Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed

Oct 12, 2010

How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money by Dolly FreedAfter seeing this book at the bookstore, I checked our catalog to see if we owned it. However, I thought it was something along the lines of badger, ground squirrel or some other rodent lifestyle. But once I figured out it was Possum Living, I couldn't get enough.

In a time where we are living on little, hoarding what we have and looking for peace in an uncertain economy, this book provides a few quotes that will knock your socks off...or at least mine anyway.

"People don't own possessions, their possessions own them." - Diogenes

"It's easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy than to earn the money to buy them." - Dolly Freed

"Possums can live almost anywhere, even in big cities. ... They're all fat and sassy and love life (or so I like to believe), and nothing you can do will persuade one to work in a factory or office." - Dolly Freed

Like most people here, I work in an office, live in the suburbs and rely on grocery stores and retail shops for my basic needs. Dolly Freed and her father (or "The Old Fool" as she calls him) lived in a major "fixer-upper" in the outskirts of Philadelphia and truly lived "off the land". They raised rabbits for meat, fished, gardened and only went to the store for things like oil and margarine. They also heavily relied on their library and the author consistently urges readers to check their local library for materials on each topic she discusses.

Truth be told, I skipped the chapters on rabbits and fish as I am a former vegan and vegetarian and just wasn't in the mood to read about how to raise them and then later make them into dinner. I was just more interested in reading about all the gardening they did and how they went about selecting seeds from catalogs and how they utilized the 1,600 square feet they had for planting.

Granted this book was written in 1978, but the information is by no means outdated. The only difference is that they were able to comfortably live off $1,500 in one year in the United States...and that included a budget line item for "moonshine ingredients".

Reviewed by Library Staff