A few Thoughts on Simple living

I sat in the wing back recliner and read a bit today. I chose an old favorite, Little House in the Big Woods. As many times as I have read that book, each time seems to hit me in some new way. The first time I read it I was just a young child and reading about blowing up the pig bladder as a balloon just shocked me. I think that one thing stuck out most in the book to me, but today, reading about how all the food was stored in the attic, lots of it and how the girls enjoyed playing amid all the hanging peppers, onions and using the pumpkins as tables and chairs made me think about life today and how we all have to have things so perfect in our homes. Cabinets for this and that, having everything so neatly tucked away, out of sight. How would I feel about having a corner full food stored for the winter where people could see it ? Hard to even imagine.

Laura played with a corn cob wrapped in a piece of cloth as her doll and was alright with that. Sure she would have loved a cloth doll like Mary had but she was still ok with the corn cob doll, not even holding Mary's doll if the corn cob baby could see her holding the other doll. These are examples of a life of contentment, which really is what simple living is, being content with what you NEED and not dwelling on the things we want, no matter if we can afford them or not. I think with so much poverty and hardship in the world, not sure anyone can afford to live a glamorous life while others go without the very basic needs in life.
A new study just came out, saying that if a woman mops a floor or vacuums, those chores are like a workout at a gym. As I was kneading bread today I thought about how my arms and hands were getting a really good workout. A bread machine would have robbed me of this workout !
Living basic, having basic things that are meeting our basic needs, is no doubt better for our health.
After reading this book today, I decided the generations that made this country great would no doubt be shocked at what I think is simple living.

pictures from home today





Comments

Rowan said…
LOvely photos Patty, hope you are feeling better, you and I have been felled by the same sort of virus by the sound of it. I haven't read any of the Litle House on the Prairie books, must try them as they sound as though they'd appeal to me. I still enjoy reading a lot of children's books, some I remember from my childhood, others are new, most are better than the bulk of the adult stories that are published these days:)
Anonymous said…
Sounds like the virus has left you feeling low in spirits. Your writing is fantastic Patty, so evocative. Look after yourself, stay warm and eat good things.
Jan said…
I,too, have wondered what generations past would think of our idea of simple living. The work then was HARD but they didn't know it as we do today. It was just how it was. Learning contentment in our circumstances I think is the key!
Anonymous said…
Patty,
My favorite of the Little House books is Farmer Boy. I've never quite been able to imagine myself living for the long term in the rustic conditions that the Ingalls family survived, but I can imagine life on a farm in Upstate New York in the mid/late 1800s. It seems that life was hard-work, but meaningful.
smilnsigh said…
"Laura played with a corn cob wrapped in a piece of cloth as her doll and was alright with that. Sure she would have loved a cloth doll like Mary had but she was still ok with the corn cob doll..."

I love that memory, also. How almost unbelievable, when we see the amount of toys amassed by 'average' children today.

And it isn't like all these children went out and demanded each and every toy. Well-meaning adults/family members pile them into houses. -sigh- And often, the poor parents are fighting a loseing battle, trying to "stem this tide" of 'goodies.' -repeat sigh-
Anonymous said…
Love the fourth picture. It looks so old fashioned and cozy. I have a green depression glass biscuit jar just like your pink one, but that does not surprise me. We share a love of family, children, animals, and a more simple time.
Nancy/Grancy
Anonymous said…
I was just remembering back, last week, to reading those series - how girls were content with a rag doll and a piece of candy!

It's a lazy Sat. Maybe I should pull one of those books off of the shelf ...

Great entry, again. Thought-provoking.
Shellie said…
What a wonderful post, Patty! It's good to be reminded that we should learn to live with contentment. It's often very hard to remeber in a consumption-driven culture. I hope you're feeling better.
Lisa said…
Wonderful post. I too love those books and read them over and over. Isn't it funny how people used to get by with so very little? I know that life was hard, but I'll bet that it was satisfying. I think that's what's missing from a lot of lives these days--that feeling of satisfaction from creating their own food, clothes, furniture, etc. It's empowering to meet your own needs.

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