After picking up our new car in Everett this weekend, we slowed down to about 10mph to kick the girls out of our car at my moms house. From there, it was onto the ferry to go spend the weekend with some friends of ours from our shipyard days.
Melissa had an early marriage that didn't work out, but she got to keep the house. Rather than sell it because she couldn't afford to pay the mortgage, she moved out and rented out the house while she got a roommate in cheaper place. This paid off, and allowed her to purchase a nice looking log cabin(well, 2500sf ain't quite a cabin) on just under 5 acres north of Poulsbo when it was foreclosed under it's previous owner.
Now, her and our other friend Joel are working hard on their self-sufficiency. Joel has always been handy, and has gone beyond being a toolmaker for the yard who also knows how to weld to be something approaching a black smith. They have cleared part of their land and added an enclosure for 4 Nigerian Dwarf goats and 2 Kunekune pig sows, that they want to breed sometime in the future.
In addition to their own efforts at sufficiency, they have gotten in good with the local small business community, particularly some farmers and brewers.
Saturday evening, we went to a 'Retirement Party' for one of their friends, at Slippery Pig Brewery. I was expecting someone in his 50's, making the move into semi-retirement so he could focus on a little bit of recreational beer making. Instead, we met Dave, who is about my age. After 16-years of working at a job he doesn't enjoy very much, Dave was quitting to focus on his growing brewery business, and the family farm, where they raise chickens, turkeys and pigs, as well as vegetables.
I'm more than a little jealous...but man, the faith in yourself it takes to make that type of decision is amazing.
For my part, I can give their beers two thumbs up. They use some of the things they are growing on the farm to come up with some interesting beers: Rhubarb I.PA, Cranberry Scotch Ale where the two that stick out, while they also had a white chocolate stout that my wife, who HATES stouts, drank a glass and a half of. In addition to the beers, they also make their own vanilla cream soda that was the BEST cream soda my wife says she can ever remember drinking. If we go there again, we will have to get her a growler filled with the cream soda to bring home. Worst case, when my friends Melissa and Joel come visit us in the summer, I'll have them bring one over.