Sunday, August 8, 2010


There are times when I think the main reason I keep a house is to have a place to put all the books. My lovely wife and I just got back from a used book sale. Picked up another 4 bags of books. We may have been able to justify it back when we were running an on-line bookstore. We've no excuse now. We just like books.

Another reason to have a house is food. It's a place to plant a new nut trees, a garden and to have some food storage. My filberts are just coming into production. Planted them 4 years ago. Today I ordered another 100 pounds of wheat. That barely replaces what I've been using lately. Also ordered 40 pounds of green organic fair trade coffee. What's a house without food?

There is some speculation in scientific circles that civilization got its start because humans had to stay in one place long enough to brew beer. Makes sense to me. Beer making isn't a very portable endeavor. I'm listening to a fermenter bubble away right now, so I expect to be around.

That's about all that keeps me anchored. Sure, there's family and friends, but they can move with you too. In fact, most families are scattered all over the place so the only way to see them is travel.

I've been semi-nomadic. It's not that hard. Take along a few select books. Empty the fridge. Take some food, but secure the storage of the rest. Stop brewing. Give away anything that could freeze, and bring a bit with me. In our travels, we'd stop in on friends and family we don't normal see too often. Six months later, we would wander back to home base, turn the power back on, and start brewing a batch of beer.

That's easy enough to do. The house is still here when we get back. How about a truly extended nomadic lifestyle? One way would be to have someone trusted living at the house. Ideally, someone who would not mind all my stuff being stored here. A few times I've had friends or family taking care of the shack while we were away. Worked out pretty well. One day I did have to talk them through how to thaw a frozen water line. At the time, I was in shorts in sandals at a friend's farm in Florida.

The other way would be to let stuff go. Don't let material possessions keep you back from adventure. It's not just material possessions that have a hold on a person. I could even give up my coffee addiction if I had to. Did so in the past and can do it again. Good thing I don't smoke or have other chemical dependencies.

Then there's the pattern of thinking that keeps a person anchored. They can't imagine living differently. They've built a box to live and to think in. It can be hard for people to let go of a way of thinking -to cut the anchor loose and travel in new waters. Sometimes life forces that on people. It's good to have thought it through -worked it out in your mind. It's the difference between a refugee and a nomad.



  1. I enjoy stability. Consider me anchored.

  2. Understand the love of books. There is comfort and warmth in stacks of them.

    Weaning off coffee has been a struggle. I'm down to hot tea nowadays.

    Wondering if there is something we can grow here in "the midwest" that supplies caffeine. That would be awesome.

  3. Have yet to find anything that will grow in northern New England that will provide caffeine. If you find something that works, let me know.