Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Save Money and Get a Clean House: Become a Hermit!

Our road is closed for construction. We have effectively lived at the tail of a long dead end street for the past month. At first we lamented the extra four miles it would take to get anywhere. The kids chaffed at the idea that their new bus stop was a ½ mile walk away. But as we near the completion of the project, I have mixed feelings. 

I’ve grown accustomed to the quiet. I like the absence of traffic. I’ve enjoyed running in the early mornings, knowing the only cars I will encounter are my neighbors who drive slowly past, waving to me and my dog. I savor the silence in the mornings as I hang out the laundry and the peaceful evenings on the screened in porch.

 The detour has changed my life in other ways. I know longer “run to the store real quick” for anything. I save up my errands and don’t go “over the hill” (as my husband calls it) until I have to. It’s saved gas, but more than that, it’s saved time. I had no idea how much time I’d been squandering. Staying home more has led to a semi-clean house, a semi-weeded garden, and even to semi-exercised horses! 

I wonder if when the road is open again I will go back to my frequent wanderings. I am grateful for the inconvenience of the state’s odd choice of construction projects (they are replacing a grate that ferries a teeny, tiny run-off stream under the road to join Deer Creek to the tune of $900,000. The new grate could accommodate a small river.). I’m hopeful that my hermit habit will stick. I like being home more and I’ve saved money, not just on gas. When my oldest was stumped for what to cook on his night, he opted for hot dogs. Having promised to provide him with all the ingredients he needed for his culinary endeavor, I was obligated to go over the hill for the rolls. But as I headed for the car, I thought, “Can I make hot dog rolls?” Yes! I can! Similar scenarios played out again and again, as I made due or got creative with menus and school projects. 

Can you find the adorable dog watching?
We are all driving too much, wasting gas and precious time. Perhaps a state enforced confinement isn’t the motivator you need to evaluate how many times you run to Walmart. What if you couldn’t go out? Could you work with what you have? Our road will open back up soon, but I’m going to try to retain the new habits the detour has given me. I like the hermit life.


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