Your comments make me giggle when you write “I don’t know how you get it all done” . . as I’m sitting here hoping I have something clean to wear today! I do NOT get it all done! I only write about the things I do get done. You don’t even want to guess at how many things don’t get done around here (thank me for not including a photo!). Each evening I should write a final post about the things that didn’t get done. Here’s one terrible example! Almost every morning I put a load of laundry on . . first thing! Some things I plan to hang on the line, some things go into the dryer. If I’m using the electric dryer (which I like to do during the day when we’re generating our own power), I have to walk across the driveway to the sewing room and put the clothes in there, but if it’s evening and we’re already off our own power, I’ll stick the clothes in the gas dryer (in the laundry room . . right on top of the washer!). Last week, I put a load of laundry on to wash one morning and three days in a row, I got busy outside, then totally forgot about it and had to rewash it each morning and each day for three days the same thing happened . . forgot and rewashed the next day! Finally, I think it was Friday, I said “I am not going outside til these clothes are on the line!” That’s the true story about how much I accomplish! 🙂
When we bought this place, one of the things we talked about was the ability to do as much or as little as we wanted. Since we’re not in a subdivision and there are no restrictions, or red tag guys, if the weeds get a bit tall, that’s ok. The outside of the house is rock, with very little maintenance. The roof is metal and should never have to be replaced. The inside is rustic and way more forgiving than many homes we’ve had.
Even though we have acreage, we can keep up the small area right around the house and let the rest of it go (which is pretty much how it is except for the orchard and garden areas). We can have a big garden but when we feel that’s too much work, we can scale it down or cut it out completely. We are able to have the orchard but when it’s too much work, we can let it go if we choose, or hire someone to maintain it. As far as the chickens, we can have as many, or as few, or none at all. The way things are around here, if we decided to get rid of the chickens, stop gardening, let the orchard go, we could get up every day, knit, sew, watch TV . . do nothing . . and life would still be good.
We’re 7 miles from town and the roads leading to town are excellent and easy to travel.
But, here’s how I look at life: I just turned 60 and I know there will come a time, probably sooner rather than later, when I have to slow down a bit, when I can no longer do the things I once did. I don’t want to miss out on anything! I want to grow and taste the “weird” veggies I’ve never had before. I want to can everything I can get my hands on not only because I love canning but I love knowing I can work outside til dinner time, grab a jar of home cooked food, heat it up in 10 minutes and have a great dinner. There may even come a time in my old age where I’d rather eat out than eat at home but I’m definitely not there yet.
Some days I get up and I feel like one of the contestants on that game show where you could run through a store and keep everything you could grab in a short amount of time. There’s so much I want to do and I know that within a few short hours, it will be evening again, another day will have passed and be gone forever . . one day closer to the day when I have to slow down. That thought energizes me . . makes me want to do more and do it more quickly so I can do even more! I don’t want to watch life from the sidelines . . I want to live each minute and experience all I can take in.
Yes, some days I’m so tired at the end of the day that I can’t even think straight, but even on those days, I can sit my tired self down and think about what I accomplished, and I smile. My “accomplishments” are not always something that anyone else would consider an accomplishment. Some days I seem to wander aimlessly . . pulling a weed here, picking a few strawberries (which never seem to make it into the house!), discussing the morning’s events with a chicken, taking a ride through the woods on the RTV . . but no matter what I do, so long as I was here at home doing what I love to do, it was a great day.
I moan and complain about having to leave home and follow Vince around on his shopping trips. Even though days are good, because we’re together and he’s getting to do what he enjoys doing . . though I’ll never understand that! It’s through a lot of hard work on his part that I’m able to do so many of the things I enjoy. He tills the garden, plants the fruit trees, builds the chicken coops, and brings home a paycheck so I’m able to enjoy the things I enjoy.
We have found a way to be happy and content and it is so different from what I thought I would be doing at 60 but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Looking back, at the time I spent on my grandparents’ farm, and how much I enjoyed that and longed for that time there, I know this is the life I was meant to live. What we do here is hard and back breaking sometimes but we have our goals, we know we can cut back at any time and I don’t think either of us would change a thing right now.
Ranch Wife says
Amen to that!!
Judy, wonderful testimonial to your life.
Dorothy Matheson says
I really do agree with you. I also go all day long and try to get things done around my house. I thankfully have a small garden and I do not try to can things.
I have a large flower garden. No chickens but an elderly horse and two cows to feed daily.
I am also thankful to have my Mom next door and I am able to help her with things where we have to go together for like medical and banking.
I am married and do go with my husband to a lot of of places he likes to go.
I like living in a lived in home. I don’t mind dust bunnies – they’re really our only pets right now. Well, I take that back… right now we are trying to sell our home, and there are no bunnies. Kind of a pain in the butt to keep the house picked up, clean for the lookey loos.
I want to be remembered as a generous woman who made quilts and gave them away… not as a clean freak. I think we are of a like mind there.
This is a really great post, Judy. Thank you! My husband is retiring in 2 days and our life is in kind of a chaotic state. Lake house in New Hampshire, where we are residing now and a home In Florida with all my good stuff. I truly have not been appreciative of what I have. I’ve been cranky quite a bit. I need to change my attitude quickly! I am looking forward to having my husband around more. One positive!!!
Thanks again and have a fabulous day!
Well put. I’ve just turned 60 as well, and find that I have finally made peace with the idea that I don’t have to feel guilty when I don’t “get it all done”. I have lofty goals every morning about what I want to accomplish, but by the time I come home from work most days I just don’t have the energy for all of my plans. My whole garden now is in two large pots on my deck. And that is OK for now. No guilt trips allowed at my house!!
Marion Morgan says
What a nice letter, well put. The picture of Vince just adds to the feeling that his hard work as well as yours has all paid off. Enjoy your down time in your own self-made world. Thank you for the joy of letting us have a peek.
Helen Baczynski says
Just have to comment on the laundry – there’s only two of you so why are you doing laundry everyday? There’s two of us and I usually do laundry once a week, or when we run out things to wear. And why did you have to re-wash those things that were clean and had only been sitting in the washer? If the machine spun them out well they shouldn’t have been mildewy after only one day – or were they?
I understand using the dryer rather than the line. In Vegas it was hot so good for drying but just too dusty to hang things on the line. Here in SD I hang everything out unless it’s raining or freezing.
1. When canning and putting up veggies, I go through almost a whole load of dish towels every day. These days I’m canning every day.
2. We get up about daylight and work outside til it gets too hot, come in and shower, get dressed, and then when it cools off again, if the clothes I worked in first thing in the morning aren’t too dirty, I put them back on but most of the time, due to dealing with chickens, they’re too dirty.
3. Even if there isn’t a FULL load of laundry, the clothes we’ve worked outside in are dirty and stinky and I’d rather wash them than leave them laying around in the dirty clothes baskets.
Where it’s so hot, and with a front load washer, if they’ve sat for 24 hours in the washer, they don’t smell good and I wouldn’t want to wear them. Clothes will begin to sour if left in the washer, with the door closed and it will happen in way less than 24 hours.
I don’t hang most of Vince’s work clothes on the line and this time of year, it’s so dry and there’s so much dirt blowing, that I often am not able to hang the clothes on the line.
Monday morning I wash the sheets on our bed.
Tuesday morning I wash the slip covers off the two recliners, where Speck most often sits with us.
There are often days when I wash two loads of clothes during the summer. During the winter it isn’t so bad without the gardening, grass cutting, trapping, etc. but during the summer, it’s a load every single day, and sometimes two loads.
Helen Baczynski says
Thank you for explaining, Judy – now I understand!
I have dogs and a cat, so for the two of us, we wash almost every day, too. If I don’t get to it, it just builds up and I have to run three or four loads.
Terri in BC says
What a wonderful testimony to your life! I can relate to the laundry problem, I can do the same thing. And yes, I totally rewash if they have been left in the washer overnight. My biggest downfall is the computer – some days I can’t seem to get off it, so I have to set limits. This morning I was able to put it aside to do “15 minutes of housework” that quickly turned into 2 hours once I got up off my butt! Thanks for sharing so much of your life, I love reading about your adventures.
Clap, clap, clap…….applause!!!!!!!!!!!!! You go girl!!!!!!!