Sometimes, when I need a morale boost, I entertain myself with recollections of how we prepared for our move from Chicago. Of course it required shopping, a fundamental element of my life at the time. I bought myself a beautiful pair of handcrafted pearl earrings, $150. Who knew when I would be able to afford such things again? I also succumbed to a craving for a pair of $80 espadrilles from Banana Republic, which I bought too small and never wore. I have no explanation for this but some weird small foot vanity. Then I trekked to J. Crew. These were places I rarely shopped. Mostly I resale shopped, but I had the idea that because I’d be denied luxuries, I should stock up. On what—useless overpriced things? As it turned out, I was stocking up on waste. At J. Crew I bought a $60 sunhat. Now surely, this was a needed item. It was grand, a lounging at the pool glamorous floppy hat to protect not only your face but your décolletage. I’ve never worn it. Why? Well, it’s huge, hot and impractical, you can barely see out from under it and I have no occasion to lounge around a pool. Did I mention it has some gold sequins on it? It really is a beautiful hat, scorpions enjoy nesting in it.
An excerpt from Dirty, Wet and Bitten, my memoir of moving to Mexico.
Funny how objects and actions make their purposes known…eventually.
I have a confession to make…
This is our garbage from the last weeks. It’s approximately two square feet of waste, about 5pds. We burn some of our garbage to avoid filling our land with it. Even biodegradable waste sometimes takes years to do so and no one wants to stare at their garbage for years.
Maybe you’re thinking not bad, right, in terms of the volume? And honestly it is a serious reduction of from the amount of waste we produced when we lived in the US. But what the photo does not show is; buried in the more benign waste there is plastic. Wrappers from cookies and spaghetti, and if that were not criminal enough, a few plastic bags that I was either too lazy to untie the supernaturally tight knots Dona Drygoods ties, or to wash out because they were just too greasy or sticky.
Not only do I feel like a bad person, I feel like a fraud because I write this touchy feely “back to the land” blog, while twice a month I release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. So, though I refuse to give up eating pasta, or bake every cookie we put in our mouth (Felipe likes them with his coffee). I have vowed to untie every knot and wash every bag, as my new year’s resolution. Continue reading