BelgradeBarnTomorrow is the first day of March. I'll have three weeks left of reclusion. I have super big plans for the 22nd of March. I'm going to the doctor. I'm thinking about seeing "10 Cloverfield Lane" (although I'll probably wait until that Thursday). Actually, I guess that's it. Aside from those small excursions, I don't think my life will change much. 

I'm doing really well on supplies. I still have plenty of dog/horse food. I've got a ton of frozen vegetables, and an unopened 25-pound bag of rice that my mother gave me. In a good year, I maybe eat 5 pounds of rice. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to make it through that monster.

We've had an unusally mild winter so far. Today it's 50 and there's just one pile of snow left in the driveway. Last year we had snow until May. Unless March takes a weird turn, I'm going to assume that mud season will be pretty light this time around. That's always good news. Maybe I'll get an early start on my garden. Listen to me--I'm talking like spring is a foregone conclusion! It would be just like Maine for the weather to turn around and bite me in the ass. 

The lettuce experiment is/was an unqualified success. I've had a bunch of salads and they keep coming. I recommend hydroponic Romaine to anyone who enjoys fresh greens. It takes very little energy and only a little bit of space. Factoring out the fixed costs (the pump, bulbs, and such), each head cost about $1.50 to grow. I have yet to try other crops, but I suspect that basil and cilantro would also work well. To do tomatoes and cucumbers, I would need to construct a vertical setup. I might do that. 

I remember when I was a little kid that being stuck inside the house was pure torture. There was nothing interesting to do inside. I wanted to go out and play in the back yard, jump in puddles, or find ants to kill. I'm sure my mother remembers it differently. She probably has clear memories of ordering me to turn off the TV for once and get out of the house.HeadsRomaine

In support of my recollections, I offer Maine as evidence. There was nothing I enjoyed more than vacations up here. In Maine, there was always something to do. We could swim in the lake, explore the barn, or ride the minibike in the back fields. When we got strong enough to swim across the lake, we were allowed to take out the little boat on our own. It's doubtless that the reason I wanted to move to Maine after college was because of those memories. Maine was a happy place, and if I lived here, I could be happy too.

It was also far enough away from where I grew up that I could finally become a real person. I had to move away from the weight of my childhood in order to get away from the person it created. Moving away allowed me to introduce myself to new people who didn't have any preconceived notions of me. It took a few iterations. Years passed before I made any progress. Eventually, I learned that it wasn't the people around me who were making me act & think a certain way--it was myself. I could have stayed put in Virginia if I had been able to realize that there. 

This spring is somewhat of the same thing. I'll be leaving my house after this period of reflection and reinventing how I interact with the world. After three months of limited human contact, who do I want to be? Do I want to meet new people and try new things? Will I go to the doctor, the movies, and then scurry back home to lock the door again? I guess I have three more weeks to figure that out.

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