Friday, March 21, 2014

It Ain't THAT Hard!

Our Newest Resident said something interesting to me today.

During a quiet moment, I asked him how he felt after being here a week.  Was it what he had expected, or was it different?  He said that he was feeling good, and after a while he said that actually he had been mentally prepared for endless back-breaking work and he was surprised that it wasn't that way.

This is a curious thing to me.  This idea that living out here might be really hard.  I've seen and heard it said many a time—in magazines, t.v. shows, and even this past week at a friend's house—that John Denver was wrong.

Life in the country is HARD, they say.

Well, I'll tell you what, I think life on the farm really IS kinda' laid back.  Just for example, here's what my day has been so far:

I made yogurt

I made panir cheese

I washed the dishes,
by hand,
in 5 gallons of water that I pulled from rain barrels
 and heated on the woodstove.

I pulled a sink out of the Eco-midden
 and began taking the old busted faucet off

I checked on my baby plants
I talked with a friend on an old fangled device called a telephone
 (it's similar to a cell phone except it actually plugs into the wall of your house.)
And during my breaks I worked a couple of New York Times crossword puzzles.
I also did yoga in the morning, had a healthy breakfast, had a nice conversation with my hubby, helped direct the New Resident in some meditative weeding, and ate a piece of cake.  Now it is only 3:38 pm and I don't even need to make supper because I made enough last night to serve as leftovers this evening. I guess I'll sort socks and water the greenhouse plants.  That is, after I finish talking with y'all.
So it gets me to thinking.  Why does everyone think it's so hard to live in the country?  I think it's because they're trying to make it look like they are living the lives of the rich and famous while trying to make a living off the land.  What many people don't understand is that the land, well treated, is more than willing to give us a living with surprisingly little effort on our part.  Now don't get me wrong here, not every day goes as easily as today did.  Sometimes there is more hard work to do in a day then there are hours in which to do it.  But more often than not there are multiple spaces for relaxation, conversation, and a good crossword puzzle.  

As long, that is, as a body is not trying to make MORE than a living off the land.  

If we try to have a 'House Beautiful' house and lawn, go out to eat regularly, have all of the "time saving" appliances that the world has to offer, and dress like supermodels, we'll need so much money that trying to make it off the land will indeed be a life of drudgery and toil.

So sit back and think about, taking a walk in the creek, weeding the garden, having a pleasant conversation in the middle of the day, sinking your hands into some nice warm water to wash the dishes, and then doing a crossword puzzle. Life IS kinda laid back, isn't it?

Welcome to Groundwell Farm!


  1. Hey Barb!!! I finally found your blog and I'm happily reading it! Couldn't have come at a better time in my life now that I am chained to responsibilities, mounds of silly paperwork, and bureaucratic protocol. I enjoyed this post, because I have trouble trying to make MORE than a living. Not in terms of money because lord knows I still don't have enough of that, but in terms of what I expect of myself, my presentation, and my products. I'm exciting to catch up on all the posts I've missed and will be keeping in touch with you! Happy SPRING!

    1. Hey Amanda, it's so good to hear from you! I know how hard it can be to relax. The great Mammoth Cave, as fun as it was to work there, was definitely a stress contributor. Because we were slightly depressed all of the time there (just because we weren't here) we did a lot of "depression spending". That extra spending made it seem quite impossible to ever leave. After all how would we make enough to get by?

      Now I know that many people do have responsibilities that make it so that they cannot make the choice that we made, but if you recognize "depression spending"--just like any other addiction--can become easier to control. Once that is under control, you can get a more realistic grip on what you really need to earn, and gain a bit of freedom!