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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Delightful Life

He sat alone in his living room of his one bedroom condo.  His recliner was positioned perfectly to his flat-screen television.

He was binging on a Netflix show.  It was a show about a lawman in a remote area of the country dealing with crime.  He was amazed at how picturesque the landscape was and he wondered if he could live there.

In his 40s, having been married and divorced with no children, he realized there wasn’t much holding him back from attaining such a delightful lifestyle.  His life in the city-suburb where he currently lived was far too complicated for his tastes.

He had bills, traffic, deadlines, health issues, and unnecessary responsibilities.  He had alimony, a mortgage, and a career.

But he thought about it all.  He could conceivably work from home, provided his company gave the blessing to do so.  He wasn’t going to be working for much longer anyway, so if his company fired him, he would just be stranded in a remote location with little to no bills.  And he’d consider it early retirement.

So he did the math in his head, went to his computer, and, after checking out a couple of porn videos, found a nice, small house in a rural town that was in the middle of the woods but not too far from a town which provided everything he’d ever need.

The next day, he proposed to his superiors that he should work remotely.  While they mulled that over, he went about the processing of purchasing the cabin, which was much cheaper than his overpriced condo.

Within a couple of months, everything was approved, signed, packed, and otherwise accounted for.  He found himself on a moving truck driving a few hours away from the city-suburb he felt he had wasted so much time in.

The small house had a couple extra rooms, so he set up a home office, a living room, a dining room, and a bedroom.  Once his condo sale had gone through, he had no mortgage anymore, just an electricity bill and the annual government rent payment.

There was Internet access, although it took him a week or so to get it working.  Technicians rarely make those long trips.

But after another week of effort, he finally had everything he needed set up.

And so, in the early Spring, he started his delightful life.

But as the Spring season raised the temperature of the air, so too it brought all kinds of insects. He found himself fighting off ants, centipedes, spiders, and other assorted intruders in his fortress of solitude.  He was certain that he once swallowed a centipede in his sleep, but he wasn’t sure.

Then the mice invaded his kitchen.  He never had trouble with mice in his condo, but this time he found himself buying traps at the local Wal-Mart.

These were those wonderful “humane” traps which caused the mouse to get stuck on a sticky pad and starve to death.  He found himself crushing their heads with his boot because he couldn’t stand to see them suffer.  The first time was grueling and horrible.  But he got used to it eventually.

He found himself getting less sleep as time went on.  With many of the local birds returning from their winter migrations, they sang happily at all hours of the night and he could just not quite get used to their sounds.

His work suffered as well.  His Internet connection was pretty decent but it would often times go down, sometimes when he was engaged in a remote meeting.  The outage would sometimes last hours at a time and he would find himself working late nights just to make up the lost time.

As Spring brought forth Summer, he found that the heat was unbearable.  His house didn’t have much of an air conditioning system, just a window device in his bedroom, so he had windows open and lots of fans running.  At least he didn’t have to dress professionally for work.

On top of that, the mosquitos started to swarm and somehow found their way inside, in spite of his best efforts to keep them out.

Then, in early August, he awoke to see a massive wasp nest outside his bedroom window.  Already the wasps were trying to get into his bedroom through the screen.  The mere sight of those devilish beasts freaked him out and he immediately sought an exterminator, not wanting anything to do with them.

By the middle of September, the weather started to cool and the insect problem gradually went away.  But heating his house proved to be problematic as well, since his heating system was old.  He found that chopping wood and keeping his fireplace going became a regular thing.  Good thing that firewood was plentiful.

Until the wintertime.  In early December, he ran out of wood to chop.  He didn’t dare try and cut down a tree on his property, largely because he figured he smash his home.  So he found himself going into town and buying as much firewood as he could.

His old Sedan was able to carry all that he needed, so he decided to buy a nice, big truck.  Between that, the flannel, the boots, and the long underwear, he was becoming more and more rugged everyday.

And he hated it.  He missed consistent Internet connectivity.  He missed being around people.  He missed not having to kill helpless mice, not having to start a fire, and, above all else, he missed just dropping his trash off in a dumpster, as trash pick-up consisted of him picking it up and taking it to a dump that was an hour away.

By the end of winter, he made a decision: he would move back.  And so, having saved a bunch of money from living so frugally in his remote home, he was able to buy a small condo back near his old dwelling, this one within walking distance of his office.

He kept the home, but converted it into a vacation home and rented it out to vacationers who wanted the mountain experience, but only temporarily.

After five years of buying his delightful life, he was summarily let go of his employment.  But, between the severance, the money provided by his rental, and his own savings, he considered it early retirement.

And his life was delightful.