Life in the 1950's was pretty simple. Dad went to work, Mom stayed home. The average family had 5 children. The average home was less than 2,000 square feet. The average income was around $15,000. Yards had playhouses, tether balls, basketball hoops, sandboxes, wading pools and swing sets. Supper was at 6:00 and the whole family ate together at the dining room table, everyday, not just at Thanksgiving. Anybody could join the game of dodge ball, baseball or football in the empty lot down the street. It wasn't illegal to play hopscotch, jump rope, ride your bike or rollerskate on the sidewalk because respect and courtesy were the rules everybody followed. Kidnapping, assault, rape and murder were one in a million - literally.
Life was good and life was simple.
Yet somehow, I was infatuated with the period from 1870 to 1940. The era of my grandparents childhood seemed not just simple and honest but virtuous. My mother told me numerous times as I was growing up that I "was just born in the wrong century". Fortunately, the paths of Mr.Right and I intersected. Who knows on how many levels we were compatible back then, we had a lot of growing yet to do. But one thing was for sure, we were both drawn to the land and we just plain loved each other.
Imagine, just 30 years ago small acre farming was called an alternative lifestyle or sustainable. Today we can call this life homesteading, back to basics, simple living, independent living or DIY or whatever you want. Honestly, it's incremental, it grows. There is no right way or wrong way, just easier ways. The path depends on your interests and skills thus, is different for each of us. It's "an adventure" that matures into "just the way we do things". But we are talking about way more than just a lifestyle, a career move, a get rich money making scheme or a job you clock out of and go home. Although you can certainly generate income, that's secondary to the way of life.
Getting your hands greasy and/or dirty, working your muscles in the elements for a purpose and participating in the circle of life as a way of life gives a person a completely different perspective. Homesteaders find the more you do for yourself, the less anxiety you experience at the hand of society. It can separate you from the consumerism and materialism of the world revealing the shallowness of celebrity lives. Providing for yourselves is God's Safety Net, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Life is a series of trials, tribulations (sometimes severe) and times of great rejoicing. Through it all, after all these years, our love for each other, our still expanding family and our simple life grows yet stronger through gratitude.