Saturday, November 24, 2007
My hands are cold as I type, the chill has not been chased away from the house yet. The wood stove just now being revived after a long night with no attention. Rain is falling, the sky one solid sheet of gray. It seems a bit dreary, but those are often the days I like the very best.
As I sat with my coffee cup held in my hands like a hand warmer I thought about how odd it must seem to people that we choose to live in such a way, cold winter mornings when outside jackets are worn inside until the stove gets the house toasty warm. When the children were all home, Emery would keep the fire going all night long, getting up every few hours to put more logs on the fire, but now, we sleep so soundly, we just pile on the covers and deal with a cold house in the morning. No big deal to us at all. The kitchen and bathrooms are cold until the heat reaches that end of the house or I start baking ! In thinking about the choice to live as we do, I wondered if its a bit of that pioneer attitude of blazing a trail not taken by the un-adventuresome or weak at heart, maybe its part that but its more. It's also wanting to be self sufficient, not be crushed if the electricity goes off in a storm or some natural disaster happens.
Its no big deal to us if the electricity goes out for a month. Life would just march on for us, we would miss the refrigerator but we still could get by. We also like that we work hard and sleep well. It feels as though we live to the rhythm of the natural world. Sleep when its dark, work when its light. Eat from the garden, see where our food comes from much of the time.
We need so little from the "outside" world. It's made our family strong. My children are not wimps. They are hard working, full of ingenuity and strong people. Seeing that has made all the choices we have made, well worth it. They help one another in times of need. Living to a higher calling then what "society" seems to call "the norm".
I watched Melanie yesterday at the Homestead Fair, accomplished in nearly every woman craft there, knowing Melissa is the same. I saw Melanie with the animals, confident in her knowledge of handling them and knowing how to milk a cow, how to make cheese. It felt good to know she would never be standing helpless if hard times hit this country again like in the depression or in the face of a natural disaster. We have raised up children like the pioneer families, strong and capable. That surely was our vision when we set off to live this way, and now another generation has arrived. Grandchildren who will come to Grampa and Grammies house and learn all the same things. I suspect they will all learn much of these things in their own homes too. I see a turning back to their childhood ways in my own children. As adults, they now see the value in the way they were raised. We didn't do it all perfect, and we admit that freely to our children and to ourselves, but we did give it our best try.
So here, this morning, a bit chilly around the edges, I know that I am living just the way God intended for me to live. He doesn't have the same plan for all of us, but this is his plan for me.
Custom made. The more I can live separately from all the wildness of the world, I am happy.
I don't need to watch murders on T.V. or go to a bar for fun. I don't need to hear people curse and see others loose their tempers in order to know about life. I do need to have quiet time to pray, to talk to family and friends, or sit by the fire and contemplate the massive use of fossil fuel in this nation. I can hum contentedly while baking and cooking for my family, confident that I am not poisoning their bodies by chemicals found in so many packaged foods or the meat found in the stores. My clothes might be few and not ever found on a Paris runway, but they are simple and modest, speaking of what matters most in my heart.
So these are my Saturday thoughts and now as I end this post, the house is toasty warm and so am I.
It seem fitting and proper to me to once in a while think about living deliberately, knowing why you live as you do.
Lamps burning brightly last night
Some of our purchases from the fair, Stone ground cornmeal, sweet potatoes, a cookie spatula, and a little gadget to make little pies. A new mug, and a tiny vase made by a child all next to cranberries to string and green tomatoes to fry
The dinning room table, lamp light flickering
Soft music, the gentle kind of music that makes you feel content with life... the view from the window as I sit and spin at the wheel makes ...