Long ago I lived in a little white wooden house. This was in the 1960s and I had only been married for a few years. I was new a being a keeper of my home.
I have been thinking quite a bit about that little white house. It had two small bedrooms, one small bathroom, a very small living room and a combination kitchen and dining area.
There was no telephone and cell phones had not been invented at that time. There was no television or cable anything. There was no computer anything because we did not have them in our homes at that time.
Life was good.
Our bills were few and our military pay was low but we were happy. We had all we needed. I would write letters home to my mother and to my brother that lived across the country and was also in the military stationed at another base.
This was a time when we did not buy any extras of anything because there was no money to do so. It was rent, food, soap, toiletries, electricity and gas which was minimal because it was a small house with only a small heater and there was no air conditioning.
When we did splurge to go out to eat it would be corndogs and tater tots at a little place not far away and that was for a very special occasion.
At the time I am thinking about I did have a wringer washing machine and a clothesline and it was wonderful because before that I did all hand washing. We had one car and a mailbox in our front yard by the road.
To clean our house I would carry everything outside on a sunny day. I mean everything except for the refrigerator. It all came out and I would scrub the floors and rinse them well and occasionally wax them. While the floors were drying I would clean everything I took outside and when the floors were dried I carefully carried it all back in and placed it gently on the floor.
I put old rags under the legs of the heavy heavy items and gently slid it back in. But there was not many heavy items because there was basic furniture. I became very good at this type of cleaning and I enjoyed my home being clean. When we do not have a lot of modern things to interrupt us we have time to do things like this.
My son would play on a blanket that I laid out over the grass while I worked. Life was simple. We took care of what we had because we could not afford to replace anything. What we had was it and we made do and it really was not hard.
Today is so different and so full. I think about all the things I did not have long ago and all the heaviness there is today from the things we do have today.
I am so thankful that I lived this time so I can remember what normal means. Today is not normal and to me today is as far from normal as we can get. People are lost and do not understand that all of what we have today is not improvement. It is over consumerism and has led to extreme debt and stress and is very exhausting.
When Charles and I were in debt we realized we had to get back to basics and get out of debt. We had to do whatever it took to get out of debt. It can make you sick, physically, mentally and we did not want this kind of life anymore.
Each time we paid something off we worked for the next thing and we started the envelope system and I do believe if we had not started that it would have taken us much longer.
We had set backs and unexpected expenses but we understood by this time that living "Like" the past was going to help us and it did.
We designed a new clothesline a few years ago and added poles so we could wash and dry our rugs. This is just one of the things we did to improve taking care of everything we have and doing it with little cost. Charles recently moved the clothesline closer to the back door where I do not have to carry the laundry as far and it has been such a big help.
We have seven lines and two rug bars.
Gardening and learning how to take care of our plants and fruit trees helps us physically and mentally and we benefit from the harvest even if it is small.
Sometime we need to invest in plants that give us more than something pretty to look at. We have a balance of eatable plants and plants that bring us bees and butterflies and birds which also bring us plants by seeding for us.
We planted this tree a few years ago and now with just giving it time, it makes fruit. Everything needs time to be able to do its thing whatever that is. Injuries need time to heal, children need time to learn new things, our bodies need time to rest.
Making a quilt takes time and should not be rushed. When we rush things it shows and maybe that is why quality has taken a set back. We can fix all of this by simply starting over with patience.
It is never too late to start repairing our mess ups. We have done a lot of mess ups in our lifetime but we learned from them. We got in debt like many people do and we had to figure out a way to get out. It took time but we finally did it and for us getting out of debt has made us even more frugal. Frugal is a good thing, it is not being cheap or anything like that. It is being careful and understanding the cost and consequences of everything.
I wish for all of you that you can be debt free and you can just start now. There is not a lot to know about because it is simple, stop spending right now and start a envelope system. Start saving money. Cut out all you can in expenses and put that towards paying off your bills.
Blueberry babies above...
Get rid of clutter because clutter can cause us to purchase duplicates. Some people will purchase another item because they cannot find the one they have. This is wasteful.
But know that clutter is not the items and tools we need to crochet or knit, sew or clean our home. It is not the canning equipment or the garden tools. It is not the wood working tools or the car maintenance items. It is not the gift cubby or the food storage items. It is the items in and around the home that have no purpose, or are not useful and have no place.
Find a place for everything and everything in its place.
Some carrots I harvested this weekend from our fall planting container...
My blog is where I share with you what I remember and know about from long ago and it is to share our history studies. I am thankful that I also learned a few things from my Grandparents that came from much longer ago.
My Grandparents had what might look like clutter to some people that did not understand what is needed to live a frugal life. They never had a lot of money but they had an overflow of love. What looked like clutter I now understand were items that had a purpose for what they needed.
We older folks need to not lose our skills and if we have stopped something we once did maybe it would be a good idea to brush up so that the younger folks can see something they might want to be mentored on. I say this because I do get younger folks that email that have interest in the way things were done in the past. Some grew up with all this technology and want something more real in their lives.
I realize that we are still in the grips of the covid but this is a good time to brush up or to learn.
Long ago we would sit on porches and tell stories and listen to the frogs and crickets and chase lightening bugs. There seemed to be more relaxing laughter, have you ever experienced this kind of laughter? It is when life feels right.