Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Long, Long Time Ago

I just finished reading See You in A Hundred Years by Logan Ward. He and his wife Heather took their son and set up house in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia. They spent a year living as if it’s the year 1900—growing their own food, forgoing TV and tampons, taking splash baths, etc.

Damn, I like this book.

It’s not even the 1900 stuff that’s most interesting, although it is. (Their son is still in diapers when they start the project, brave souls.) It’s the interaction with his neighbors, this getting along with people that would sooner poke their eyes out than live in New York City.

We lived in a different part of the Shenandoah Valley for years, and I’ve probably exhaustively documented the ways in which it didn’t feel like home to me. But there is something about the area that feels like time has touched it, um, really gently. It might have had something to do with the old-order Mennonites still riding their horses and buggies, or the ongoing popularity of mullets. I don’t know. But even with email and TV and hot showers, living there felt remote to me. After reading See You, I’m thinking the remoteness had to do with the feeling that it just wasn’t my community.

It’s good book. Also, I'd love to hear Heather's perspective on the year.

Anyway, it’s a snow day here, and I’m going to pull on my boots, get out there in my own community, and watch the boy go shrieking down the hill.

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