You may have heard that Alaska faces a financial crisis due to low oil prices. Our Legislature cut the state budget to the bone, reducing and eliminating funding almost across the board.
The sudden loss of funds has thrown many institutions into chaos, Michelle’s workplace among them. She recently lost her job to budget cuts.
Losing one’s job is never easy, but we’re lucky in that we can absorb the blow better than most. We don’t pay rent or mortgage and we don’t have utility bills. The summer growing and fishing seasons approach, so our food bills will shrink for several months. We will not be able to spend as freely as we have these last few years, but we will likely not fall behind financially due to the lost income.
We did lose health coverage, unfortunately. The stipend disappeared with the job. That’s not good, but for most of our marriage neither of us have had insurance, so we manage to do with out it for the most part. It’s not easy, and it’s not safe, but we’re not really about easy or safe, are we?
In many ways, we hope to use this situation to our advantage. We plan to rededicate ourselves to our off-the-grid lifestyle. Michelle had grown homesick for the property during the workweek. Particularly now, when she’s focused on getting the garden going (see Scraping a Living from the Land) she’s grateful for the opportunity to spend time and effort there.
Furthermore, holding a job in town runs counter to the reasons we moved to the “homestead’ in the first place. We came here to make a life away from wage work, if possible. Because of this, Michelle’s income, while very convenient, has never been truly essential. Getting by without it means adjusting back to the way things were before.
I’m certainly happy to have her home! I enjoy my time alone here immensely, but I’d rather share it with her. We’re readjusting the household tasks that fell largely to me during her workweek, but I’m not relinquishing them by any means. We discussed division of labor, and decided that our weekend habit, which relies heavily on individual comfort, desire, and inspiration, should work well through the rest of the week, as it did before she started work in town.
Of course, we see that our new investment in better power (see Power Shift: Increasing Our Energy Independence) came at a less convenient moment, but we feel the improvements are necessary, and are glad to have made them when we did.
Nevertheless, if you’ve ever thought about purchasing anthing from our Store Page, there’s no time like the present! Our micro-incomes have become our sole income for the time being, other than a current Web design contract.
We’ll deal with that as it waxes and wanes. For now, the “2.0 team” faces the future, reunited and unified once again (see Homestead 2.0).