Tuesday, August 12, 2014

For the Right Reasons

 Green tomatoes from some vines that were showing some signs of blight.

 Sarah's pet toad, Bobby

 Slowly, one perennial at a time, I am hoping to fill the front of our house.  Some are wildflowers, others bought from a farmer's market or shared from a friend.  The house may still need trim finished and a basement window installed, but flowers will make it all look beautiful in the meantime. 

 Planted lettuce, hoping to get some again this fall.

 I'll be making pumpkin pie before long - my favorite.

 No pregnant mamas yet, but we are loving the manure - we even have enough now to get a community garden started behind our church.

My constant helper

Sometimes (well really quite often) I wonder if living this simple life, content with the beauty and miracles of the changing seasons, living day in and day out with our children, sharing the work together -  producing products to sell, producing food to eat - can be easily dismissed as quaint or not success oriented enough by our society's standards.

We are poor by American standards but our comfortable with the material things we have, we are not torn by debt or drained by long commutes.  Some days the hours are long, the isolation may feel lonely, but there is value in a life that allows us to sit together for lunch or stop and pitch some wiffle balls to our six year old, or take the day off to help our twenty year old move into his first apartment.

Much of this would not be possible without thriftiness, modest expectations, faith, and being careful not to take on debt (which can be very tempting at times).  

Instead, we choose to place value on the non material things such as time with each other, the development of relationships, the free time our children have to explore and just "be", the pleasures of eating delicious healthy foods, the time we can make for helping in the community, and the time to learn and read and explore interests and passions either individually or together.  

This is the life we have chosen and I am writing this as a reminder to myself when our life seems overly ordinary and mundane that really it isn't - it is intentional and full of possibilities, beauty, and joy.


  1. I think you should be very proud of what you've accomplished, even if (or especially because) many in our consumerist world don't share your values. I've been reading Katharine Stewart's essays about living in the Highlands of Scotland, and I was reminded of you and your family by her insistence on how much joy and beauty there is to be found by living close to the land.

  2. to me , your life is extraordinary..thank you for sharing.

  3. There is little value in a success and material orientated life in my opinion. After loosing several people l really loved, l regard time together as by far the most important thing. All the rest is only stuff after all. Pam

  4. You have chosen what is best. From long experience of hubby in the corporate world and commuting to the next town daily I can assure you that you are blessed.

    I wish I was not a way down south in SC because I have so many perennials that need dividing and would love to come and live in your flowerbeds. And I would love to share them with you!

  5. I have just made the change from working full-time to being employed very part-time and working from home on projects I love. I now have the time to properly look after my vegetable garden and spend time outside where I feel at my best. Money is about to become very tight and you and others like you are my inspiration when I'm doubting the wisdom of following this path. Thanks and keep on keeping on, as they say.

  6. I have to admit I care very little for what society thinks of the way I live, it does cross my mind that by a lot of standards we are totally bonkers, but then I thought people watering their lawns with drinking water was bonkers. We all have our own vision and own path to tread. I find I think less and less about the wider world and we move along our path further and further. We homeschool so don't meet up with more mainstream people, everyone I know is very positive about our small holding to the point where I ran workshops for people to visit and learn about it. We all make choices about what matters to us, I think most people are doing that it just looks different for each family.