Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Living simply, indeed
We're still on a quest to simplify our life. Although we have made great strides, we do have a ways to go yet, but we're getting there.
So far, we've downsized our house from 2450 to 1000 sq ft. We've gone from three, huge bathrooms to one really tiny one. (We thought this would be a big adjustment, but hasn't been nearly as bad as we'd thought.) Cleaning day is a breeze now. Heating the house doesn't take nearly as long or as much money. When I factor in the wood stove and our ability to cut wood from our own property, it reduces our heating bill even more. The kids are learning (and ummmm....sorta liking it) to live without a dishwasher (I'm still working on convincing them that this is a good thing). We're learning to live on less, with less.
As I think of the things we've downsized and feel somewhat satisfied with our accomplishments, I'm brought back to reality when I think of my Dad's generation. Above, is the cutter he rode in as a boy (he's since had it restored) but this was the only mode of winter transportation for his family of five! Hook up the horse and away they'd go. How many times have we complained at the lack of room in our van? There is barely room for five people in this cutter, let alone any 'stuff'.
He had no bathrooms inside, no hot water -- in fact no indoor plumbing at all. They had no hydro, they used a wood stove for heat and cooking. No hydro meant no refrigeration, no freezer --- they preserved meat, dairy and other perishables in other ways. They had no chainsaw to cut wood, only hand saws. Everything they used, they either grew or produced on their farm (except for sugar, coffee, tea and perhaps a few other items I can't remember right now.) As things weren't packaged, garbage was minimal. Containers, jars and the like were reused. Composting (although it was different than today's way of composting) was normal.
It's really difficult for me to get my head around living like that and yet they were happy. They had what they needed and made use of what they had. There wasn't this quest of 'wanting it all' that seems to exist in today's society.
Not sure I'd like to live without hydro or indoor plumbing, but in many ways living as simple as possible really makes sense to me.
Yep.....we still have some work to do.