I’ve recommended this book enough times to a few of you individually that I think it’s time to share the love will all of you. I read a book this past spring that is still with me. It isn’t the best written. But it is very entertaining. And for me, it was very thought provoking.
Lately I’ve been craving simplicity. I lived in a home built in 1950 and it was very much like my grandmother’s house. Every time I cautiously opened a closet, dodging items like a beatbox dancer, I’d think, “If my grandmother could do it why can’t I?” She raised two children in a home much the same size. She had a beautiful home. Filled with beautiful things. Every nook and cranny wasn’t filled. Her home was never cluttered. But we had stuff. Stuffed everywhere. There is a big difference between beautiful and stuff.
We’ve paired down quite a bit. Comparing my life with my grandmother’s, I look at purchases with renewed interest. I carefully consider it’s usefulness. We still have too much stuff but we’re making progress.
I was hooked on the PBS series Manor House, Frontier House and Texas Ranch House. I was fascinated with the simplicity of it all. No cell phones. No TV blaring 24/7. A cup of tea and a nice letter from a friend. It sounded all so charming.
I found See You in a Hundred Yearsby Logan Ward at the library one afternoon. I picked it up and devoured it. A family of three, disillusioned by big city life seeks the romantic, idyllic, simpler life of a farmer in the early 1900′s. The book chronicles their adventures and missteps. Soon they are overwhelmed by the complex, strenuous nature of survival. The stress that comes with a constant stream of information and connection is replaced with feelings of isolation and inadequacy. But the things they gain in their relationship and respect for community and history unfold.
This interesting read encouraged us to try a few Unplugged Sundays (no TV, computers, electronic games, phones). I try to cook more whole foods, purchased in season and buy locally. I appreciate modern medicine and the ability to have a cell phone at the ready. I’m inspired to send one “snail mail” card or letter per week. It has encouraged me to stop and watch a spider spin a web with my boys. It has taught me to slow down and appreciate how far we’ve come.