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Monday, July 1, 2019

Time, Work, and Being There

By Anna Von Reitz

I spent a few days way out in the country this week, and no, it wasn't a vacation. It involved a lot of work, but from a different location. 

When I say 'way out in the country" it also implies going back in time.  Being off-grid places us automatically in the 1940's Rural America of our parents and grandparents.  

Flies, mosquitoes, and ants were still a big problem in the 1940's, and if you go far enough out in the county, they still are.  Insects are still handled in primitive ways in Bush Alaska: flies trapped on sticky paper, mosquitoes killed by putting drops of iodine and vinegar in water tanks, ant hills burned out with turpentine.  

Then there is the outhouse.  That icon of the past, is still with us today-- if you go out in the country far enough.  It takes a lot of maintenance to keep an outhouse clean and relatively odor free, but it can be done -- and still is.   About the only thing that has changed about the sanitation side of things is that we no longer have to use crinkled up sheets of the last year's Sear's Catalog for toilet paper. The bucket of Quick Lime is still the same. 

When the generator is off, there is still the silence of Nature --- which is actually raucous enough all by itself, just normally drowned out by the hum of electricity.  There's the Morning Chorus of bird songs to be heard and the rustling of leaves in the wind and the rushing sound of water.  It's a different kind of sound and a different kind of silence "Out There" where you can actually see the stars at night. 

I am, of course, used to this, grew up with it, and sink back into it as effortlessly as a duck paddling downstream. I can step out the back door and split kindling if I have to.  I can still clean a fish or pluck a chicken, use cast iron cookware, or bake a blueberry pie from scratch.  

Time is place, and mindset, too.  My son, who grew up with computers and cell phones and automobiles finds the past disconcerting.  What? There's no place to plug in my cell phone?   No USB port?  You have to do what?  How does this work?  What IS this thing?  

He holds up a "modern" hand-cranked appliance circa 1942...

For him, the actual, factual world is a surreal world, one that is disconnected from the ways and means he is used to.  It makes him nervous to be so close to the Great Beyond.  The idea of catching fish for dinner is somewhat odd. 

It's the same thing for all of us when it comes to learning the actual history of this country.  It's so different, so unexpected, and so much more colorful and complex than anything we were taught.  The whole panoply of past experience opens up and takes on life and logic of its own. 

Once you experience the past you know why you, a living man or woman, are part of the land and soil jurisdiction.  It makes sense --- your body comes from the land and soil and returns to it after death.  The ground we stand on, is the final being, home, and resting place of all our ancestors.  

There is a logic, a reason, that we are part of this country, and not just this nation.  

There is a reason that we are owed the Law of the Land. 

It is this fundamental truth, this circumstance of Being, that all the purveyors of fantasy and the con artists in the courtrooms and the Wall Street geeks and the Producers in Hollywood are trying to avoid.

I remember my younger cousin being astonished when she learned that John Wayne was dead.  "But I just saw him yesterday at the movies....."    This is the Fake World, where the man is dead, but the image lives on.  This is the world where fiction is mistaken for fact, the world where people like Henry Kissinger try to plan out the next 200 years for the rest of us. 

I sometimes get grouchy because I find myself having to explain what Thomas Jefferson deemed "self-evident"---but Thomas Jefferson lived in a different place in time.  What was self-evident to him has become obscure for us now.  We have lost our fundamental footing on the land and soil, and that precious connection with where we come from and what we ultimately are.  

We forget where we came from and then, lose track of where we are going, and after that, we get careless about how we are getting there, too.  For some, indeed, for far too many people, the ends seem to justify the means.  

The Truth is nicely hidden from us behind a wall of Plexi-glass and shiny metal, the same way that living women are hidden behind the image of a Barbie doll.  My Economics Professor used to call all these obstacles to honest perception "The Shiny Object".  He'd take us out on field trips and confront us with "issues of ultimate value".  

Do you want a drink of water or a blanket to stay warm?  

Your choices and your clarity about those choices not only  impact your comfort level, but your survival in the actual world---  the world I visited this past week, if only for a brief refresher course.  

Forget about the Shiny Objects long enough to get grounded again this summer.  Think deep thoughts about the nature of mankind and what is truly valuable.  Appreciate the men and women who make the abundance of your food possible, who sew your clothes, who forge your tools.  

Try making a blueberry pie from scratch--- maybe for the first time, or like me, remembering how to.  

Think about how that bratwurst sizzling on your grill got there.  Think about the gasoline filling your tank.  

Once you stop long enough to think about it, you will know that it all comes from the Earth, through labor, for your use and possession for a time.  It's the same story for us all.  We all come from the Earth, through labor, to have and hold our own life as a possession for a time.  

This core knowledge of what we are, where we come from, and where we are going, is part of what Jefferson deemed to be self-evident, and what we have to remember -- if we are to make sense of our own lives and to restore our lawful government.  


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  1. In 1980 I built a summer cabin in an area where hydro and phone was available but I never connected for 27 years until I retired there. I raised my kids in that environment, cooking on a campfire, coal oil lamps, battery radio for news and weather, bucket brigade for water 500 ft from the lake, outhouse-most all of it. Board games, cards, crafts, play outside rain or shine. An upgrade somewhat from the pioneer days but close to it. It was a life lesson for us all and an appreciation for modern conveniences. I had winterized the cabin for retirement and a cookstove for heat. Lived there 10 of the last 12 years. Thanks for the memories.

  2. I started out in 1947,when I reach school age i was transported in time and into Texas. Electricity, running water so on. Back on the farm it was carrying water from the good tasting water well for drinking. I still miss that! The other well has a more hard tasting water for washing things and cleaning. We had the out house and we had chamber pots in the closet. Cooking and winter heat we had propane. Summer rooms were all open up and windows open for the most time. Winter rooms were closed and the upper floor stair was closed. I help preserve heat inn the house.

  3. jim hill july 1 2019 in a few mouths I will be 70 and the nearest power down the road is 2 miles away and the only thang you might hear that's not natural is a plane flying over.with the outhouse back of the cabin and fish in the creek,deer elk and moose looking at me throw the cabin window,what more dose a man need???? there is something I reely need and that's is my ID back. im not very good with this computer and to make it work I need to start the generator so the hughes net will work. like Anna said some people needs there hand heled so she must have been talking about me. is there anyone in north Idaho that I can talk to and get this job done? my email is thanks

  4. Yup.. we have stories. Mom up at 5:30 to make breakfast on a wood cookstove. By the time food was ready there was enough hot water to do dishes. Gravity feed water from a spring. Kerosene lamps with one old coleman with no glass for tying up fishing gear the night before. Two 2room skid houses from the nearby logging outfit connected by a hallway full of bookcases. Fill the heater stove with wood before sleep. Woodshed and outhouse out back. Game Dept would buy your chicken wire back then. Don't hunt in your back yard in case times got tough. Mom's stories about 3 kids on a horse to school and underwear made from flour sacks and shoes re-soled with cowhide with the hair still on it. Old family photos of women who looked like they could whup bears with a switch. Use all of what you hunt or gather and don't take more than you need. Folks lived through the Depression in the back-country with trap lines in the winter and herding sheep in the summer. Roll your sourdough into a ball and drop it in the flour sack when you move camp.

    We're kinda lazy now, with expectations and assumptions about our comfort level and convenience. Some friends were at a campground and the neighbors needed a gas canister for their stove. She asked them "Why don't you just build a fire?" They hadn't thought of that!

  5. well, they arent "avoiding" this issue they just consider it "wild west" "obsolete" "good riddance"

    autonomy is bad. being under their thumb is good. it really is that simple.

    they avoid/go silent on things they can't rebut/possibly argue.

    in this case, they think they can just convince everyone that lifestyle is "obsolete", or, you know, just a temporary vacation, then back to the real world.

    they perfectly encourage such "vacations" just so long as you come back to the all-seeing eye federal reserve notes and pilfered "credit" system. if you buy a bunch of camping gear/vacation/stay at an ancient hotel using their banks/credit cards/etc. they are all in favor of that. wheres does your gas come from? so long as you are in their banking system, travel all you want.


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