Away from the farm

Three things spinning me around tonight.

The Grand Canyon. We are here. It’s breathtaking. It also triggers my fear of heights, but I wish I could live here for a year. I’d move past that problem. So much beauty all around.

twisted juniper on south rim.

twisted juniper on south rim.

My kids. Thank All That’s Good for these people. They are patient when I have limitations, they help keep things running. They love unreservedly. They tell me how it is, especially when I need to hear it. And that’s always when it’s hardest to hear it.

Three at the south rim.

Three at the south rim.

Working and mortgaging.

I know I’m supposed to leave that behind. I tried. The internet connection in and around the Canyon is terrible which has been keeping me offline pretty much. And keeping me engaged with the natural world and the kids.
And tonight, back at the hotel, it’s working. Well, dang.

I made a vague effort to see what was happening on Facebook. Talked to a couple of friends. Got in touch with kids back home. And looked at my email. I looked at a few blogs and then the internet bombed again. Not before I downloaded some of the kind of crap that keeps me flailing like a rip tide.

Eventually I’ll learn.

Fact, it is what it is.

“At peak earning ages (56-60), graduates with a baccalaureate degree in a humanities or social science field are making $40,000 more than they were as recent graduates (21-25).”

Eventually I will accept that I did not choose a “normal” trajectory. Nothing about my life has been quite normal.

Even Rainshadow Farm is not normal. Who wants to grow food in a desert at 3,800 feet? Not only do I want to do that, I want to help other people do it.

I do not make $40K more than I did as a recent graduate. I don’t even make $40,000 now.

And apparently I should be earning at least $66K.

This little report also would have some surprising factoids for my friend the Brilliant Engineer who is currently woefully underemployed but very engaged with her life and work. It’s too bad she’s as broke as I am. And, even if I’m broke, here I am at the Grand Canyon with a teen and two young adults. Sure could be worse.

There’s another bright side here.

Over the last two days I’ve been talking with the kids about a potential move. It can’t happen until 2016 or maybe 2017. I have to check; I’ve got some time. Sooner than that is an outside possibility, too. I always like those outside possibilities.

We’ve all been through a lot in the last three years.

In our own particular ways, we are putting lives back together. We are moving along.

The move we discussed would maintain Rainshadow Farm in a modified but happy form. Two of the three kids told me this kind of move would be a heart’s desire. The other kid was mainly concerned with being able to keep playing soccer.

Until this set of conversations on this trip, I had no idea that an idly expressed wish might really be a deep desire for two of these kids. And, for me, it’s been a thought and an action I can’t quite put off.

In my new state of mind, the one that says, “This is where I am, this is what is realistic and this is not”…in that state of mind, this thought has more credibility than it did before, ever.

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About rainshadowfarm

I teach anthropology, am an archaeologist, a drylands agroecologist, community educator, and a single mother of eight grown kids. I currently own and operate an educational and research farm in the southern Mojave Desert, Rainshadow Farm. I'm 100% West Virginia hillbilly. Not necessarily in that order.
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