So, who is telling you this? My daughter, a budding green architect, recently described me as an unreconstructed hippy venting my pioneer woman leanings through conservation biology. !!! And now I see that she has just posted about my blog on her blog Lost Between the Letters Let me assure you that one of the most mind-blowing ways to see yourself is through your adult children’s eyes.
Back to the unreconstructed hippy. Maybe. I hit college in the late 60s-early 70s in Madison,Wisconsin, with the goal of training as a journalist and becoming the war correspondent who would single-handedly end the Vietnam War. College in the 70s had the potential to seriously sidetrack an intrepid searcher. I approached the counter culture with cautious optimism and a journalist’s basic skeptisicm and concluded that despite its many, many flaws and false starts that Back to the Earth was the direction for me. It’s been a convoluted journey by way of the Netherlands, and the soulless suburbs north of Chicago. My husband has found his own balance between an alternative life style and the discipline of a research science career. But at long last, we “own” 44 acres in Wisconsin’s magnificent Driftless Area where we are trying to live our beliefs.
We don’t live on this land yet. We have been learning about it for five years now and after putting our early and ongoing efforts into restoring some vanishing habitats, we are starting to create our own. Our daughter designed a timber frame barn for us, and Mike Yaker of Wood Joiners raised it. We are slowly finishing it as time and materials become available. It is our outpost, and from there we will slowly and respectfully place a dwelling into this built environment, (we call it our B.E.) surrounded with protected natural areas and several food-producing fields. Our goal is to be there by 2012.
Combining a journalist’s and a researcher’s insatiable curiosity and critical approach to information gathering, I hope to share and exchange information with others who are trying to sift through all the options and live lightly on this fragile earth.