We are a family of nine. Mother, father, two brothers, and one happily married the other sadly divorced, one daughter and one daughter in law. The married couple have a bright daughter of eight, while the divorced man has two spritely children, one nine, the other five. The mother and father’s daughter has never been married and for reasons that cannot be explained here, has chosen to stay single for the rest of her natural life. What can be explained about this extraordinary family will be chronicled in these next few lines.
I am that daughter I mentioned in the opening lines of this post. Our family of nine came together almost by default to live under one roof on a small but sprawling smallholding just seven miles outside of town. Initially, we came to live together reluctantly and through a series of tragedies. These traumas which can afflict any family in the world as a normal sequence of human life on planet earth could not have been managed better had this family not come together as it has done over the last few years. We are an extraordinary family because, each to his and her own over the last few years, we chose to embrace the new paradigm of green living and as a considerate response to the challenges the world as a whole faces due to global warming and climate change.
Our transformation from a traditional and conventional urban family actually started years ago long before the global environmental problems were even thought of by mainstream society. My mother, since her first years of marriage, was always conscious of savings and fresh living in the organic sense of the word. My father, on the other hand, apart from being extremely hard-working was always sensible, patient and wise in his approach to both work and family life. You could therefore say that Mom and Dad brought us up just right.
Apart from emotional issues related to our difficulties over the last few years we are all quite healthy in both body and mind. Dad was also very good with money, so was able to retire early and the smallholding that we call home today is fully paid for. The only beans to be accounted for here are those growing in our large organic vegetable garden. Since her childhood, Mom always dreamed of having her own chicken coop.
Just the other day, my eldest brother jokingly reminded her of his childish question back then. ‘Mommy, are you prepared to chop the chicken’s heads off so that you can cook them and we can eat them?’ Needless to say, Mommy was quite squeamish about the whole bloody affair and retorted to this charming young man’s remarks at the time by saying that she only wanted to collect eggs. But what if the chickens grew old and that time passed them by? Well, then we’d have to send them to a retirement home, wouldn’t we.
Now, we all know what happens on those ‘retirement’ farms today, don’t we. Anyway, we live off the map and off the national grid. We rely entirely on the sun and the wind for all our power needs. All things being equal, we’re saving in every area of our lives and living the green life that others are still only dreaming about. This is us. This is how we are living today.
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