With the recession, the ecomony caused many of us to take stock and re-evaluate our lives and what is truly important. This, along with the fact that we gained a child, made us think that it was a perfect time for a lifestyle change. Phil and I decided to “simplify.”
That was the buzzword at the time, and could have meant different things to different people. For many, this meant coming up with creative ways to cut back expenses. For some it meant cutting back on eating out, going to the movies, or deciding to mow their own lawns and clean their own houses. What it meant for us, was moving from the city limits to BFE.
Yes, we decided to leave the sprawling suburbs and our nearly 2000 square foot home on a lot that was barely a fifth of an acre, for a ranch home that was 10 years older, 700 square feet smaller with nearly 7 acres of land. You can’t see a neighbor from our front door. Our home is so simple, we don’t even have window coverings and don’t ever wonder if the neighbors will see us walking around, naked as jay birds. We don’t care. It’s that simple.
When we moved, we had a gigantic yard sale and sold several rooms of furniture. Let me tell you how freeing that is! Much of my time spent cleaning house has now been freed up to relax, uh, I mean, to take care of animals.
Yes, we traded in caring for two dogs and a cat, to caring for two dogs, three cats, 3 horses, 2 turkeys, 2 dozen chickens and a few Cornish Hens that aren’t long for this world (think freezer). We also have plans to get a couple of milk goats in the next few months.
One of the biggest changes, is the time it takes to go to the grocery store. At our previous home, you could make it to a large grocery store in under 10 minutes. Now, it’s a 20 minute freeway drive. Now we plan to go to the store, or any serious shopping, for that matter. We spend a lot more of our free time driving…everywhere. Our house payment went down, but our fuel bill went up, nearly in equal measure.
One of the other luxuries that we now have, is a huge garden. We grow our own veggies and herbs in a small football field. Okay, it’s not really a football field, it just seems like it. We spend countless hours in the summer months, watering the garden, weeding the garden, harvesting and washing the bounty from the garden, and trapping the critters that eat the things growing in the garden, just so we can give half of the yield away. Seriously, who the hell has time to can?!
I have found that the word “simplify” holds a very different meaning for us, as it has for others. Yes, certain areas of our lives have simplified, but have been overtaken with other responsibilities.
In the illustrious words of actress, Salma Hayek, “I have a farm and I love it there. There’s really nothing to do, but even watching the chickens, it’s fun!”