We didn’t have a lot growing up, as my mom had to single-parent three kids. Most anything I wanted required disciplined frugality.
I bought my first fly rod from Orvis at the age of 13, which took the better part of a year to save up for. I hand-tied the first flies drifted from its lines from the hackles of roosters I raised expressly for that purpose.
In my later teens, I took a long cross-country climbing/working road trip where I lived on $5/week (1980s). Doing so was an art form involving dried beans and camping for free on federal lands, including the time I woke up to a large bull pawing and snorting a few yards from my tent. I knew nothing about the behavior of bulls, and still don’t; but I knew that wasn’t a good sign and so I backed away using the tent as a shield and climbed a tree.
Sleeping on the ground, or on sofas doesn’t bother me. I am a remarkably un-picky eater. I’m just easy that way.
All of which is to say that being frugal and ‘making do’ with what’s on hand comes naturally to me. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy spending money, and have indulged in some expensive hobbies in my life. But I can also zipper the wallet and not skip a beat.
I’m glad I can, because being frugal is an extremely valuable skill to employ as we get ready for a future of ‘less’.
Sometime, much sooner than we’ll be ready for, the systems upon which we rely will fail us.
The weather system is already becoming intolerably wonky. Heat in Europe, crop-ruining rains in the US farm belt, and unprecedented heat in the arctic are all telling us that something is terribly amiss.
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