Monday, March 2, 2009

Going Crazy on the Prairie

This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful family. It's not even my beautiful cow. It's a well-known historical image from my region.
(With apologies to David Byrne.)

I get that a lot. Friends who knew me in my former life, many miles from here, will say, "How do you stay sane living way out there by yourself?" Other, newer acquaintances say such things as "I'd go 'round the bend if I lived up there in that god-foresaken country!" I'll leave aside the various detours into the issue of my personal sanity, in favor of a more general response.

Going stark raving mad out here has not been all that rare an occurence. Especially in the winter, when being confined to a tiny shack or soddy for days and weeks at a time could have a very powerful effect on a lonely soul. But there is one very important key-word here: resources. Some inner and some external. Then, as now, to come here without resources of both kinds was a ticket to the funny farm.

And I have plenty of resources, of both kinds I hope. I came out here willingly, eagerly, bringing with me a fine library, a backlog of projects, and a very large gallery of interests and "things to do." As a result, I am never bored or at loose ends. If one project stales or stalls, there is a selection of others to turn to and take up.

Winter is the traditional killer. I wasn't sure myself at first how I would manage the winters. I think local predictions were pretty much along the lines that the winters would drive me out pretty quick. Actually, I look forward to winter— although I say that without in any way wishing that the other seasons were any shorter than they already are. Winters give me a chance to play catch-up, to throw myself back into those projects that tend to get put on the back burner, or no burner at all, when the weather is good and the countryside calls out with its undeniable blandishments.

So, no, I am not going slowly mad out here. At least not so's you'd notice. Actually, I'm kind of sorry I didn't make this move a long time ago.

And by the way... The gods didn't foresake this country. They saved it for themselves.


Bob Anderson said...

"So, no, I am not going slowly mad out here. At least not so's you'd notice."

Wouldn't you be the last to know? ;>)

Anonymous said...

Seems like to me you have thrived out there, winter and all. It's a good enviroment for you.

Rio Arriba said...

Bob, I guess you're right. But what would you know? You're not a tea-kettle like I am!

H., There is a great sense of peace and tranquility out here. I really appreciate it. (Even as a tea-kettle.)

Roxie said...

This has been the strangest winter. Downright warm for a few days, then down into the deep freeze. But winter is a time to accomplish stuff that does not get done during gardening season. Yes, life without malls is incomprehensible to some, but I don't have time to shop! I don't miss it, either.

Anonymous said...

Rio, I guess I've told you a few times I grew up just a couple of hours southeast of where you are.

In a lot of ways I still miss it. It's not as sparsely populated as where you live but there are some pretty lonely roads in northwest Kansas. If I could figure out a responsible way to go John Galt I figure there would be a whole lot worse places to do it.

The natural beauty of the area isn't immediately obvious to those who are incurious with respect to such things, and most people never get it and furthermore don't care. That's fine with me. More for us.