Peggy Noonan wrote a most bizarre piece this week, entitled Goodbye Bland Affluence. It appears that Peggy is bemoaning that people are choosing to "...give up credit cards, satellite television, high-tech toys and restaurant dining ... to become more self sufficient, and be 21st century homesteaders, raising pigs and chickens, planning a garden and installing a wood furnace."
Peggy seems to think that due to the economy, people will leave the cities, returning to the countryside to live a life of canning produce, working in gardens, raising animals, and their homes will no longer be showpieces, but rather "frayed" looking. What pomposity!
Are the cities the only places worth living? I think not. I wouldn't live in a city for any reason. Why would you want people always nearby. Other houses 10 feet away from your house would sure put a damper on the fun of the traditional howling at the full moon. Can you imagine what the neighbors would think and do (call 911) if they heard a family howling. I can't see another house from my house, and that's the way I like it.
Because we grow our own food, does that make us poor? Does that make us uneducated? Does that make us in any way inferior to the poor schmucks who live in a place more resembling an ant farm, and are completely dependent on strangers to provide food, shelter and clothing for them. Quite the contrary to my mind.
After I read Noonan's article I had my husband read it. His reaction was the same as mine. Where's the news here? We've been self-sufficient for almost 20 years. We chose to raise our child in the country, and we definitely didn't need things like gymboree. (which is another story, but bottom line, if a 2 year old can't figure out how to do a somersault, the kid has bigger problems than not being able to do a somersault.)
The fascinating part of this piece by Noonan is her prediction that many people will leave NYC in search of more "authenticity" in their lives. It would seem to be more accurate that people will at some point leave NYC in search of food and affordable housing.
I'm glad to be ahead of the game, Peggy. It's gonna be real interesting to watch people who think food originates at the grocery store find out what hard work is involved in producing the food they presently take for granted. And God help them if it ever gets to the point we have to spin and sew to make our own clothes.
Oh, and Peggy, by the way, it is possible to live in the country, raise your own food, teach your children at home, take care of livestock, and still have a house that is a showpiece, and doesn't look the least bit frayed.