A Stupid Way to Die

By , June 29, 2014

Living on the “homestead” is risky business. This lifestyle offers more than its share of opportunities for serious injury or death. Many of these opportunities, if brought to fruition, would be embarrassing—each one would be a stupid way to die.

I’ve thought about this for a long time. I’ve had many moments in my life—far too many for my taste—when I find myself catching my breath after an incident, and thinking: “that would have been a stupid way to die!” I suspect many of us experience these moments, so I’ve never really talked to anyone about it.

The topic did come up in conversation with Michelle the other day, and I realized that I’d long considered a blog post on the subject. It seems to me that if this is something I want said on the blog, I’d best say it now, as later may be too late!

I assume that, should we fail to die of old age, we’ll likely die of something that others will point to and say they could see it coming.

I’m not thinking so much about accidents like a bad slip on the rocks, a moose trampling, bear mauling, or tree felling mistake as I am about death by salmonella from a bad canning job, smoke inhalation, or paralytic shellfish poisoning. Some deaths seem unavoidable, but many seem like they should be avoided through a bit of forethought or common sense.

Of course, for any cause of death, no matter how improbable, one can find people who consider it stupid. I’m sure there are even those who deride people who die of old age. Some of us on this side of the experience seem far too cocksure about their opinions on something of which they have no direct personal experience.

Risk, of course, haunts every life on Earth. No one can truly be free from it, but in order to live full lives, we don’t dwell on it. Before we could begin our life here on the “homestead,” we had to consider long and hard the heightened possibility of an untimely, early, even ignoble death. We figured the risk to be worth the reward, and rose to the challenge.

So, if these blog posts suddenly stop and don’t resume, you may safely assume that I have met my end. You likely won’t hear about it in the news (maybe not even if you’re our neighbor) but you may also assume that I likely died in a way that someone, somewhere, through knowledge of the situation or total ignorance, finds pretty damned stupid.

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