cabinYou've finally finished all your errands, and you're finally able to rest. You've got your book, a hot cup of tea, and it's just starting to snow outside. The small pockets of air captured between the snowflakes absorb sound. That's why it's so quiet and cozy.

This is the experiment--how long can you make that feeling last?

In my experience, the feeling of calm contentment lasts only minutes, maybe an hour. There's always another obligation that comes to mind. I hope that the snow will be plowed so I can drive to the grocery store, or get to my dentist appointment. Winter is a constant battle between inertia and opportunity. I want to simply hunker down, but I'm forced to contend with the elements so I can go get a prescription filled or pick up alfafa cubes for the horse.

This winter, I'm trying something different. I've run around for the past month, preparing. I bought a chest freezer and filled it with frozen vegetables. I filled the barn with feed and shavings. I ordered 450 pounds of dog food. 

Here's my goal: I'm not going to leave my property this winter. I live in Maine, so it's fair to say that winter lasts about six months, but for this experiment I'll go with the calendar definition of winter. I won't leave the property from December 21st to March 21st. I'm not going to bar the door against guests, and I'll make an exception for medical emergencies.

Last winter I had to pick up my father from the hospital a couple of times. That may happen again. I also care for an epileptic dog who may need to visit the emergency room. I won't hesitate to leave in those situations. Technically, one could argue that my mailbox is on the neighbor's property. I'm not going to split hairs over that. I will pick up my mail. Those are the exceptions. 

Why? I don't know. In my experience, nothing good comes from leaving the house in the winter time. The roads are questionable. It's cold out. I get all the human interaction I need from people who come by the house. I'm almost certain that I won't go stir crazy or experience any ill effects from this experiment. But, of course, I could be wrong. That's the most compelling reason to do this experiment. I want to know how well I know myself. Will these walls feel like a prison over the course of ninety days? I doubt it.

I often feel like I have everything I need right here. This is a good chance to prove it.

I've made a few concessions. I will miss lettuce and fresh fruit. I'm going to try to grow lettuce indoors. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you posted about my progress for as long as I can. Eventually I might get paranoid and cut my connection to the internet with a big axe. We'll see.

Wish me luck!

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