Simple Living

    Being sick has not all been a waste of time after all. How else would I have gotten this reminder now, right on time. Now, while we have been clearing out extra stuff and dreaming of simpler ways to keep this old house tidy and welcoming and functional. I can get carried away in discontentment, forming up new, better goals unless I’m soundly distracted in a good way about being present and thankful right here. Today.
   Being sick has kept me right at home.

 At home with nothing to do but sit and look at this house. Except when I was reading Jan Karon or scribbling or visiting with the girls online.
Except on Sunday when everyone was off to church and suppers elsewhere; I found something interesting to watch on Utube. Amazing. They were documentaries on the old, off-grid stone cottage and farm homesteads in Europe. (Can’t imagine why I’d be interested in that, right?) Utube of course, wants you to believe that these old homesteads are few and far between and like some kind of zoo animal to be gawked over. I gawked, I’ll admit, because I realize that an old stone cottage being lived in and loved by the same family for many generations is currently happening in many places. Is it just Americans who believe that everyone has to have the biggest, latest and greatest to be worthy?

 And the bottom line to value is a dollar amount. I want to protest. But, that’s not even what I started out to say here.
I came away from those videos seeing my own old stone cottage with new eyes.
We do canning. In fact I made wonderfully tasty cheeseburger soup for pennies with canned venison and fresh produce. Here’s our one dish meal for two or three suppers. Why do we think we need a four course supper and a different variety each evening? We can’t afford it here, nor do we care.

Here we are, burning wood, which we’d like to change to LP for heating because it would be easier and less messy. But wood heat is arguably better for the dollars when we end up drying towels and jeans by the stoves on racks.  All these practices are sustainable and our grandchildren can live simply and cheaply, using them, if they choose, as well.
One thing that European folks do that we don’t is to walk whenever they can to the post office or bank or market or mailbox. I wonder if they’re thinner and more fit? We’d have to walk a lot further than they do, right? So we have cars and thick waists and high blood pressure.

  I find it rather satisfying to bring a dormant geranium plant in to revive and re-pot it. I’m dreaming of a white and blue ceramic pot for my wintered geranium and I shall have green in only a few days. I’m going to keep this one in the kitchen where I can watch it while I do dishes. 

 I do not know where the succulent trend came from, but I know that it has been a happy trend at this house. We created centerpieces for the church dining table last spring. The others eventually died, but this one is still happy and growing even though it lived on the banister in our very cold, unheated porch all this winter.
During my little clearing binge, this piece of decor escaped Salvation Army and the dumpster both. Good decision.
I looked out the porch window and saw the best snowbank decor they make standing right there in plain view. I’m not sure there is a better place for them anyway, unless it would be on our feet.
Looking forward to taking them out soon. Simple pleasures. The best.

2 thoughts on “Simple Living”

  1. The more I know about the world, the more I realize that yes, it probably is Americans are the oddity. Here where we love in Chile, people walk from store to store in town, they eat much vegetables, potatoes, and also meat. There houses are simple, as they have found happiness with what they have. Chile is classed as a first world country, but it's so different than what the States with it's indulgence, obesity, and abundance. An overweight Chilean is more or less an average American size. Average as in not fat. I was just back to the States last month, as I wonderingly wandered through Wal-Mart again, I marveled at the sad looking people pushing cart fulls of stuff. The thing I find amusing is that there are those who feel sorry for me , but I will take the simple life, and in honesty, I feel sorry for them. If abundance should bring happiness, Americans should be the happiest nation in the world.


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