Simple living. It has sort of a romantic ring to it, doesn't it? It conjures up images of folks leisurely sitting on porch rocking chairs drinking meadow tea, sitting down to home cooked meals, watching the birds instead of the television and stopping to smell their homegrown roses.
Well, let's just say it's been quite awhile since I smelled my rosebush. Simple living is not simple. It's constant work, particularly this time of year. Who sweeps that front porch? Picks, steeps and mixes that meadow tea? Grows the food, then makes the home cooked meals? Fills the bird feeders? Weeds around the rose bush? Huh? Huh? HUH?!
I'm not sure if people think making and preserving your own food falls under the 'simple living' category. When I think of what I think other people think of as simple living, I imagine they are thinking about a way of life that moves away from convenience, consumerism and the drive to have more, more, more. If growing and making your own food falls under this umbrella for some, I'd like to sit those folks down and have a little chat. The idea is simple, sure. Making it happen? Not so much.
For example, we were away for three days this past weekend. In addition to the normal tasks that come along with being away like having to mow the lawn, unpack, and do lots of laundry, we had to water and feed the animals (chickens and a cat), pick the strawberries, pick the garden peas, pick the snow peas, pick the asparagus, pick the sour cherries, gather 3 dozen plus eggs, shell the peas, make dinner (from scratch which included eggs and asparagus), make the next day's breakfast (or get up early the next morning to do it- no thank you), and plant the rest of the sweet potato slips.
It's not just dinner I'm making on a daily basis. I'm making lunch, breakfast, yogurt, any snacks (they rarely exist around here), as well as shelling, hulling, snapping, pitting, washing (eggs), shucking, blanching, freezing, weeding, picking, and then washing all the dishes it takes to do all those things.
I'm not saying this because I want credit for all that I do, I'm saying this because I want people to understand that while a simple way of life seems like it should be simple, it's not.
Is it worth it? Oh my word, yes. Is it rewarding? Absolutely. Do I sometimes think I'm going to go crazy? Uh-huh. Do I sometimes want to move back into our old townhouse in a development? Maybe for one and a half seconds.
When it comes down to it, if I'm going to be busy, this is what I want to be busy doing. And, if people want to call this simple, I guess I'll just have to let them go on being delusional.
Either that or have them over and put them to work.