“I live in a beautiful place. I work at something I love, I make enough money to live, and my demands on the world’s resources are very meagre. What’s so unusual about this idyllic circumstance is that there is plenty of room for more to join.” - John Brown
This is one of my favourite quotes by one of my favourite authors, one I write on the board, at the beginning of each of our sessions, as I really do feel it best conveys what our little school is all about, or perhaps at very least, my hopes for our students. With the doors for my cabinet roughly shaped, and the rest of my stock resawn and resting, I set my work in the shop, and my writing aside and turned my attention to home preparations for the fall.
A few weeks back, when Caroline and I were on the wood run, we picked up a couple of oak wine barrels. This past week, Yvonne and I converted two of them into rain barrels for our home. We have always collected rain water using old buckets and containers, but this gives us more capacity and a simpler solution to changing buckets during the rainy season. We will eventually add two more at the front of our home.
Today, I steered our old 1987 Volkswagen Westfalia out of the shed, and down to the road. It was with a heavy heart, that I put out the For Sale sign. It was two years ago this past May when after doing significant restoration work on it, the transmission went. At the time, having invested significant time and money, we made the decision, to lessen our carbon footprint further, and see if we could survive a year without a vehicle.
We live just a few hundred meters from the school, and the Sunshine Coast has a wonderful public transportation system. Even when I travel to teach, I can pick up a bus across the street from the school in Roberts Creek and arrive at the International Airport in Vancouver in about the same time as it would take to drive. I use the bus to pick up our groceries and other necessities. We use a wheel barrow to move offcuts and heavier items to and from the school. We shop locally, and we were delighted to learn that many of our suppliers deliver for a modest fee. We are able to rent a truck locally to go on wood runs. Meanwhile, two years later, It was easier than we thought, and while I am not naive enough to think that it is for everyone, it fits our lifestyle.
Tomorrow, with the shed nearly empty, we will begin to haul and stack the wood that will keep our little cottage warm in the coming months. As we stack our wood, it is my hope, that John Brown will be smiling upon us.
Be well and enjoy your work,