Dreams of moving to the country continue as I walk constantly into the reality of making it happen. Only a few more steps before I enter truck school. It’s a free program sponsored by a church in Hunter’s Point, Goodwill Industries, and San Francisco City College. Attending an independent truck school rather than a truck company’s school means I won’t be under a $5,000 contract when I leave. It also means I will most likely earn more money starting off.
Why truck driving? I dunno … I like to drive and it’s a long way from listening to crack addicts tell me lies all day. Homes and land are cheap in rural America … but it’s that way because there often is a lack of jobs. This means I’ll have to:
- Take a few Horticulture and/or Permaculture courses
- Take a welding class (FREE too at several locations here in urban America)
- Make sure I’m getting enough exercise so that I’ll be fit when I get there
- Research the appropriate farm equipment, farming practices, local truck actions, and other means of paying less than full price for much of what I’ll need
- Read up on rural life … like a book I ran across the other day that illustrates why country neighbors really are better than city neighbors … because they need you more … but … research will still have to be done …
- Visit http://www.city-data.com and gather as many candid remarks about the towns, states and cities I’m curious about
- Visit http://www.unitedcountry.com and check out the tip of the iceberg of what’s available (I’ve noticed they’ve stopped posting the really cheap places … hey … Real Estate Agents want to make money too… they also have a huge book that comes out twice a year that’s far better … only $9.00 a year for a subscription.)
- I also like to open http://www.wikipedia.com and pull up the demographics of an area … won’t paint the whole picture … but it can fill in a few blanks
- And if you visit the http://realestate.msn.com ‘s Real Estate link, you’ll see where you can request hard copy books for areas you’re curious about. These books are found in free sidewalk newspaper bins all over the U.S. … but if you request one online, Real Estate agents from those areas will send you emails, listings, and letters inviting you to build a relationship with them
[Click on http://realestate.msn.com … and check out the second one down that has a house and two barns with acreage and timber for $160,000]
- Start dreaming into all the things you’d do if you only had land … and a bit of time to pursue them. Then start searching the web for examples of what those projects look for other people. You’ll really be surprised if you let yourself go
- If you’re single, start posting your ad on dating sites for country and farm people
- Remember … there are fears about a looming global recession in 2012 … so people with small farms WITH WATER under or on it will do better than those sisters and brothers still complaining in the hoods … did I mention the fears around a global water shortage starting in 2015?
- But above all … I have to remember that it really isn’t all about me. That if God gives folks gifts and talents, He wants them to funnel them into our bringing something to the table … assisting with the greater good …
- Look around for friends and family to bring along. Asian and Mexican immigrants are showing us some excellent examples of how to create successful social models that create both economic success and individual / group safety. It’s FAR better to bring some trusted comrades to watch your back as you build your fences … and more importantly … your bridges … in the new rural community you select
But if it’s one thing that all that non-profit, social service trench work taught me … when I want to save someone… I’m usually projecting onto someone else a part of ME that needs “saving.” Hence … pause, SAVE MYSELF FIRST, then do some … wise … charity work.