Sunday, March 25, 2012

Savings Accounts and High Stakes Gambling

"A penny saved is a penny earned," right?  Isn't that what they always say?  And accordingly, the crustimony proseedcake (customary procedure for all of you non-Pooh readers) for people of my age bracket is to have savings in a number of formats.  There is the simple savings account, of course, but there are many others as well.  There are IRAs, 401Ks, stock portfolios, insurance policies and surely many others that I don't even know about.  In our society, people feel like they are flapping in the breeze if they do not have a diversified portfolio.  Well, I have a diversified portfolio of my own, but it does not involve a single of the formats mentioned above.  What I have is this:

I have my land and my home.
It may not look like much, especially during the winter when this picture was taken, but we own it.  We have no electric, water, or sewer bills to drain our checking account, and we have no neighborhood association to tell us what we can or cannot do with what we own.  I like it like that.  I feel free there, and secure in the knowledge that as long as I pay my property taxes I can stay there no matter what happens with the outside world.

I have food.

We have in the past year, mostly through our local food co-op, stocked away enough food to get by for a year.  This is mostly in the form of grains and beans, but we've been keeping fun stuff too.  We have spices, vinegars and jams on hand.  And with this years garden we intend to add a great deal of variety to our stores.  This storage was pretty handy this winter when work was scarce and money was extremely tight.  I never once felt stressed out, because I knew I had a house and that I could feed my family.

I have seeds.

Sorry, no pic for this one.  But we do have an awful lot of seed, and I've written about it before.  What this means for me is that if, for example, our jobs should disappear (I am not expecting this but in our current economic climate one never knows) we could set to in the garden with all of our shovels, hoes and rakes and plant enough food to completely replace the stores currently resting in our pantry.

I have health.

I realize that this is a pretty bold comment.  I could be, and am frequently reminded of this fact by good friends, struck down by some kind of dreadful and terminal disease, and without insurance whatever shall I do then?  Well, here is my philosophy.  I will keep myself as healthy as I possibly can.  I do yoga, I do not eat fast food and I rarely eat meat, I eat the freshest, most pure foods I can, I exercise, and I strive for mental fitness as well.  Now, none of this will absolutely guard me from catastrophic illness or disaster, I am told, and this is true.  So I am also mentally prepared to die.  I do not desire death because I love the life that I am living, but if death comes and stares me down, I believe I will stare right back at him and say "Lets go!" because I am not afraid of what comes after.  In the meantime though, I will enjoy my life to the fullest!

Now what about high stakes gambling?  Some of you may be thinking, isn't this high stakes gambling enough?  But it doesn't feel that way to me.  It just feels like every day living.  But I did take an incredible risk this week.  Against all common wisdom, we put out our tomato plants this past week.  In March!!!  With what the weather has been and with how huge the plants are at this point it only seemed prudent. We put them out in our greens patch, which you might remember we've been covering every freezy night this winter.  So if in late April there are a few bad nights we will take care of it, and if we lose out on our gamble, well there are always nurseries we can go to to replace the plants.  For me this is about as Vegas as it gets!

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