of those things.” Two of those things, actually — signs of personal or societal distress that portend exactly nothing about the bigger picture. But you know how it is. When stuff is happening to you, it’s personal. Then everybody else chimes in, “Oh yes, that happened to …” [me or my next-door neighbor or whoever]. Or “Oh yes, [City X]…

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Our tribal future (a ramble)

The “left” wants somehow to unite us all behind ideas that are inherently divisive. (“My life matters more than your life,” “I belong to more victim classes than you do,” and “If you don’t think exactly what I happen to think today, you’re evil and should die.”) A growing faction on the “right” (including, apparently, former quasi-pseudo libertarian Peter Thiel), wants to unite us all behind big-government nationalism. Here’s my bet: neither plan will fly, at least not outside of academia, think tanks, and their devotees. The only thing that will ever unite millions in the foreseeable future is a…

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Indulgences on the road to Armageddon

This afternoon I poured myself a glass of a lovely white wine. Then I just sat. First I sat in the newly finished screen porch contemplating the bank of ferns behind Mo Saoirse Hermitage. When it got too chilly I came inside and slipped into a big bentwood rocker that has a view out the south windows. A few stalks of Crocosmia Lucifer were beginning to open their exotic flame-red blooms. Beyond them lies my 1/4-acre park-to-be, which is about halfway done and is now pastoral and pleasant after seven years of fitful labors. I so seldom do this, just…

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A Sunday ramble, from politics to picking up cedar limbs

The problem of free speech Gab, the free-speech social network, has suffered yet another blow. Visa has yanked their merchant account, preventing people from using Visa cards to make payments to the company. Worse, the ban also extends personally to Gab founder Andrew Torba AND to any members of his household. Gosh, can anybody think of other times and places when family members were punished for the politically incorrect deeds of others? Oh yeah … the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Nazi Germany. Fun times, fun places. Of course, this is just Visa, a private corporation, and not the work…

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A brief retreat to the peace of Mo Saoirce Hermitage

With all the crazy in the world — you know, the destruction of Western Civilization and all that — I thought it was time for a brief blogging retreat to the former Ye Olde Wreck, now known as Mo Saoirce (My Freedom) Hermitage. So here are some moments of peace and beauty for you. The hermitage in morning light and shadow The light gray gravel heaped beside the driveway will soon go on the top of the slope in front of the house as part of my nefarious campaign to rid the world (at least my world) of lawns. It’s…

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Kicking against the crazy

I’m fully aware that lots of people have bigger problems due to the current political lockdown. If you’re one of the suffering, you have my outraged sympathies. I’m not in a league with the impoverished, the busted, the ones in dire need of “elective” health care they’ve been forbidden to get, or the about-to-go-bankrupt entrepreneurs. But I reserve the right to be ticked off at the small stuff that keeps getting shoveled daily into all our faces and I’m presently irked because I can’t get away from the crazy. This is a small town. Other than the occasional village idiot…

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