Farming

Facet #2: Simple Living

I had an obstinate craving for fresh air, unimpeded movement, outdoor life. I wanted the earth, and I wanted to live in the close embrace of the earth. Some ancestor of mine must have been a hermit on a mountain, a gipsy, or a peasant: I know not which, but something of the temperament of all three had been bequeathed to me. The smell of fresh-turned earth was a smell that revived in me a portion of my nature that had seemed dead; a flower set me dreaming of solitary woods; and I found myself watching clouds and weather signs as though my bread depended on their lenience.” – The Quest of the Simple Life by William J. Dawson

The morning after winter storm Bella 2015

The morning after winter storm Bella 2015

My parents can heartily testify that outdoor work was not my cup of tea growing up. Yard work was detestable to me and the last on the list of ways to spend a Saturday. As I think back on my youth, I am not entirely sure what it was about the work that I found so worthless and undesirable. Perhaps it was nothing more than a child balking at the assignments of parents.

The first memorable positive exposure to “blue-collar” work was while I was in middle school. I had the opportunity to work a summer with a family friend who was a HVAC technician and plumber. I spent the summer learning to install ventilation, furnaces, copper line, and troubleshoot systems. Many days were spent in houses with no AC, since that is the very thing we were installing, and sometimes without power to supply a fan. Continue reading

Categories: Agrarian, Education, Farming, Homesteading, Joel Salatin, Learning, Philosophy, Simple Living, Tiny House | Leave a comment

Getting a Living

Log_Cabin_lookI recently finished reading W. J. Dawson’s “The Quest of the Simple Life.” Dawson recounts his escape from suburban life and pursuing a life fueled by “earth hunger.” Following the examples of such men as Thoreau and Wordsworth, he sought a deeper life than what he found in the metropolis of London.

Although published around 1907, it is striking how much of the issues of suburban life Dawson complained of still ring true today. Take for instance, this excerpt from Chapter 3, entitled: Getting a Living, and Living. Continue reading

Categories: Agrarian, Farming, Homesteading, Philosophy, Simple Living | 7 Comments

Facet #3: Health and Finances

While driving in California in the early morning, we witnessed the remnants of the Lunar Eclipse and the sun rise simultaneously.

While driving in California in the early morning, my trainer and I witnessed the remnants of the Lunar Eclipse and the sun rise simultaneously.

In the fall of 2007, my freshman year of college, I took on a project for a Christmas production that promised a lucrative paycheck and entry into a field I was very interested in pursuing: technical theatre production. My task was to program and synchronize a 30 ft tall “tree” equipped with 500,000+ lights in which stood a choir, to the music of the program. (You can view an example of what it would have looked like here.) The process was complex and required much more than what I had been told.

During that process, while trying to complete school, I developed a stress induced ulcer. In the span of one month, I lost over 50 lbs as there were many days I was bed-ridden with acute nausea. For days at a time, I could not sleep or eat. One particular Saturday, I worked from 0800 to 0500 the next morning, caught one hour of sleep in an empty classroom and arose at 0600 to begin prepare the day’s services. Continue reading

Categories: Agrarian, Education, Farming, Homesteading, Learning, Philosophy, Simple Living | Leave a comment

The Winds of Change

IMG_3503

The Organ Mountains of Arizona.

The change occurred in the span of one week.

Though I had been mulling over the information for some time, once the trigger was pulled, one week was all it took. While visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Illinois, I brought up some changes I had been considering. In the safety and comfort of their home, we spent the week discussing different ideas, posing and answering various questions, and considering the long-term plan at stake.

For about a year I had been considering a change of career. Though I loved being a teacher, it just wasn’t paying toward my goals and aspirations. Further, the last year of teaching had proven quite difficult; challenges to my integrity, mounting stress under exceeding demands, and unresolved conflicts with the powers that be. (I was also quite worn on the windowless office I inhabited…”Don’t Fence Me In” comes to mind.)

After a week of deliberation, conversations, and phone calls, I was thrust into a new world. By weeks end, I had three prospective jobs with different companies and was enrolled in CDL school. After four years of teaching, I was about to embark on a career as an Over-the-Road Trucker (OTR). (I will pause as you recover from choking on your drink or cleaning up now spattered food.)

Why on earth would I leave the prestigious position of teacher and stoop to a trucker? (One trucker, after learning of my previous career, put it this way: Why are you dumbing yourself down?)IMG_3119

Quite simply put, it is one more step in my pursuit of a simple life.

You can blame Joel Salatin. After graduating college and struggling to find work, I stumbled upon a lecture he gave at Google. From there, it was a landslide of books, documentaries, and discussions with other farmers that an acute desire for a simpler, agrarian based life began to well up. Ever since that initial encounter, I have been on a quest to simplify and work towards a future homestead/farm.

I must seem like a lunatic to many. Indeed, I have received several reactions to verify that notion. A college educated, gifted and successful teacher upending hisĀ  comfortable, white-collar life in the pursuit of the earthy and agrarian. Why?

The Argo was so named to denote honor as the largest ship built in its time, and so was something never seen before. I mean honestly, is the world ready for the never before seen #truckingprof?

The Argo was so named to denote honor as the largest ship built during its time, and so was something never seen before. I mean honestly, is the world ready for the never before seen #truckingprof?

It will take several posts to explain all of the facets that culminated in the sudden change of careers, but I hope that through my writings, you will understand my convictions and the reasons this change was necessary. Further, I hope that my life and writings will serve as an impetus for soul-searching, stock taking, and perhaps even a similar change in your own life.

From time to time, I will post from my collection of writings I have amassed while on the road, as well as quotes from readings I am undertaking. When the next change comes, I will chronicle my journey into homesteading.

Though the type of desk may have changed, I am still writing.

From the desk currently in Williams, Iowa,

Mr. Bluebaugh, aka TruckingProf

Categories: Agrarian, Education, Farming, Homesteading, Joel Salatin, Learning, Philosophy, Simple Living | 1 Comment

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