Dukkha is an important Buddhist concept, commonly translated as “suffering”, “pain”, “unsatisfactoriness” or “stress”. It refers to the fundamental unsatisfactoriness and painfulness of mundane life. It is the first of the Four Noble Truths.

Today I am experiencing unsatisfactoriness, aka; dukkha. I’m bummed that we are still living here and I want to be living someplace else. We moved to this area because we thought this would be a good place for our animal sanctuary (senior dogs and cats). We thought we could buy or lease a long term property. But as far as buying something, it’s still too expensive and we haven’t found anyone offering us a long-term lease. Our neighbor has a small animal farm and he leases the property. I’m jealous. No, not jealous. I’m happy for him. It’s just, I want that too, but on flat land.

We already do have a sanctuary. We started adopting twenty years ago. And we brought our pack (3 dogs and 4 cats) with us when we moved. Hubby and I have rescued and given a home to sixteen dogs and cats over the last twenty years. I am happy about that.

We also chose this place because Hubby’s sister lived here and she found him a job in the local paper, and what we thought was a perfect home, became available to rent at the same time. The Universe lined everything up in our favor.  So, we gave things away that didn’t fit in the moving truck and drove eight hours north to the Sierra Foothills. We were excited! We never lived in the country before. Green Acres, here we come!

I would soon regret saying that.

It didn’t take long to figure out that our new home had serious issues. It’s a nice home. It’s just been neglected. There is a growing list of things that need to be repaired. Our first winter, it rained in the livingroom. Two weeks later, the roof was fixed and two months after that, our rent was raised to cover the cost. So, we learned to keep our mouths shut and just live with things as they were or broke.

I hate heights and driving down the windy roads to town is always stressful for me. It snows in the winter. Not a lot compared to the Mid-West but it still snows. I am a warm weather girl. Propane is the heating source in this house. Propane is very expensive. Our first winter, we spent three-hundred dollars a month just on propane to heat this house! In Southern California my electric bill was never over a hundred dollars. We also have electric, but the propane is used for the hot water heater and to heat the house. A neighbor told us that the people who owned this place before our current landlords, lived in the house during the warmer months. They left every winter in a motor home going who-knows-where. I’m guessing down south.

The only place to do shopping is the Wal-Mart. No mall. No Target. No Trader Joe’s.  Those type of stores are over an hour drive, on a windy two-lane highway. Oh, and last year, Hubby’s sister moved to North Carolina. He was bummed about that.

We had hoped we would be moved by now, on flat land, living in a smaller, better insulated home.Taking care of more senior dogs and cats. But that hasn’t happened yet. I am happy we moved here because last year we took in a couple pets from different neighbors who had medical emergencies. Each of them had to stay in the hospital long term and if it wasn’t for us, their pets could have ended up in the shelter. Maybe, helping them is the reason the Universe had us move here. Helping them gave me the idea we could do that for others in the same situation. We could foster dogs and cats until their humans were well enough to care for them. Yes, I would like that.

I don’t like feeling bummed. I’m basically a happy person. When problems come up, I like finding solutions and compared to the problems some of my friends are dealing with, this ain’t no big deal.

Maybe writing down my feelings will help me get out of this funk. I do have lots to be grateful for and I do acknowledge this throughout the day. The number one thing I am grateful for is, me and my loved ones are healthy and safe. We have shelter, we drink clean water from our own well! and we eat healthy food. Not everyone has this.

I know we will have our own place and get down this mountain (we live at 2650 foot elevation, so I don’t know if that qualifies as a mountain, but it seems that way to me). We will have the lifestyle we want. I have asked the Universe for this plenty of times. I know it’s coming. I need to learn to be be patient.

Well, I’m done kvetching. Thank you for listening.





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