Comments On Article: Sensible Vintage
I loved reading this post. It resonates with me so much. When my husband and I were first married we moved into a rancher on a 100 acre farm just outside a country town. It was way far back from the main road. The home was built in the 60s or 70s. It had a brick front, a big brick fireplace/insert woodstove wall, wooden paneling, some cedar in one of the masters closets, and some other things such as an oil furnace heating system, and a wallpapered bathroom, and a tiny laundry area with a back door, and lots of closets, that really made me feel like I was living in that era. My husband worked for the farmers who owned the house. They were from another generation, one which basically had established the towns and farms and everything around it. We knew many of those folks because of this connection and I learned so much from the stories I heard them tell and just by the way they still carried themselves and lived their lives. Many of them have now passed away and it feels like an enormous loss. The local tractor shop was across the road from us, also owned by one of the farmer brothers. We would go there and take our children. They loved seeing them and talking to them. The children loved being part of that community and I think it really gave them a sense of belonging. One of the wives loved taking my young children and I out to lunch or to come by for a visit. Sometimes we also went as a family with her and her husband to the horse races, as they had horses that raced. We often went for breakfast at the local diner. And everyone knew everyone at the local church, library, shops, fire station, etc. This is still that way to this day but much less now with the older generations passing away and the newer generations infiltrating and changing things up.
Even though my life probably didn't look very different from the outside to other people, to me it felt very much from a different era. I loved being around those older folks, and to be a part of that community. We had a huge garden. My husband came home every day for a home cooked meal at noon. He was always nearby farming one of the fields. Many times I took the children and a picnic basket along to the field when he was extra busy at lunch time. They loved taking rides on the bug tractors or the combine. Among many of the women who lived nearby, I also was hanging my laundry to dry in the early morning, and teaching my daughters to do the same. Yes, I had an electric washing machine, but it still made me feel somewhat slowed down and at peace, and connected to the past in some form. I did all of our dishes by hand, but also cooked on a gas stove. We heated our home with firewood, but drove cars. So we weren't actually living or experiencing all of the ways that people did back when, but it didn't matter. I still got to experience the feeling of doing many things and living the way people used to in many ways along with the fellowship of those folks. And I also benefitted from having some of the modern conveniences of some other things. It was just a taste of another era. I am blessed to have experienced it.
We have moved to another home since, about twenty minutes away, and have met local people here too. We still try to make connections and keep a relationship with the older and with the newer friends. Older folks as well as local folks really do make a difference in this world for the younger people. I agree with you that probably times were much better in many ways than they are now, just by all that I've experienced growing up with my grandparents and other people they knew and places they went to and took us to. They act and live much differently than people of today. This day there is no real connection. People don't usually have deep roots somewhere and they don't take the time to learn about the place and the people who live where they are. They prefer to shop online, and never see anyone. They they don't care about quality either it seems. I value the things that were made or built which we can still find at thrift stores or local auctions. Most of what we acquire are those things or new things of quality, and preferably made in our own country by the people who live here. My husband and I always mention how transportation and electronics, although very helpful, have also been the vehicle through which people have become disconnected from each other. It takes real intentionality to not get too involved in it all and not forsake the old ways.
I see more people trying to live lives that are more old fashioned and that is such an encouragement to me. We are one of those people, and there aren't too many out there. But there is a remnant.
Reading your post is a breath of fresh air. You may not realize what a difference you make on other's lives, but we need people like you. I loved seeing your outdoor washing station. I have always wanted to set one up here at home, and will work towards it soon. We are the same way with clothing, we sew our own or hunt for something that we feel comfortable in. I can live in this era but it doesn't mean I have to live like the rest of the people of this era. I hope that when my descendants someday look back at our pictures they might be confused as to which year or era we actually lived in.
Many blessings to you and yours, thank you for all you're sharing with us. I am greatly encouraged and inspired by it.
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