There is something to be said about living a simpler life. Most of you know that I am a homesteader. What most of you do not know is how simple my life is. So I think it’s time for a heart-to-heart conversation.
When I wake up in the morning, I get myself dressed and haul my seventeen-year-old son to work. He works a farm job as a beekeeper for a company that you all have never heard of, but I promise you all have eaten the honey from them.
He gets up, gets dressed, and takes off for a day of manual labor and bee stings. He absolutely loves his job, by the way. When I get home, I fix myself some breakfast and coffee; this always consists of bacon from my local butcher and eggs from my backyard. If I’m feeling spunky, I’ll pull some potatoes out of the root cellar barrel from last fall’s harvest and make some home fries.
After breakfast, I take my first walk of the farm today. I only have 3 acres, so this isn’t a big deal. I check the turkeys and chickens feed and water levels, and then I head down to the small pasture where the goats and sheep are.
I check on the babies down there and also check the feed, water, and hay. I walk the fence line to make sure nothing needs my attention, and I’m not chasing any animals down today. If you want to get goats, learn to lasso, trust me on this.
After an animal check, it’s off to the greenhouses and the garden. How are the soil moisture levels? Are there any weeds I need to get out? And since I grow all of my crops organically, What does the pest situation look like today? Do I spot and crop damage? Are the aphids taking over? Do I see any beneficial insects like praying mantis, ladybugs, or assassin bugs?
It seems like a lot, but it is second nature after a decade of living this simple life. Finally, it’s to the fruit orchard and the beehives. How are the trees looking? Are the leaves healthy? Am I getting good blooms? Is there plenty of activities coming from the beehives? Are the bees bearding? Do I notice and drones on the “front porch” of the hive?
Then it’s off to the computer. Most homesteaders these days make the majority of their money online. After all, the big farm payouts only come twice per year. In the spring with the babies sold from the herd and in the fall after the harvest.
Around mid-day, I will do a few chores, maybe a load of laundry or sweep the floors, and then it’s nap time—a one-hour recharge in the middle of the day. I wake up and do a twitter check. Online is my money, right? And then it’s off to grab my son from the honey farm.
After he comes home, we tackle a few more farm chores, or if there is a project we’re working on, we’ll throw a couple of hours into that. About that time, my wife returns home from work with my other two kids in tow. She’s a teacher, and they go to the school she teaches at.
Then it’s dinner with the family at the dining room table. The kids talk excitedly about their day, and I listen with a smile on my face. My wife vents about co-workers, and I listen, offering my opinions here and there. After dinner, there is homework and talking. My wife and I discuss our candle business, how things are going around on the farm. She’ll give me thoughts about what she wants around the homestead, and I do the same.
We make plans and discuss our dreams. But, most of all, we enjoy each other’s company. That’s what family time is supposed to be about, after all, just enjoying each other’s company. No tv, maybe YouTube with some old hymns playing or something, but here lately, we’ve taken to listening to the record player she bought me a while back. On Saturday afternoons, a local radio station puts on an old-fashioned radio play. Those are fun to sit and listen to with the family.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Now listen closely. My wife and I made 36k last year together. That’s it. Money isn’t what makes the lifestyle. You make the lifestyle. At 36K, we were comfortable all year, with the exception of Hurricane Zeta, but so many of you guys came to my rescue, to which I am forever grateful.
Would 100k per year make life easier? Sure, and it is my goal, but my point is that it is not a requirement.
Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, life is best when it is simple—family, friends, church, nature, etc. Whatever your passion is, embrace it, and if you’re married with kids, any answer other than your family is your passion is the incorrect answer.
Get rid of the debt, get rid of the stressful job, get rid of whatever is causing friction between you and your wife. Get rid of whatever is diverting attention away from your kids. It’s time to make life simple and, by default, enjoy it much more.