Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Musings March 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ourprairiehome @ 7:33 pm

Sigh….. 49 years old. I remember when I was a kid and 49 seemed so old. I mean the “one foot in the grave” old. Now, I am facing it looming up upon me. Next month, I will be having my 49th birthday. Yeah, it will be an epic moment in time for me. I will be 1 year away from that half century mark. I don’t know if I am ready for that. LOL

I have quite enjoyed having my husband and I both being in our 40’s. Oh the vanity! This will be the last year of that. Then I will be officially that older woman with a husband who’s age is a totally different (and younger) decade. Yes, I married a man who is 6 years younger than myself. I have quite enjoyed that we have both been in our 40’s at the same time.

It is rather interesting to me. I know some people lament the passing years. I am finding that with the years comes a sense of peace. I know who I am and what I want to accomplish in my life. The goals that I may have had 20 years ago are silly now. I had a total respect for the old ways that my Grandmother had spoken of. Some of our neighbors when I was a child were horse & buggy Amish. I loved learning about their lifestyle and way of doing things. I was in awe of them and their ability to be so self-reliant. Being young, I had dreamed of living as they did, but wasn’t sure that I could give up the technology that I enjoyed. I look at my life now and am comfortable with the balance that we have found.

Like the Amish, we do most things using methods that have been done for decades/centuries before electricity became so commonplace. We do laundry by hand and dry it on the clothesline. I have a wood burning stove to cook meals on in cold months. My sewing machine is a treadle type. Our lighting is from oil lamps. Propane refrigeration and kitchen stove round out the appliances. Even some Amish use propane for refrigeration and stove.

We differ from the horse & buggy Amish in that I have the netbook computer and we drive a car. I have a cell phone. A year ago, we set up a small solar power system using 2 panels the size of cookie sheets to give us the ability to charge the cell phone. It has been a blessing to have that. My eldest daughter & her family are living with us due to a job loss. They also have cell phones and my youngest son has an I-pod that he uses daily. Those are charged on that same solar power system. Yes, it is a bit eclectic thinking but it works for us.

At this age, I now see so much wisdom in the way of life we have chosen. Bless his heart, my husband was willing to go along with this lifestyle when I suggested the benefits to it. We are getting so much more from it than we had originally planned on. Not only are we healthier, but there is a constant rhythm to it that is calming for our youngest. He has enough time around technology to be able to learn to adapt to the external stimuli. At home however, he is able to have a rest from it. With that, the autism stims and other behaviors have lessened. He is able to have a calm environment to learn and grow in. With the calm surroundings, he is able to better focus on his therapies and preschool activities.

Our youngest daughter is homeschooling and growing to love our life here. Once her homeschooling is done, she is outdoors most days. Nature study is a daily thing when you have so much of nature literally just outside your back door. Every day, she will find something new for us to look up and find information about. Trees, plants, flowers, insects, birds, and so much more.

Not having a TV, we have so much more time to spend together doing fun activities as a family. We play games at the kitchen table in the evening or on rainy days. We read to the children. We do crafts together. We go on walks. Some days, we go to the library and spend most of the day there reading, letting the children play games on their children’s computers, and checking out books to read at home. We go on outings. Spend an afternoon at the lake or going to a museum. Without the TV at home, we don’t become distracted by what is on the TV. We have more time to devote to our family and friends.

Yes, it is interesting looking at my life as I approach the end of the decade called your 40’s. I can say with all honesty that I love my life and the blessings that I enjoy each and every day.


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