Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Good Life

The freaky weather is keeping me in for the most part today, last weekend it was 95 today it's 60 and very windy. I just can't keep up with the changes so I'm staying in to do some school with the kids and read my latest find from the library.

Since I'm on a non-fiction kick and I have to live vicariously through people who homestead I'm reading The Good Life. It's about this couple's 60 year journey of self-sufficient living. I haven't gotten all that far into their experiment, and I don't exactly agree with some of their political beliefs, but I've found a few good quotes that have made me think.
Summer people do more than upset Vermont's economy. By living on their places during the summer and closing them for the balance of the year, they turn section of the State into ghost towns...Part-time towns are parasitic dead towns.

The social consequences of turning the countryside into a vacationland are far more sinister than the economic results. What is needed in any community is individuals, householders, villagers and townsmen living together and cooperating day in, day out, year after year, with sufficient output of useful and beautiful products to pay for what they consume and a bit over...Solvency of this nature is difficult or impossible except in an all-year-round community.

Of course this makes me think about the area we live in. Their is little sense of community and the town seems to stop breathing until the next vacation season. It's even worse than above as many of the homes aren't even lived in the entire summer, the owners are here maybe 4 weekends a year. They have no stake in the community. The place we lived in while in Colorado was different. There was some summer business but it wasn't the focus of the towns, there wasn't a whole lot of community feel but a lot more than here. The economy of the town wasn't dependent on outside influences so it was healthy. The story is much different here and I wonder if the high gas prices will result in death for some of these businesses that rely on the vacation owners.

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