Cha Cha Cha Changes?

Many changes are happening within my life right now.  Though they are recent, there has been much thought and planning involved. Sometimes I wonder, is it really “change” or am I just moving into a new direction?  Is moving into a new direction really change?  Yes, we are changing from this spot to that, true.  But is it the same path we began once upon a time?  One that has had many forks and branches?  The path I am on is very familiar, yet different. When I think back to my late teen years, what I wanted to do with my life then, and without having much life experience, it isn’t that much different. But life has a way of guiding you down different paths and then on to other forks in the road. You take one or the other, not all of them having a great outcome, yet something we learn from. So, is it really change? I am, I feel, the same person I always thought I was. I feel I have the same morals, similar viewpoints, same “I want to make the world a better place” attitude. Yes, with these experiences I have honed who I am today. It’s because of the past 57 years of life experiences, both trials and tribulations, which have now defined me. Defined me as someone I am finally happy with, satisfied with for now. For you see, I am constantly changing and hope to do so until I can change no more.thoreau


In the early 70’s I fell in love with Thoreau and I wanted to live simply. I wanted to become self-sustaining, live off the land and grow flowers everywhere! In 1972, I left home at 16 in June on the last day of 11th grade. My grades sucked, I felt my life sucked and I needed to get out and venture on my own. So completely confused and lost was I during those years. A friend and I hitchhiked to Western New York where she had a sister. We wanted to go to San Francisco and see what was going on then, but we turned around after a month and went back home. It did occur to me what I did to my parents and family and I felt bad for that, but it was something within me that said I needed to take this path. My paths were filled with many trials and the tribulations were surviving them and making sure I didn’t go through them again!  Unless of course, I traveled them again with new insight and purpose.  Sometimes we think we’re more mature and experienced than we truly are.  And sometimes we don’t trust ourselves because we don’t realize we are smarter than we think.  Being an Army BRAT, I had already experienced moving several times during my young life. First, born in Germany, then several bases in the states, living with my maternal grandparents between them on a farm in Maryland, and then in 1970 we moved to Izmir, Turkey. Maybe this is why I always thought I had a lot of experience and knew more than I did. Maybe this is why the grass rarely grows under my feet. Well actually, my motto is “Kill the grass, grow food,” but we’ll get into that in another blog.

Along with reading a lot of Thoreau and my mother always quoting him in reference to me saying perhaps “you follow the beat of a different drummer…” the music of the day spoke to me in ways that have left strong feelings. With all the events going on in the world today with wars, killings, GMOs, pesticides, dying bee populations, the rich getting richer and the rest becoming more poor, with many unhealthy and many more going hungry, it reminds me of a song by Alvin Lee of Ten Years After. Something I resonated with deeply back then, and still do. I have come to question whether anything changes at all or are we just going around in circles, and playing nothing more than musical chairs, because this song could have been written today.

I’d Love to Change the WorldLEE-obit-articleInline

Everywhere is freaks and hairies,

Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity.

Tax the rich, feed the poor

Till there are no rich no more.

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do

So I’ll leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding

Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy

Life is funny, skies are sunny

Bees make honey, who needs money, Monopoly

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do

So I’ll leave it up to you

World pollution, there’s no solution

Institution, electrocution

Just black and white, rich or poor

Them and us, stop the war

I’d love to change the world

But I don’t know what to do

So I’ll leave it up to you.

I still believe we can change the world and change it for the better, even though it seems to be a daunting task. Maybe to make significant changes means a lot of small changes that we all do collectively.

For several years I have had thoughts about quitting my job, moving closer to family and friends and find a couple of acres so I can build a small farmette. The same thing I wanted to do at 17, 27, 37, 47 and now 57. Problem was I never could find the “right” time to do it. The other problem was letting others’ comments sway me. Comments like “you can’t just quit a job until you have another first!” “Why not settle down somewhere and stay?” Those were just excuses I used because I wasn’t completely sure of making changes in the first place.  I was feeling safe where I was at and comfortable. And yes, there was the bad economy, high unemployment and the messages of fear broadcasting from corporate media. But I eventually shook that off because I do know who I am, my strengths and weaknesses and with much more clarity and purpose than when I was 17 and even 47.   I believe we tend to become too comfortable and that leads me to complacency and apathy.fork-in-the-road2

A few months ago, after a trip to Germany, I felt in my heart that it was time to do something different; to start doing those things I had been planning for most of my life. Over the years I have been honing my gardening practices and making many changes. I’ve been around growing food and gardening for most of my life in one way or another, having many family “mentors” before me. In 2012 I took classes with Denver Urban Gardens and became a “master” composter. For most of the summer weekends this past year, I was found at different local Farmer’s markets in a booth filled with flyers about composting, edible lawns, recycling and helping to save the planet. At 17, the road ahead of me was a hazy, unclear, and foggy road, one which I felt had meaning and purpose, but didn’t quite know how to go about it. And yes, people made similar comments then as well. It’s hard when you’re 17 and facing an uncertain future, unsure of what you want to do with your life. It wasn’t easy figuring out which fork in the road to take. While none where wrong, it just took more time to reach this recent fork.  fork-in-the-road_300

On Tuesday, I submitted my resignation effective April 30.  I am packing it in, having recently sold my house here in Colorado, and I’m heading back to the mid-Atlantic area.  I’ve sold, donated or given away most of my furniture and things not needed.  I’m packing up my two German Shepherds, one black cat, my Harley and we’re leaving Colorado on May 6.  I’m going to settle near one of my sisters in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.  I have lived there briefly before in 1985-86 and 2001-2003, but you would call Maryland my home state.  Nearly 10 years after leaving, I’m coming back.  And never has a move felt so right, so purposeful.  Things are falling into place.  I don’t have a job, yet.  But I do have a place I’m moving into with 3 acres and a stream and an A-Frame cabin, with lots of trees and shrubbery and places to plant and grow.   And I can move in as soon as I arrive in early May, before I find work.  Then once I have secured employment, I’ll be finishing up the process of buying the property.  It’s on a 100-year flood plain too, with so many new challenges to confront.  I have found a local Permaculture group and will get involved, hoping to restart the Permaculture Design course.  I have missed my parents and the rest of my family and all the friends there.  It’s been a good run here in Colorado and I wasn’t sure if this was a wasted tour or not until I sat down and reflected upon it.  While here, I have continually learned something new, something different, all building upon the past and creating this new journey, down a somewhat familiar road.  And it appears it is coming together more and more.  I want to grow food for my own health and sustainability, and help others to do the same.  I’d love to grow food for local restaurants.  And I want to share what I can with those who don’t have access to good food.949 puffen

Sometimes when so many good things are happening, I tend to question the why and wonder when the other shoe’s going to drop.  But what I have come to realize is, there is no other shoe.  This is what I have dreamed about since I can remember and something I’ve been building and working for most of my life.  Our lives are full of many paths with many forks and some of us walk many, while others may not walk enough.  Personally, I have walked many and I hope to continue doing so.  This may not be the last place I live during my life, but this one is filled with more clarity and perspective.


3 Replies to “Cha Cha Cha Changes?”

  1. Congrats Deb!! I’ve always believed that that right choice will present itself and life moves forwards with no regrets when it is the right choice. Good luck to you and I wish you well.

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