Friday, August 6, 2010


There's no denying it.  Paying off substantial amounts of money owed is just an amazing feeling.  I can literally feel the weight lifting.  But I must admit, there are days when my eyes are not on the ball and our extended camping trip feels... hard.  Especially after living at my parents' house for the last five weeks.  There's no mistaking.  Houses are amazing.  They're one of the main reasons we're living in a 5th wheel.  Wells, spring houses, root cellars, fruit trees, garden beds, animals, tree houses, studios, places for guests to stay, bedrooms, a bathroom that doesn't resemble a porta-potty in a closet...  Dreaming up our future property has become a favorite pastime around here.  And to be perfectly honest, well, living in a 5th wheel as a family of six isn't always easy.

It's time for instead.

Instead of having to hush four lively kids because we might be disturbing the neighbors we'd share walls with had we decided to live in an apartment, we have four walls (no matter how thin) all to ourselves.

Instead of only having a tiny, fenced-in balcony or patio, we share 70 gorgeous acres with one of the most amazing families we've ever known.

Instead having the grace that comes with more space, keeping a tiny home clean is a matter of do or die, and lots of bad habits are dying, because there is no grace for them in small spaces.

Instead of enjoying the efficiency of a dishwasher, my children get to learn how to wash dishes.  Get to might not be the words they'd use to describe the experience, but they do like the fact that it counts as school (home ec. what?), and they agree that dishes are funner than worksheets.

Instead of having a refrigerator/freezer that can hold a week's plus worth of food, we get to enjoy the beauty of produce that can keep on the countertop, and we eat a whole lot more produce just because it's more accessible.

Instead of having good internet and cell phone signal, there is less media time and more time to enjoy other things like reading books, building stick structures in the dirt, keeping on top of messes, and learning how to knit and crochet.

Instead of living in town where popping over to a store for one item wasn't a big deal, we have become very intentional with every trip that requires a car.

Instead of having enough space to grow all our own produce, we are blessed to be able to afford weekly boxes of in-season, locally-grown, organic produce.  We even get to try new veggies and herbs that I'd never thought of planting.  Stevia!  This week, we got stevia!  When it's fresh, I love it!  And making raw stevia syrup is as easy as 1/2 cup crushed leaves, 2 cups warm water, 24 hours, and then strain!  And now my kefir and creme fraiche have a new friend on the counter.

To top it all off, there are things I don't have to "instead."  They're just plain wonderful.  Like:
Coffee roasted on a mountain is exquisitely darker and shinier than the beans I roasted in the valley.  It is just too delicious to dilute with milk and sugar.  I'll take it black, thank you.
Mountain air and water pulled from deep wells are noticeably purer and we have become addicted.

Wild blackberries are in season and we could (and will) pick pounds and pounds without even having to drive anywhere.

Living within our means is quite peaceful and comfortable.  Even if it means living in a trailer for a while.

It is five to ten degrees cooler on the mountain than it is in the valley.

Our two-year-old actually takes better naps in the trailer because she is more peaceful while hearing and being around whatever the rest of the family is doing.

Ah, this post was so needed.  For me.  My attitude has officially been adjusted and I am just plain thankful for instead.


  1. Do you just let it dry after its strained?

  2. The stevia? No, I composted the leaves and saved the syrup.

  3. At least you settled for a comfortable lifestyle.


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