this past weekend we packed up the fam and headed out to somewhere far away.

this was the first family vacation we have taken in a long long time, and it made a great dry run to see how we would do if we ever actually bought property somewhere not here

now, places *not here* is a pretty broad category for what we would look for if we would ever want to get away, so i will touch on some of what is probably obvious that we would want/need as well:

-access to water;

-access to some sort of power (wind, water, solar, or whatever, but the property would need the capacity for a workable system of some sort and certain very out-of-the way locations make this hard to maneuver);

-access to a job for *h. because yeah, i’m all hard-core in theory, but in real life we need a real income, and until i learn to make magical potions that i can trade for gold coins or my family becomes content eating wild-dug plantlife and i can spin our clothing from dandelion fluff, we need large infusions of cold cash to keep us spoiled and on the grid for the forseeable future. being independent is great, but wearing store-bought underwear is better- at least at this stage of my life…

-access to humanity when we want it. cuz we are sooooooooooo rogue… but having company is sooooooooooo fun! and although i could envision a compound populated solely by my offspring and their offspring (and their unwitting spouses)- let’s face it: that’s just downright creepy…

– a somewhat pretty location. *h is a scenery snob and if he would run away with me, the least i could do is land us in a pretty place. he actually says things like, “can you believe that view?” and means it. go figure;

– land that will support growing food and animals (duh😉 );

– a ready-made house. what i don’t know about houses would fill every encyclopedia ever written, and i don’t have the lifespan left to learn. i need a good solid house that has all the thingies and whatsits in place and inspected so i can just move in and unpack my junk. i know some people dream of custom building a “dream house” but that sounds like hell to me. sorry if this disillusions any of you about me in any way.

now, here’s what i learned about myself and my family from our excursion:

as long as we can bug out to a place with board games, we are all set.

if bugging out requires us to kill things, we are all over it.

if bugging out requires me to drink dirty water, i will dehydrate and promptly die.

showering, brushing teeth, or otherwise interacting with well water is an iffy proposition for several members of my family. i think they would toughen up and ultimately do it, but my personal no-dirty-water clause is unbreakable.

mosquitoes suck, both literally and figuratively. i’m wondering if people who live in the wilderness just develop really tough skin like armadillo plates that the mosquitoes can’t bite through? how do you do it, country folk? cuz i may really rather just get stabbed by some wanna-be gangsta over a can of baked beans in the 7-11 than bug out to the country and get lots of mosquito bites. like, for real…

fire is magical, and the air really does smell better away from other people. so do humans just stink up a place or what?

oh, and for any of you who were wondering where they hide all of the farms in the state of washington: they are on the east side of the state. but don’t tell; apparently it’s a secret in seattle, so shhhhhhhhhh… in michigan we used to go apple-picking at least once every fall (that’s autumn for you brits out there). the apples fresh off the tree are so crisp and flavorful and absolutely off-the-charts delicious it is almost indescribable. so when we moved here (michigan and washington are the top two apple-producing states in the US), i asked people where you could go to u-pick apples. and without exception people looked at me like i was nuts. they literally had never heard of u-pick apple places (unless they grew up somewhere else). they knew of one or two places where you could possible get berries in the summer (btw, yuck. we’ve been there and the fruit is unremarkable. i’m no great fan of many things about michigan but hear me well on this: if you want supremely amazing fruit go to a michigan u-pick farm any time and taste anything there and get ready to be wow-ed! i think i am just ruined for washington fruit😦 ). anyway, we seemed to have found the fruit basin of washington, and i’m relieved to know that i do indeed live in a place that produces things (this juxtaposed against the fact that detroit is now officially bankrupt and has given up any pretense of producing anything useful for the forseeable future. don’t get me started…)

oh, and speaking of detroit, guess what signs were everywhere? in addition to “no trespassing” signs about every 10 feet (wow, country people, are you really territorial, or what? are you totally afraid that city people will flee the cities and come trespass on your land? hahahahahahahaha… sorry about that…) there were:

“NO PUBLIC SHOOTING”

signs.

now what the heck is that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

does that mean if you want to off someone you have to do it in your livingroom? like, “settle your bidness in private, homey…”?

really- what conditions necessitate posting that sign?

what does the town council meeting discussion sound like over that particular signage?

“you know, stan, too many people are getting shot out in plain sight over on old mill road. maybe we oughtta post up a sign.”

“great idea, milt. how about ‘NO PUBLIC SHOOTING’?”

gotta love *not here*

i feel like i’ve arrived…