The Simple Kids in front of the Simple House - April 2010
We bought our home in 2002. It was new construction. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large family room, and a tiny kitchen. I was thrilled with the house (well, all but the tiny kitchen, but since it was just Me, Mr. Simple, Flower who was 3 at the time, and Jelly Bean, who was 6 months at the time, it didn't seem that tiny), especially since we were moving from a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo. That was built in 1982. I was so NOT in the Simple Life back then. Well, that's not true. I did cloth diaper. And I liked the idea of cooking.
By 2003, I was no longer working Full-Time. I was frugal because I had to be to survive (this is still a lot of the reason why I am frugal LOL) But I still wasn't really thinking about food storage. Or gardening. Or getting rid of stuff I hadn't used in 10 years.
By 2006, I was starting to get on the Simple bandwagon, but it was very hit and miss. By 2007, I was hardcore. And all I could think about was how I couldn't wait until the day that I could move out to a hundred year old house with 50 acres with goats and chickens.
But by 2007, things were starting to unravel in the housing market. Just as we were considering putting our house up for sale, things really went downhill. We decided that it would be best for us to ride things out in the current house. For awhile.
But that didn't stop me from dreaming of that house anyway. And being quietly mad that we couldn't move RIGHT now.
By last year, I decided that well, maybe if I can't have 50 acres, maybe a 15' x 20' plot behind our church might be enough to grow a few vegetables. So last year, I started planting a garden. But I still thought of it as temporary.
I put some herbs in a small raised bed at our house. But I still thought of it as temporary.
I started to get more and more aggravated with my house. It was new, but poorly designed. Especially the kitchen. The kitchen was definitely not built for someone that is starting to get excited about preserving food.
And then I started to realize that I didn't have to be miserable about not being able to move to the country.
There were still PLENTY of things that I could do right here. Right now.
1. I could keep gardening at the church AND I could put in more raised beds at the house. We don't have a huge yard at all, but we have room to put in three beds.
2. I can sew just as well here as there.
3. I can get a CSA for meat and eggs from my friends who live less than 5 miles away. They have a small farm and they have chickens. By getting a Meat and Eggs CSA, it is almost like having the chickens myself without any of the work and start-up costs.
4. I can fill in my produce with food from farmers' market. I can easily walk to the one in my community.
5. I can get wheat and grind my own flour just as easily here as out in the country.
6. I can plant culinary herbs as well as medicinal herbs at my house. And salad fixings (in those 3 beds.)
And there are some real positives to staying here in the city:
1. I can walk most places. Church, groceries, pharmacy, library, museums, friends, etc. are all less than 5 miles away. That would not be true if I lived in the country. I would put a lot more miles on the vehicle, as well as spend a lot more money on gas.
2. I don't have to go to the work to sell the house right now.
3. I don't have to buy a lawn tractor. Or goats. Or chickens.
4. I have lots of neighbors. My neighbors are a very nice bunch. We help each other out with our yards, shoveling, and watching each other kids bike in the alley. We give each other treats like canned pears, just because we had extra and thought it would be nice to share.
Now I at the point where I am not sure if I will move when/if the day comes that we can afford to move. I've learned that much of my idea of Simple Living can be done right here. And I'm starting to really appreciate my little Simple Life In The City. Well, except maybe my kitchen.