Living Large by Living Simply
Today, we continue our guest post Mondays with a piece by Living Large community member, Kristi Perry. I’m still taking guest posts, readers, so send me your idea and I’ll help you shape it! Anything about simple living, growing your own food (particularly in the fall at this point), living large in a little house, living green – all good and welcome- send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, a great piece from Kristi about the most important thing she’s gotten out of living a simple lifestyle:
My conscience is cajoling me to share what works for me in our quest to live simply. We have come to the point where we are doing quite a few things to that end, but certainly did not start them all at once and never realized what the full effect was to be until much later in life.
My husband and I live in a small rural town in Ohio. We have a 1,300 square foot home on a double lot that we purchased over 20 years ago. The house was in deplorable condition and we rehabbed it from the studs out. We now have two grown children who have children of their own. We have not heeded the siren call to bigger and better or newer, be it cars or homes.
When we were in the middle of the fray that is child-rearing, frugality was the main motivation to do more with less. We never had a game system in our home, our kids never wore designer anything, at least not on our dime. We did spend money on music lessons and Boy Scouts. At that point we recycled, kept things maintained and bought used when possible. We kept a small garden but didn’t really give much thought to eating locally.
As time went by our children grew with the size of our garden. We added chickens and rabbits and did more home canning. We have a worm composter in the kitchen as well as traditional compost bins at the garden. We have rain barrels attached to every available downspout and are intensively gardening every square inch of our yard, leaving just enough grass to give the dogs a place to answer nature’s call.
We try, without being too much the martyrs, to eat locally and in season. The extra from our garden we sell at a small farmer’s market in our town, while slyly planting another seed to the customers, sharing my passion about simple living. My husband is amazingly handy and an avid do-it-yourselfer. He has become an accomplished woodworker and adds to our income through the sale of custom furniture and handyman jobs for friends and acquaintances.
I believe our biggest accomplishment is not anything to do with the resources we have saved through the years, but that our children want to raise their children in the same simple ways. They both live in homes that are lovely and affordable. One of their homes was in much the same condition as ours when they took possession. They raise a lot of their own food. One keeps bees, they both nurse their babies, one uses cloth diapers. They are not into new cars or fancy toys. They shop resale and fix and maintain what they have. They have seen their father build things from a seed of a concept and do the same for themselves. They also have accepted the idea of delayed gratification.
I never felt that we lived a life of deprivation, which was certainly not the motivation for our lifestyle. It is gratifying to see that they want to incorporate some of the beliefs of their upbringing into their own family life.
We have made the choice for our lives that we believe in and try to respect other’s choices for theirs. I try to share, when appropriate, what we have learned, but I am pleased that our children and their families are continuing the family tradition of simple living.
What is one thing that you hope your children pick up about Living Large by living simply?