About a year ago, we decided that half a million dollars is too much to spend on a decrepit bungalow with needles and used condoms in the yard, and since that's the going rate for houses here in good ol' Vancouver -- the most sustainable city in the world, dontcha know -- we decided to set our sites further afield and look at land on the nearby Gulf Islands. After a year of searching, we've finally found it, and it's pretty damn sweet. (We've posted a short video over on Vidiotbox, if you're interested.)
It's going to take a while to build a living structure on our new land. We want to do it right. Whatever we build will be designed to integrate into the landscape. It'll have a small footprint, to minimize its ecological impact. There'll be minimal building waste. We'll be using solar panels to provide most of our power, as there's no electricity on the island. We want to feel good about our place, in every sense of the word.
And when we do have a little house of our own, one of the first things we're going to do is frame this passage from a book we both love:*
Lennie spoke craftily, "Tell me –- like you done before."
"Tell you what?"
"About the rabbits... Come on, George. Tell me. Please, George. Like you done before."
"You get a kick outa that, don't you? Awright, I'll tell you, and then we'll eat our supper."
George’s voice became deeper. He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before. "Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no fambly. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an' work up a stake and then they go to town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin' their tail on some other ranch. They ain't got nothing to look ahead to."
Lennie was delighted. "That’s it –- that's it. Now tell how it with us."
George went on: "With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us..."
Lennie broke in. "But not us! An' why? Because... because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why." He laughed delightedly. "Go on now George!"
"You got it by heart. You can do it yourself."
"No, you. I forget some a' the things. Tell about how it’s gonna be."
"O.K. Someday we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and... "
"An’ live off the fatta the land!" Lennie shouted.
*Yes, we know how this story ends. We choose not to think about that.