And now presenting Auroraborealice
This is a blog written by two sisters, Aurora and Alice. We (you the reader, and us the sisters) would probably get along, if you are a reasonably interesting, not-puppy-killing person. But we would probably relate to each other if you experienced one or more of the following during your childhood:
- Your mother cooked all your meals from scratch, unless there was company over, in which case you might buy store-bought things like bread, soda, or cookies.
- You went tent camping with your family.
- You occasionally (shamefully) traded your home-made bread pb&honey (or banana) sandwich at school during lunch for something along the lines of Doritos, Saltines, or Lunchables.
- You have never seen Married With Children, you don’t have fond memories of Dougie Houser, and you don’t know who shot JR (okay, or didn’t even know what this last reference was to).
- You didn’t understand why none of your classmates had read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- You were home-schooled until mid-to-late elementary school and didn’t know who Bart Simpson or Madonna was or why it was funny you didn’t know what “don’t have a cow” meant.
- Your father sang silly made-up songs, which in retrospect were more political than young you knew. Or were based on Beatles songs, but you didn’t realize this until age 23.
- You weren’t allowed to eat white sugar until you were about 10, and were fed spoonfuls of cod-liver oil. You know, for the Vitamin D.
- Your entire knowledge of 80s music (and you are a child of the 80s) was gained after 1995 (and mostly around 2002).
- You snuck handfuls of wheat berries out of the bin in the hall to chew until they resembled chewing gum. Gluten-y, yummy, wheat chewing gum.
- You can’t count the number of times you have seen LadyHawke, Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, or any one episode of Avonlea.
- You loved anything related to pioneer or frontier life (the Little House On The Prairie books were popular), and schemed and planned with your sister how you would have your own homestead someday, down to the contents of the kitchen cabinets. And number of farm animals.
If any of those items rang a bell, you probably have a better insight on our childhoods than most people. And number 12 is still true — we still want that homestead. Pity land’s not cheap, or out there for the grabbing like it was 150 years ago. (Strictly speaking, numbers 1, 4, 5, and 7 are still true, too.)
This is a shout-out to all those kids in their late twenties who grew up feeling a bit on the outside, whose rebellion in the 2000s was to be more yuppie, and less hippie, and who may have come around to the conclusion that yeah, their parents really did have something good going with their ideas of simplicity and DIY, and how in heck do we manage to do that now?
Cheap gas is now $4.11 a gallon, the best food is the most expensive food, and it typically takes two paychecks to support a family. So how do you get past that, how do you live up to your own ideals, how much do you compromise to get that dream house, that farm, that job, that land? We have no idea, but we want to find out.
Alice and Aurora are in the same boat, albeit in different waters right now. We have always shared a dream of owning our own homestead, being self-sufficient (growing stuff and making things), and that dream has evolved to include a community of family and friends supporting us, and a solid dose of reality. Between the two of us we are slowly developing complementary skills: Alice is the baker, Aurora the beekeeper; Alice the brewer, Aurora the pigherd. Alice has the wee garden now, but Aurora’s had the bigger one in the past. We are also back-up doulas for each other someday, aunts to future children, valued confidantes, and friends.
This is the journey of two second-generation hippies, sisters who are living in different states but never that far apart. This is our way of sharing our struggles with the economy and our consciences, and our successes, as they come.
This is Auroraborealice.