Thursday, April 17, 2014

Downward Mobility

It sat there in the parking lot at Home Depot, and it was for sale. It was humble, but strong, well made. The owner had it built to haul his Harley around the mountain states when he was younger. Now, it was time for him and his wife to travel in an RV, not a motorcycle. He wanted to sell the little trailer, to down-size, clean out the junk around his house.

I thought I could use it for our construction project up in New Mexico. It would save wear and tear on the little pick up when we hauled sheet rock, tile, concrete blocks, and plywood from Gallup or Albuquerque down to El Morro. The pick up had been sagging under the loads of wood and dry wall and cement bags and I was concerned about the life of the springs. It's an old truck, pretty small too.

So I bought the trailer. It's part of the next chapter of my life, which is a step backward in time and status to the life of a construction worker. I will be building a house in New Mexico again this summer and likely into the next decade.

At almost sixty years old, this is a crazy direction to take. It's expensive (I don't have much money); it's physically challenging (I am getting weaker, stiffer, more brittle.); it's lower status (not that I hold very high status as a low-rung lecturer); and it is remote (way out there away from medical care, hardware stores, and theaters).

That said, the pace of life is slower and the self-reliance higher. People have less and do more with what they have. They innovate, invent, grow food, set up solar panels, make their own entertainment -- and beer.

It's going to be quite a shift in lifestyle. And I doubt that it will make me look very good on paper. 

But I will have a trailer, a truck, and -- maybe -- a roof over my head. My old age will have less protection, less financial security, but more sun, more sky, more manual work, and more trail to explore as my days grown dimmer.

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