Monday, February 23, 2004

I am at work as I write this and therefore should probably be working. I feel that as Americans we are overworked. Sure, things could be worse. I could have been born in Singapore and be making two dollars per day making Nike sweatshirts in a sweatshop. But I wasn't born in Singapore. I was born in a rural part of Minnesota. I grew up in a different rural part of Minnesota. But now, dammit, I am becoming closed in by the ever-increasing amount of strip malls and townhouses. I loathe townhouses. I'll tell you exactly why, too. The signs say "Quality built townhomes starting in the $190's." Whoa. Hold on. I come from a town where an extravagant HOUSE costs $190,000. But a townhome is different. A townhome is a glorified apartment with maybe two floors as opposed to one. You share a wall or maybe two. The difference from apartments is that you DON'T share a floor.

I am all for controlling the sprawl that is America but that price is INSANE. I am one of those who will, more than likely, be in the housing market later this year. I don't want to worsen the problem of our uncontrolled growth but will surely no be living in a townhome. No way, no how. No. It is not going to happen. I despise living in an apartment and grew up on a farm. Wide open spaces. Clean air. Fresh food. A garden. A dog not on a leash or in a kennel. A few cats raoming in the yard. America. Or at least what was deemed America about 50 years ago. I liked it though now that I can look back on it. I used to complain about the dusty gravel road we lived on and not being near my friends but I turned out alright. I adapted to my surroundings and like to think I turned out better, more well-rounded, than my city-raised friends.

I look now and I realize that my job with set hours doesn't allow me to be outdoors as much as I would like to be sometimes. I do not have that large yard to toil away the day in. I really miss being able to wash my car by hand, for free, under a shade tree in the front yard. It was a simpler life and we got by just fine. My parents still do. I want my kids to have the same experiences. I am not going to be the type of parent who forces the kids to be in sports or groups. Let them choose on their own. They will do what's right, with a LITTLE guidance of course.

In time I will change. I will change jobs. I might move again. I might become an activist. Though that last one might not provide too well for a family but I will still fight for what I believe in. I definitely want to pick up more skills. My dad is a jack-of-all-trades type of guy and I think I can pick up a few of those things too. I am not helpless or unskilled by any means but can definitely expand my knowledge. I will continue to change.

There's just NO WAY I am going to live in a god-forsaken townhome. A house in the country, yes. Townhome, no.

Stay tuned.

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