Some people question why we would want to live old fashioned. Why do you desire to live in the 1940s they ask? We do not desire to live “in” the 1940s just “like” the 1940s. It is only a reference point to study the history. We have an advantage and know that many things that were sold even back then were unhealthy especially the processed food that were more available due to ww2.
Sourdough Starter bubbling.....
Through our history project we have learned we did not want to venture much farther past 1948 because we know now when the consumerism started ramping up and food was becoming ridiculously processed and unhealthy. It had already started back even earlier. With new inventions people were the ones that unknowingly tested these new products and ideas. Chemicals in cosmetics were very questionable and I even read in the 1948 paper where they were cautioning the use of cosmetics due to ingredients. Then came the era when good quality was replaced with plastic.
We are guilty of being a consumer because we do want a certain amount of comfort but we know now all the unnecessary spending we did on items that we have since discarded.
We wanted to stop the spending and new electronics come with monthly fees that keep mounting. People become trapped in data fees and we get locked in to these bills and it seems to be getting worse because we either pay their high prices or do without. Some of these things we have decided to do without.
Several years ago we were at a crossroad when my husband suddenly had inflamed skin. He had psoriasis and his hands, feet, elbows and knees looked like this but much worse on his feet and knees. His hands were painful and no matter what the doctors gave him it just kept getting worse and then some better only to come back and split and bleed. He never had any issues with his skin and we knew this was our tipping point. I took it personal and I wanted to help him. I started researching and realized that most everything in our house was emitting something and that most the modern toiletries had ingredients that were equal to slow poison to our bodies. I was panicked because I had to stop this!
Then I started changing our soap, things we used for cleaning and washing clothes. We changed most everything. One of our visits to the dermatologist we were excited to show her we were making improvements and she asked what we were doing and we told her lye soap, she shook her head and shuttered. She was objecting to our efforts in a negative way without saying it in words but it was written all over her face "Lye Soap?". She offered us another prescription for another soap. When we left we went to the store and looked at ingredients in this "other" soap. We even used it for a little while. But we went back to the lye soap after researching the ingredients. Every week he was better. Everything I cleaned I used the most pure ingredients I could find then went to making my own even though it was suggested this would do no good.
Our grandchildren are growing up in this polluted world and now food allergies and sensitivities are becoming common. We had our reasons to want to go back in time to find out was there a better time?
We don't have to live in an era, just "simple living" would be quite enough. Our life is not for everyone, it is for us and that us includes many of you that have found your way to this website. Our home fills us with a feeling of accomplishment, value, knowledge and empowerment because we know that this small place can nourish us the same as a mansion without the high price. We have become partially sustainable and we build skills of gardening, baking, knitting, sewing, canning, woodworking and home repair and we are learning our way to more simple food and toiletries.
My husband continues to work his outside the home job but truly loves coming home to this lifestyle. We don't pretend to live "vintage", we just live it. It is not a game or pretend life it is the most sensible thing we have ever done.
We learn to repair things that we thought we would never know how to do such as our headliner.
We wanted to save the old van because it is very useful when we need to haul things. The headliner was starting to give way and hang down so we figured if someone else could remove the inside headliner we could too. It took a good bit of effort to take it down, remove the old fabric and stretch new fabric and secure it all back but as you see it looks great. Just a reminder take pictures of everything so when you go to put it back you have a reference.
If we pay attention during our life journey we will learn from nature. With our gardening we learned that we need a balance for gardening in the city. We need flowers and vegetables because the flowers are important to bring in the needed pollinators.
Our 1940s history experiment was to help us become disciplined and it worked. We home schooled ourselves and we are better off for it but I wish we would have started when we were young and if you are a young person reading this, consider starting this very minute if your gut is telling you that you may never be debt free as long as you live because it does not have to be that way.
There is a peacefulness that I cannot explain when we figure out why we have been unhappy. Why we have been just following everyone else buying things that were never necessary, not even knowing what is in our closet before we go out and buy more. Buying clothing that was never designed for us only because that is what they are selling. Putting the same things in our home that others have because that is what they have.
I can see spring approaching, yesterday I was able to open the windows for several hours to air out the house.
There is a peacefulness when we turn back our sheets that were dried in the sun which has always been free to use from the beginning of time, when we mend a hole in a kitchen towel instead of throwing it away, when we pick a vegetable that we grew.
I am looking forward to planting this years garden.
There is empowerment when we control our budget and count our pennies because that is how serious we become when it comes to giving away our money. The feeling that we get when we pay off debt is truly empowering because it becomes contagious and we would rather be digging in the dirt growing our dinner, mending a shirt instead of swiping a card at the department store.
I feel successful and one would not think that from the better side of town if they only measure success by the size of the house that one lives in or the car that they drive but I know the true meaning of success.
We have been editing our lives by not following others as they live today, fixing the mistakes we were making, ridding ourselves of non practical things and going back so we could go forward without carrying with us all of the complicated things of today. It feels better so we shall continue to move forward into the past and be happier for it. Anyone can do this because it is only our mind that holds us back.
Love what you do, do what you love.