Monthly Budgeteer columnist Eddy Gilmore is a freelance writer, father of twins and husband of one. Connect with Eddy at eddygilmore.com.
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Simplicity. The word conjures up a near-religious mantra for many of us. Either a goal in the distant future or a yearned-for ideal of the past, few rest content in the simplicity of the present. Gratitude should be a defining characteristic because we have the privilege of living right now. Not only does one have the luxury of living as simply as they wish, we may pick and choose appropriate technologies to help us reach our goals.
Parallel universes exist. Only rarely do they collide. A mere razor's edge divides them. Feet firmly planted, I straddled that thin dividing line, almost by accident. Standing at the downtown bus stop, feeling marooned, I faced a difficult choice. I had just missed my bus. Fighting a mild cold, a bitter lake breeze chilled me to the bone. I was tired, hungry, and had nowhere to turn. Then the fog parted, as if by enchantment, and I was beguiled by the taphouse across the street.
Tiny Farm Duluth will occupy a mere seventh of an acre in 2017, but this year's farm plan has me planting and harvesting approximately 270 beds throughout a 30-week season. The sheer volume of decisions required for such an ambitious plan — one that has me shooting for a $14,000 profit — is shocking. Paralysis by analysis is a real danger. The air is thick with the future.
Tiny Farm Duluth will occupy a mere seventh of an acre in 2017, but this year’s farm plan has me planting and harvesting approximately 270 beds throughout a 30-week season. The sheer volume of decisions required for such an ambitious plan — one that has me shooting for a $14,000 profit — is shocking. Paralysis by analysis is a real danger. The air is thick with the future.
A crisp and clear morning. Bright and beautiful. The sort of day that fills one with hope and optimism. I imagine a morning with coffee, light banter, reading, playing with the dogs. And, a quick, tender kiss on the lips. Their last. A perfect Saturday morning.
The skin on my face was incinerated today. Prior to the photodynamic treatment, a $300 medication was applied to ensure a 10X sunburn. It turns out that an effective treatment for precancerous sun damage is another extreme burn. Burn off all the bad stuff and the skin should regenerate anew. Needing to avoid contact with sunlight, I walked out of the clinic onto First Street wearing a wide-brimmed sombrero, which, it turns out, is pretty darn festive for Duluth in January.
The day after our dog died, our kids started a puppy fund. I only reluctantly agreed to provide the jar to hold it. Everybody had settled on getting a mini-goldendoodle puppy straight from a reputable breeder. The price tag was unrealistic, to say the least. Just 25 of the $800 puppies would equal our entire income for the year. This was akin to buying a car, another luxury item I'd wish to forgo if push came to shove.
Never in my life, which extends to the previous century and millennium, have I seen an American election produce more anguish and heartache. People everywhere are weeping and gnashing their teeth. Unimaginable stress causes them to succumb to migraine headaches. Formerly joyous individuals buckle under the weight of depression and despair. Morosity and bitterness run rampant. Some have fallen under a spell of hopelessness and actually contemplate leaving the country. This level of anxiety reflects a dim view of what our nation is built upon.
Nearly impossible to comprehend, Eli Wirtanen passed away just 19 years before I was born. My, how times change. Eli was born in Finland in 1870. He emigrated to the New World as a teenager in the late 1880s. Eventually by the age of 34, he had saved enough money to purchase his own 40-acre tract of land. Not only was this land entirely wooded, there were no roads in the vicinity. Trails, such as the nearby Vermillion Trail, provided access to the outside world by foot or horseback.
It has been more than two years since the big corporation laid me off. My quest to find my place in the community feels like it has only begun. I feel great about having written the book I had always dreamed to write, but the financial return has been minimal. Placing my story into the hands of readers, however, has enabled me to see how rewarding it can be to enter directly into the economy by selling a product I created.