Living the Simple Life : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Does anyone have any ideas for simplifying your life? Has anyone drasticall changed their lifestyle? Tell us what it was like before you made the switch, and after.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, March 11, 2002


I could "answer" this for volumes but suffice it to say that last July I felt that I should leave my employment and return to being at home and out of the corporate-climb, grin-and-bear-it atmosphere where I had worked, and worked up that ladder, for a number of years. At that time, we had to simplify---in many cases, going back to where we'd been when our older kids were young. So:

I quit using the dryer except in emergencies. I returned to baking bread. I am getting back into chickens as of the end of this month. We are "using it up, wearing it out, making it ourselves or doing without" with a vengeance. We are not eating out but, maybe, once a month---and that is mostly using up gift certificates or coupons. Each thing I buy, I first consider if we could just not use that or is there an alternative. We combine trips to town, so that we don't waste fuel.

Now, of course, this is easier because we already farm, heat entirely with wood and are pretty self-sufficient. And, we are aided in this by having only one child at home and he is employed full time, going to college and fully in accord with this lifestyle. He was, in fact, home educated through high school and wants that type of life for himself and his family.

Life is much better. We don't have much money but we have a much fuller life. Our former pastor, who recently sold his family business to go to Japan on a mission, said to me that he is sure God led me to do this and that there is a "mission" out there that we are intended to do. I just know that I feel much more in tune with life and well, just much more alive. I sincerely wish that I had never gone to work in the first place. We thought it was necessary but it could have been avoided by making some other choices. We should have.

Is this what you wanted, Melsisa?

-- Rosalie (Dee) in IN (, March 11, 2002.

Great example! Exactly the kind of stories I would like to hear more of.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, March 11, 2002.

Hello Melissa,

You know better than to ask a question like that here. We will talk your ear off about this subject, especially me!

But, most of you know my story so I will not bore you with all of its details However, the best advise on living simply does not come from me as much as it comes from the old timers that I have known. They knew that doing things the old way was much harder and took longer but, it was fulfilling in the respect that it made them happier, healthier and wiser just to do them that way.

I have taken a leap backwards when it comes to technology. Even my computer is old fashion by todays standards. I can not burn CDs, I can not watch TV on it, I can not do too much with it since it is now going on seven years of age. But, thats fine with me, as the purpose of my computer is to write, email, and play games....thats it.

How we lived before we came to the Ozarks was indeed much different than now. Though we lived only 12 miles from our jobs at Walt Disney World, it would take us an hour to get to it. Traffic is a major problem in Kissimee, night or day. I would pull out of my driveway, go two blocks, sit at the light, turn left and from there who knows what would happen. Bumper to bumper, tourist of all nationalities, senior citizens, local residence, people going to Disney, people leaving Disney, people LOOKING for Disney with a road map in one hand and a cell phone in the other, driving in the left lanes with ther right turn signals all. People everywhere gawking at all the attractions along the way BEFORE Disney. Between Walt Disney and where I lived there was 200 or more hotels and probably 1000 restaurants, not to mention souvernir shops, movie threatres, malls and several minor theme parks! We passed by that everyday we drove to work!

At home we had cable, and electric can opener, electric blankets, air conditioning, two cell phones, and answering service, a computer, three TVs, two cars, a truck, a motorcycle, a garage, lots of neighbors and across the street was the police station and the court house.

When we worked split shifts neither of us was home very much so we ate at the restuarant that we worked at, showered at the wardrobe that Disney provided and even took naps in the lounge where we would wait to catch the shuttle to our locations.

We tried to live a normal life at home but, because of our hectic schedule we wound up just spending most of our time in bed sleeping, resting up for our next weeks work.

I had a small garden next to my side entrance to to apartment where we lived. But, it is tough to grow much in Florida's climate, except in the winter. We managed to grow lettuce and tomatoes, and even one time grew a few potatoes.

I had a workshop in my garage where I spent some of my free time, but, the neighbors always complained that the saws were making too much noise or that my hammering was keeping them from enjoying TV.

We had a fireplace in our apartment and we tried to use it until the neighbors upstairs went to the land lord and complained. They were afraid that we would burn down the apartment house.

Today, we have no traffic, no TV, no cell phones, no complaining neighbors and no problems. We have a pick up truck and a motorcycle. We have several large gardens, a toolshop that I can work in all I want, chickens, dogs, and cats. We pump our water from the creek that runs across our property. We heat our house, water and cook our meals with wood. I cut down my trees for building and for firewood. I hunt, fish, and forage in the wilderness. Between the way it was and the way it is now....we are quite happy that we chose the latter.



-- (, March 11, 2002.

Melissa we owned a motel & gift shop that we managed 24 hours a day--- I was careing for my Dad who was dyeing of cancer & also takeing care of my MIL who had ALZHEIMERS -----but before that we had always had businesses that were very demanding---VERY-demanding-- We sold out & bought in a small town of maybe 50 people /we redid an older home---from top to bottom---we also put a hand pump on the well- -we put in a wood burning stove-I raise chickens/ ducks/ geese--a garden & herbs-----and we can sit in the yard and listen to the water going over the river dam /about 2 blks from our house--I have a yard full of flowers & herbs---& tons of wildlife---(not the wild life we had at the motel either)-ha! We raise most all of our veggies /we started two more orchards-- we have an 11,000 sq ft warehouse on main st that I had an antique business open to the public---but have since -in the past few years have sold to dealers on appointment---only--- But most of all we have changed our lifestyle-our mindset---we have changed how we look at the world & our attitudes ---- we want to sell all we have here & size down & prepare for retirement- --but that will be done ---with the same attitude---change in lifestyle--- no matter where we live it will not be the demanding---business first- -as it was for over 40 years--- there will always be herbs & veggies home grown--& the mindset will always be different---no matter where we happen to hang our hat---we will always have more peace---& be more content with nature--& spend more time with our Heavenly Father---

-- Sonda in Ks. (, March 11, 2002.

I want to add also we are debt free-----which we had worked sooo many years to have & was always in debt----trying to do better---we changed our mindset & lifestyle & have more & are debt free---Thank you JESUS!!

-- Sonda in Ks. (, March 11, 2002.

There is a great book out there called "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James. Some of her ideas that I've put into action are:

Make weekly menus (I happen to make monthly menus but weekly is good, too.)

Get rid of things you haven't used in two or three years.

Don't buy anything but groceries for 30 days.

Make simplier meals. (Believe it or not, you don't always need a dessert.)

Give up coloring your hair and painting your nails. (Huh?)

Stop watching tv. (Okay, so I haven't completely given that up, but we're trying.)

Learn to say no and mean it. (This one was hard at first, but got easier as I got better at it.)

Plan your errand trips to eliminate running out for one item. (This one was easy. House rule is a minimum of three errands before we go).

Change your sheets every two weeks instead of weekly.

Give up your job. (That's what started this whole thing for me in the first place.)

Reduce your main wardrobe to one or two basic colors. (Denim blue is my main wardrobe. I add plaid flannel for color.)

There is much more that she suggests that I haven't done yet like stop subscribing to newspapers and magazines. Actually, I did give up all but one magazine, so I'm half there, I guess. Can't get DH to given up his daily paper.

Give up one car.

Stop eating meat.

Stop doing Christmas (or whatever holiday you don't like doing).

Plus lots more. Some of these things were easy for me, some don't apply or we just didn't want to do, but the important thing for me was achieving a more peaceful attitude about what we were doing.

Another benefit was realizing how much more room we have now that we've gotten rid of a lot of meaningless junk.

Wishing you enough.

-- Trevilians (, March 11, 2002.

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