Posted at 1:44 PM on March 13, 2007
by Sanden Totten
When life gets to be too much hassle, do you start imagining a way out? A quick and easy escape from the grind of your work life?
For me, it usually involves hitching a train with a jug of wine and all my possessions in a single nap sack. I've never done it but I imagine it would be the polar opposite of what my life is like now. A friend of mine likes to think about taking off for a farm. She imagines herself working in the mud rather than in Microsoft Excel. In fact, she's done it a few times in the past, but usually only for a few months in between jobs. (photo by Dulcie via Creative Commons license)
But what if your escape became your full-time occupation? Catherine Friend decided to give that a try. In the mid 90's she and her partner bought the farm, so to speak, and settled in to the supposedly "good life". She recently wrote a book about her experience, and you know what? She wouldn't recommend it. Between the hard work and the gross animal handling she says the farm life isn't as pastoral as it's often made out to be. If you don't believe her read her section on working with sheep . . . and having to check their nether regions to make sure they are healthy.
But then again, she still works on the farm . . . and my friend swears by the good a few months of dirt and ditches will do for your mental health. So maybe escaping to the farm isn't a bad idea, just don't expect it to be easy. As for me, I'll stick to my cube . . . that is until the train whistle calls me away.
What's your escape plan?
Two words: New Zealand.
I hear it's awesome. Looooong flight, though.
Sanden, can you still find a "jug of wine" nowadays?
Yes . . . and jug wine is cheap and good: http://www.carlorossi.com/
Also, jug wine makes good furniture:
Scroll down for the Sangria Surround Sound Speaker System.
Knowing crafty Sanden, he probably knows how to make his own jug wine.
My escape? I have fantasies of retiring to Marfa, TX one day. Marfa's the perfect happy medium between hermit and urban life. I get to be a rural girl--sheep and all--for 11 months out of the year, and a hipster urbanite for one, when half of NYC descends on the town for the Chinati Foundation open house. I have fantasies of a little adobe house surrounded by maguey cacti. The trouble with this fantasy is ... where would I work? Think Marfa Public Radio would take a fifty-year-old former Minnesotan (via New Mexico via Texas) ready for the simple life? And is global warming going to turn Minnesota into a tropical paradise I'd never want to leave, and make West Texas look and feel even more like Mars?