Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pigs don't know...

It's 95 degrees outside as I write these words. It is June 5th and we are entering the dog days of summer. The chickens pant like dogs trying to cool their little bodies. A warm dry breeze flows through the window which I sit next to, powered by the whole house fan which I installed one week ago. We still haven't turned our A/C on yet. It's going to be a long summer.

If you had told me three years ago that I would be writing a blog about living greener in the middle of a city, I would have laughed. Then I would have asked what a blog is... Three years ago we lived in a 3000 sq/ft duplex, while running a landscape company out of our garage. Life was good, we thought. Our youngest son, Kieran, was just born. Jobs were flowing in. Our customer base was expanding. Then one day that year, overnight almost, business dried up. With no explanation past what was happening on Wall St., the calls stopped coming in and the wheels of business came grinding to a halt. I was stuck with two employees, two trucks, two trailers, and slew of commercial equipment. Expensive equipment.

There's something magical about a recession. It forces you to trim the fat. You begin to examine your life and what's truly important to you and what you can simply do without. In the midst of this crisis, my wife and I did what every red blooded American does when the going gets tough. I went back to school. To upgrade my landscape company, it was decided that I would use my GI Bill and complete a degree in Landscape Architecture!

Fast forward to the Fall of '08. We moved from Dallas to Arlington to be closer to school, sold one truck (the expensive one but kept the death trap), two trailers, kept half the equipment, and rented our house in Dallas. Still no environmental conscience. Universities have a way of exposing you to new ways of thinking. No one ever thumped me with an eco-bible. I don't remember going to meetings on campus to abolish plastic flatware from the cafeteria or censure professors who don't turn lights off after leaving a classroom. I just became aware.

Someone once told me that Landscape Architecture has the best of what science and art have to offer. We have one foot in each world, so to speak. I was made aware of environmental issues which LAs are working to solve. Suddenly, I saw myself as part of the problem. Like I said, I became aware. In a former life, I used to be part of a multi-level marketing business. This business system was an efficient one which had educational tapes and seminars. One tape spoke on how the average person goes through life without a clue, happy and content to live a life of mediocrity. They are content to live this life because they don't know any better. The name of the tape you ask? Pigs don't know pigs stink.

In this blog, I will attempt to entertain and educate with our story of how we got to where we are now and keep you up to date on pertinent happenings. -Jason

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