Yup, that’s me. Dubbed Calamity Jane, years ago by a co-worker who was himself a spicy combination of Daniel Boone and Martha Stewart.
I’m a 32 year old mama of two (Toddler and Baby). I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, but high-tailed it for the woods as soon as I got out of high school. I opted out of the college scheme and instead pursued a homesteady life. Lived purty extreme for quite a few years, before settling into a middle ground in the small fishing town of Cordova, Alaska. Married, bought a house, made babies.
I always imagined my future self raising kids in the woods. Little ruffians who would run around in dirty handmade clothes, chewing bones and playing with sticks and rocks. And I suppose many Americans would consider Cordova– a town of 2,500 people, surrounded by wilderness with no road access to anywhere else– to fit that bill. But the house we bought is a plain old regular housey house, right in town, not a rustic cabin in the woods. Handmade clothes turn out to be a sort of waste of time when you are bombarded with free cast offs. And kind hearted relatives keep us in enough multi-colored plastic toys to supply a small Guatemalan village. Not quite the Little House in the Alaskan Bush I’d dreamed of, but close enough for gov’t work.
And so, my homesteady ways boiled down to mostly food, and every aspect of it. Growing, scavenging, hunting, foraging, bartering, preserving, and of course, cooking– always one of my greatest loves.
But now! We have very recently moved, for three years, to New Orleans. My husband is going to law school. He has always worked what I consider the other side of the coin. Fucking Shit Up, as we fondly call it. He’s the thorn in the side of Progress. Back in Alaska as a lawyer, we’re hoping, he’ll really be able to kick ass!
However. It’s a big move. I was 7 and 1/2 months pregnant when we landed. It was one of the hottest months of the year in a place infamous for it’s heat and humidity. Our daily life suddenly entailed lots and lots of shopping (to get our household set up), all the fun city things involved money, which was flying from our pockets at a truly alarming rate, there wasn’t one mountain or wild thing anywhere, and although I was lucky enough to discover things like the farmer’s market and community gardens early on, there hardly seems to be any freaks quite like me around.
I felt cut adrift. Still do, really. Although my life had already been heading this way, here I am truly having to face up to being a housewife. Coming up against all my issues again, and feeling the desire, the need, to redefine that socially loathed word. And to give it the political import I feel it deserves.
So, join me in The Struggle! Let’s resurrect, renew and revolutionize housewifery together!