Monday, April 30, 2007

Week 1: Mary Begins to Plan

"What are you looking for?"


"On eBay," my husband said. "What's are you looking for this time?"

"A record player."

"We have at least two."

"Yes, but they run on electricity. I want one of those old hand-cranked Victrolas."

He sighed. He's used to this, I guess.

Back a couple of years ago, when Katrina was still swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, I told him that the New Orleans was done for. He laughed--"You're always predicting the end of the world."

"It's not the end of the world--just New Orleans. Look, I'm not the only one who sees it--National Geographic wrote about it, their local papers wrote about it."

"About what?"

"The levees."

And when the levees broke, he nodded his head and said he wouldn't doubt me so quickly anymore.

In less than a month, we move to Lansdale, a small town about twenty miles outside of Philadelphia. The reasons are varied--it's cheaper there, low taxes, low crime, a nice house we can actually afford without having a subprime mortgage. There's a nice backyard, with room for a vegetable garden, and we're on the R5 trainline, so getting into the city isn't difficult.

The other reason, the more esoteric reason, is this--I want land. Even if it's just a small plot. I need to get away from living in a small apartment with my husband, depending on fast food and surrounded by junk. I need to plant a garden. I need to be within biking distance of my parents and their four acres.

Maybe it's just a mental security blanket, but as I watch the gas prices get higher, and going to work costing more and more, it makes less sense to stay in the city. Even if they do have the best farmers' market in the Delaware Valley.


Little Tart said...

I've been having those same thoughts. Get some land, grow our own food. I'm sewing and canning, and trying desperately to learn as quickly as possible to be self-sufficient, a skill many of us are sorely lacking.

The Senate Site said...

Now THAT is a nice Victrola!

Tlachtga said...

I really want to see if I can modify a Victrola to play LPs and 45s. My husband has a huge collection he inherited from his father, and I have a bunch from when I was a college dj.

Tlachtga said...

Little Tart--

Yeah, I'm actually pretty lucky, because I have older parents who know how to do things like can vegetables.

Max said...

"As I watch the gas prices get higher, and going to work costing more and more, it makes less sense to stay in the city."

It's worth mentioning that living in the country, or suburbs, uses a lot more energy than living in a big city. You are more likely to have to drive, because you can't walk to anything.

Living in NYC is great because I don't need a car. New York City contains 3% of the country's population, but only uses 1% of its energy. That means that per capita, we use only 1/3 as much energy as the average American.

Tlachtga said...


Overall, you're right, but NYC has a superior transit system compared to Philadelphia.

The other issue is that I don't work in Philly anyway, so I might as well move closer to where I work.

Also, I'm thankfully moving to a town, with a supermarket within walking distance, the train station within walking distance, and even the hospital isn't more than two miles from my house. Unfortunately, yeah, this is unusual anymore, but it's also why I picked an older town to move to.