Sunday, August 21, 2016

Joys of simple life

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Today Luda suggested: “We should just take a picture of this to send to those people who talk about healthy eating.” For lunch today at home, we each had about a half a pound of tuna sashimi, with a whole lot of Greek salad (with spicy mozzarella instead of feta cheese), and a kind of white wine sangria on the side. Typical of the many insanely special tasty and healthy meals Luda often comes up with.

I certainly did not marry Luda for her cooking. She was very amused when, near the start of the marriage, I would tell people: “She is an amazingly good cook, especially for raw fish.” But in fact, it does take real knowledge to find and prepare the best fish for sashimi, gravlox and other such dishes. And she has managed many other gourmet dishes, from cuisines all over the world.

I guess I should not have been surprised. After all, an intelligent woman, one of whose PhDs is in chemistry with links to biology... who has experienced so many of the cultures all over the world. And who has an extremely acute sense of what she likes, with acute senses, fortunately close enough to what I like too. And there are so many cost-effective sources of good ingredients in this area....


It is actually possible that our household income is now a little lower than the average in this area, but this area is very lucky in general. It really comes home to me how lucky we are, and how high our REAL standard of living is, well beyond the naked calculations a bean counter would look to.

Driving in this area, such as driving to Quaker meeting, we do see huge mansions, many times larger than our house. But I understand very clearly how much better off we are living in our house instead of one of them. Three people (soon to be two) do not really need more than four bedrooms, and there is enough room for all our many bookshelves. Land enough for big gardens, but none which needs mowing. Forest view and creek below and behind us, belonging to the county, but ten minutes drive from Congress and White House under normal traffic.

Years ago, we somehow accidentally had a free subscription to the Financial Times. (We still don’t know how.) There were times when it was hard to suppress a bit of envy feeling about the millions upon millions of pounds readers were expected to dispose of.. but then when they described what kind of houses people could buy with 3 million pounds in the London area, suddenly we felt richer than them. Much better food, better place to live, and for me being with Luda is the most extreme good fortune.

When we first moved into this house (see earlier post on "house between the world"), I felt a little uncomfortable, because there were so many windows and so much light in all directions that it felt a little like camping out in a sleeping bag in the woods. Luda did put in some blinds. But most mornings, we wake up to
the sight of trees we can see from bed, to cool breezes and to incredibly rich bird songs. 

I just wish others could have more like what we do now. It is not a wasteful existence, and our carbon footprint is not high. But it is very far from being a sacrifice!!

What of education opportunities and such for the next generation? Well, my youngest son goes off to college on Wednesday, and we will see.

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