Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
I am one of those few people who had never purchased a lottery ticket. That is until recently so I would have an actual ticket to photograph and use with this article. I have no hope of winning anything but at least now I can say I’ve purchased a lottery ticket. Like most people I sometimes dream of having an abundance of money and what I would do with it. While dreaming is fun actually I am already happy and cherish what I have and my lifestyle. A large chunk of money would not tempt me to change anything as I feel I am already rich in those things I experience every day. Sometimes riches come in forms that do not have dollar signs attached to them. Before readers think that I am crazy, let me explain.
Living on a mountain where the air is clean, the water is pure and the sights are spectacular we are already surrounded by riches. We are visited frequently by assorted species of wildlife from the predator size to the small type that scamper around. Our well water is abundant and delicious. We don’t filter or treat our water since it comes from a depth of 215’ below the surface of the ground and has already gone through a natural filtration system. It has no impurities in it and tastes like pure water should. Our well driller, a geologist, informed us he could have provided us water at 145 feet but instead went deeper to tap into an aquifer that runs the length of our mountain where truly pure water comes from. We are extremely glad he made the extra effort to seek the best water for us. Having lived in places in the past where our water was cloudy, had a smell, or sometimes had sediment in it we really appreciate crystal clear non odoriferous water directly from the depths of the earth.
We have clean air to breathe which seems to be getting more and more rare now days. At 9,750 feet elevation we enjoy fresh air all the time. When we go outside and take a deep breath we are not inhaling vehicle exhaust, factory smells, street smells or the other various smells usually associated with city living. Having grown up a few blocks from a drop forge I am well acquainted with the noise and smells associated with industrial endeavors. Having previously lived in other cities across the country I vividly recall the smells and noises that I once wrongfully assumed were normal. It took significant adjustment when we moved to the mountains because when the birds stop singing and go to roost at night it is SILENT. I certainly don’t want to offend those who live in cities either by choice or by chance but there is a certain pureness to living in the mountains that can’t quite be equaled. Of course living in the mountains means we lack the amenities found in a city however we are willing to for go those for quiet peaceful living. It has been our observation that people like to visit the mountains on weekends for the freshness of the air and the primitive desire to get back to nature. Here in Colorado we have plenty of National and State parks that facilitate frequent visits and rejuvenate yourself.
Unfortunately we have found that mountain living can’t last forever due to aging and the strenuous lifestyle required living full time in a semi remote area. Living as we do is clearly not an easy lifestyle. Cutting, splitting 9-11 cords of firewood a year, shoveling snow throughout the winter, always walking on an incline, heating with a wood stove and a host of other tasks that keep us healthy and fit also ultimately take a toll on feet, knees and hips. We are therefore presently going through the 10 step process to sell our homestead and move to a less demanding area. When we built our home and moved here we failed to take into account the aging process and joints slowly wearing out. We are presently cleaning out ‘stuff’ that we have accumulated in the last 16 years to throw away or give away. We believe that it is time for someone else to enjoy our paradise and we will take fond and happy memories with us where ever we go as we seek to establish a new homestead.
So would winning the lottery and having an abundance of money make us more happy? I actually don’t think so. Instead I believe that would require that we change our lifestyle and give us an additional burden of using it wisely. So like millions of other American’s we can derive some happiness from dreaming of riches but still knowing all the while we have an excellent lifestyle and wealth beyond measure. Happiness can’t always be measured with financial wealth. Those who live similar to our lifestyle know exactly what I am talking about. So I may buy a lottery ticket again just to dream of riches but knowing all the time that I have true wealth that can‘t be measured in dollars. I have to admit that dreaming of mega bucks is a lot of fun though and I’m sure most non winners like myself would agree.