“find a place that’s degraded….and fix it up.”

At the beginning of this, the man who helped make this amazing two acre place says something about it being more important to find a place that’s degraded and fix it up….than it is to go to an already beautiful place and live there.

Awwwww.

Watch the video.

He says the same thing more simply….more elegantly.

This is two acres.

See what these people have done with this place.

Watch what it was….and what it’s become.

This is one of the good videos.

I love hopeful things.

coliving: Podshare

This reminds me of camp.

All these bunks.

Or….maybe jail.

Except these guys pay to get in here.

So….different than jail.

Those guys in jail pay for their crimes….and, when they’ve paid their debt, they get to leave.

Maybe it’s like a train without wheels? A train that doesn’t go anywhere?

Whatever this is, it’s a whole lot better than sleeping in the street.

This really is kind of like jail, though.

Except they pay to sleep in here.

Weird.

Weird….but good.

Different than “normal”…but….pretty darn cool.

Good idea, guys!

So Hip! So Crappy!

Man….VW Vans are so cool.

I’ve owned 3….a cruddy 1972 (first car!)…a 1968….and a split window 1967 that I never drove that sat in the driveway waiting for me to learn enough about “mechanicing” to get it back together.

They were all fun in a horrible way….but other than the “cool factor”, I don’t know that I’d have another one.

A Grand Caravan is a better vehicle….and it’s not cool….but I bet that I could make a pretty great camper out of one.

I will bet that I could.

A VW camper van is pretty cool, though.

I remember that Jenny and I looked at one when we were first married that was selling for 1100 dollars….a ’71….but I didn’t end up buying it.

23 years ago, you could still buy one for 1100 dollars.

This van has a Subaru motor.

Good for them.

It’s a heck of a lot better that my old 1972.

These old vans make me happy.

I’m glad that I don’t have to work on one all the time anymore, though.

No….forget that Grand Caravan comment.

A Grand Caravan, no matter how great a vehicle it is, will never be as cool as an old Volkswagen.

Never.

lift it up, bring it back

Whether it’s a car….or a town…I love it when things come back and are usable again.

This is another great Kirsten Dirksen video about a town in Mississippi called Water Valley.

I’ve seen a lot of Southern towns like this.

I mean on the “dying side”.

I like it when they come back and have some life again.

The first time Jenny and I went through downtown Greenville, SC some of the areas we drove through felt like this.

They aren’t like this now.

In fact, one of the most depressed areas and the one that had the most dead storefronts that we saw in Greenville was on Main St., and if you walked down Main St. now, you wouldn’t believe that it was ever like that.

It’s pretty vibrant now.

Good planning and a strong belief in what the city was going to be is what made it what it is now.

Small towns are pretty great.

It would be a drag, though, if you were the only one who ever had any faith in a dead or dying downtown somewhere.

A diamond in a pile of manure doesn’t look too good.

Thinking about how a diamond  shines can be pretty inspiring, though.

They do shine, don’t they?

(To put this into clearer focus: Water Valley was a dying town that’s located 20 miles or so from the University of Mississippi and the town of Oxford. What about that didn’t scream “SAVE ME”? Good for these guys! Make it good again!)

 

all the rust

It’s moist where we live.

Or….it used to be moist all the time.

Now….maybe….not so moist.

We had a brutal draught last summer….something we’re not used to.

Usually, it’s pretty wet all the time.

It is the perfect environment for rust.

Everything rusts….fast….or mildews….or rots.

That’s the way it is where we live.

Look at this place, though….out in California.

All these old cars sitting outside for years….sitting….recoverable.

RECOVERABLE!!

That’s pretty cool.

This is a show that I’ve never watched before….but, it’s pretty cool. It’s called “Roadkill”.

Two guys out in the yard….finding a car to get running well enough to drive home.

Will they need a police escort?

Should the fire department follow them?

There is something pretty darn cool about taking a vehicle that’s been given up on and getting it going again.

I’d have a lot more fun “shopping” at this junkyard than I would going to the mall.

There are a lot of things in this world that impress me….and two guys working on a truck in a junkyard has to be one of the good ones.

I love seeing dead things brought back to life.

(Watch to the end to see….the victory? The failure? I’m no spoiler….watch it yourself…)

dry land

You can build a house and adapt to your surroundings wherever you go.

It may be pretty harsh….and it may look pretty crazy….but you can turn something hard into something good.

That’s not necessarily what’s happening here….but I do appreciate what this guy is doing to adapt to his surroundings.

There’s nothing crazy about what this guy is doing.

Planting trees….unifying the neighborhood.

If you like plants….or planting stuff….or horticulture….permaculture….anything “cultured”….watch this video.

This guy is great.

Make sure you’re watching when you see the “before” pictures.

This man and the people in his neighborhood have really changed their environment.

It’s all effort and good design….changing people’s lives.

There is so much to make you hopeful out in the world.

There is so much good happening that we never hear about.

This is another Kirsten Dirksen video…..check her out at faircompanies.com .

redhead box

I ordered one of these Redhead steering boxes tonight to replace the leaking one in the Cherokee….and I checked on a price to have it put on at the mechanic I use when I’m too tired, cold, and lazy to lay in the gravel driveway and do it myself.

I hope these Redhead boxes are as good as people say they are.

But….you know….for a right hand drive box, the price wasn’t too bad.

It was still as expensive as heck, but compared to all the junkyard ones I saw….and the other prices out on the internet, it really wasn’t bad.

Or….maybe….it wasn’t the worst price out there.

Anyway….they seemed like good folks to deal with….and they’ve been in business for a while…so I hope it all works out.

It should work out.

Why should I expect anything less than the most positive of outcomes?

That’s what I’m talking about….the positive expectation of a glorious outcome.

Sounds good.

Oh. My. Gosh. I am tired.

I woke up in my youngest son’s bed again….putting him to sleep.

I put myself to sleep, too.

That’s pretty darn disorienting….to wake up someplace that you didn’t plan on falling asleep.

That seems to be happening to me a lot these days.

Nah.

That’s just me being theatrical.

If it’s not one of the kids’ beds or the couch, I’m not going to be falling asleep in any weird places.

I don’t fall asleep at stop lights or anything like it, yet.

Anyway, I didn’t write a blog post today, so getting one out there before I fell asleep again felt like it was going to be hard.

A new video from forestyforest made it easy.

This guy makes some of my favorite videos….beautiful and meditative.

Bicycling.

Who would resist it if it was all like this?

Fatbikes are kind of cool, too!

I don’t know much about them, yet.

I haven’t seen any in thrift stores.

Too new, maybe.

Anyway, when you wake up groggy and need to get one last thing done before the day is over, it’s nice when that one thing is easy.

Writing something nice about a forestyforest video is easy.

They’re a “good thing”.

(I thought it was kind of funny to talk about being tired after waking up when I was watching something like a guy riding a fatbike ALL OVER out West. That’s funny to me. How tired could I really be if I was only waking up from sleeping? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? Maybe “groggy” is the right word? Maybe groggy makes more sense than tired? Who am I to be tired? All I do is drive mail around for 7 hours at a stretch. How tiring could driving be? Am I groggy? Maybe. I’ll have to drink some coffee in the morning….FATBIKES!! HOW ABOUT THAT?! FATBIKES!!)