getting all the way back to basics

Buying & Living on Raw Land
The Quest
I don't know about you, but I like a place outside of town, a place surrounded by fields or even wild meadows, a place enhanced by rolling hills, maybe even some mountains. I want good, fresh lakes and ponds nearby, and a stream that I can fish in -- but not one that'll threaten my house or barn whenever it floods. I like ranches & farms with their fields of grain or corn, but I also like the raw, wild land, where deer and other wildlife wander about freely. I like trees and thick woods, but I also want to see the land itself. I don't mind building my own house, but I also enjoy remodeling old farm houses, or maybe even converting an old barn into a home.
This kind of living is what I call success in life. Sure, it's great to live in a city and make lots of money. Many of us have been forced to do just that. We make it as attorneys, or in marketing, or in investments. Some us of run a small business of our own, maybe selling hotdogs, cranking out pizzas, marketing clothing, automobiles, computer equipment, or shoes. We gotta make a living, right?
And so we learn to spell out success in life in many ways. Often, it starts with numbers. Numbers of units produced, sold or serviced. How many calls did you make last week? How many zeros are there in your paycheck? That sort of thing. And then we measure success by the kind of house we live in. Where is the apartment located? How many bedrooms does that condo have? How many square feet does the house have, and how many cars will fit in the garage? How old is the subdivision? Let's not forget the vehicle we drive. A Jaguar or a Cadillac Escalade tells us something about the driver's need to communicate status and success. So do a host of other autos and pickup trucks.
But real success in life cannot be measured by the material things we manage to accumulate. Material things do not necessarily take away from genuine success, but they certainly are no true measurement of what we've managed to accomplish as human beings. It's been said many times through the centuries: the things that really matter are health, family, genuine friendships, honor, decency in personal ethics and business policy, and simple generosity.
Real success in America (or any place else) is not about making billions of dollars off of other people's ideas and hard work. It isn't about getting filthy rich from playing politics and marketing games. It's about finding a way to succeed at the things that really count in life. It's about sharing whatever you have, and whatever you know, with your neighbors. It's about helping to create a better way of life -- making things better for the next generation as well as our own.
That's the real American story.
What does all of this have to do with staking out a claim, so to speak, on some raw or abandoned land? That's a fair question. This is how I see it: what we manage to accomplish with our own two hands is real. By properly developing a piece of ground (and by the term "develop" I don't mean to destroy), and by building or restoring a house, by raising a few animals, producing crops or having a garden, by making something with our own hands, we physically alter the world in a very small but real way. This is especially so when we can take something that others have cast off as useless and work with it to show it for what it really is: good and useful and meaningful.
Taking the Step
If you have no interest in making a place for yourself (maybe you already have a great place, and simply want to keep working it) then this information is not really meant for you. But if you are still dreaming and thinking and looking for some way to get away from the rat race, then you may be interested in the information available at House-n-Land. Don't worry. The info is free of charge. But to take the steps of actually finding and then buying some good land, to settle it and make it work for you, well, that's going to cost you everything. All the cushy comforts of easy living will soon become a things of the past. Smooth-skinned hands will give way to blisters and cuts and bruises. Easy chair evenings will be replaced by long hours of planning, building, clearing, repairing, and maybe a little cussing along the way.
Will it be worth it? Only you can really answer that. What's it worth to you to walk on soil that you own, sit in a room that you hammered out, to eat a meal that you raised? What's it worth to you to have a place for your children or grandchildren to see life for the natural wonder that it really is?
When I was about 8 we moved from the city to a dairy farm. The house had no electricity when we first moved in. There was no indoor plumbing at all. I remember waking up to the sounds of cows pulling and chewing grass in the front yard whenever they got through the fence. I remember my mom running out of the outhouse screaming when a big king snake got in there with her. I remember the taste of warm, raw milk at meals, and watching my folks stir the fresh cream into their coffee. I remember having to clean the stuff off the front porch left by chickens and ducks. I remember running barefoot over wide pastures and freshly cut hay fields. I remember the creek and the quicksand, the thorns and the stinging nettles. I was introduced to life on that dairy.
Life in the country, especially on a piece of mostly undeveloped land, is no picnic. But for many of us, it is required.
If you require real life, if you are working toward the goal of having a place that is really your own, then you will want to visit the House-n-Land website. Just go to and click on the "Buying Raw Land" link. You may also want to check out the information on other pages, information about getting land from the U.S. government.
Jim /
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