I wanted to tell you a little story today. As most of my regular readers know O Wise One and I made the decision late last year to sell our large farm and downsize to a smaller home and acreage in a new area with a little milder climate. We hoped to slow down our life just a hair and spend more time together enjoying life a little more and concentrating less on producing vast amounts of food not because we needed it but just because we could. Over the past few years as all of our children had grown up, gotten married and built their own lives we had needed less and less food for just ourselves. More and more of our vegetables and fruit were being given away to neighbors and charities than ever before. We sold enough to supplement any expenses the garden would incur and canned what was left over. With fewer children we consume less and required less. It was time to think about downsizing. So we sold our farm to a young couple and moved to a small 1300 square foot brick home built in the 80's and an acre of land in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. December 1st we signed the papers and took possession of our new home. This home met most of the requirements we were looking for. It was small but with a brick exterior and metal roof it should require very little upkeep. A fireplace for backup heat and a nice big back yard. Close to several medium sized hospitals but a little over an hour outside of Knoxville and two from Nashville and the large Medical Centers that come with big cities.
Yep we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly! Took two Uhauls, a horse trailer for the big dogs and a Trailblazer.
Even more important is that even though we live on a busy road our area is unincorporated. No HOAs to tell us what we can and can't do. The neighbors on the road behind our house have chickens, goats and even pigs on their small acreages. Little gardens are abundant and there are lots of churches and organizations in the area. You see O Wise One and I are not your typical retirees. We don't golf ( although I can). We aren't the country club sort. We are the backyard barbecue type, church on Sunday an occasional movie and lots of lawn mowing and gardening. American legion meetings and maybe a quilt group near and it is just about perfect.
In Missouri the number one question that people asked us was " Are you one of them preppers". Now while I never really considered myself a prepper we have so much in common with them that really I guess I should. But I absolutely HATE labels and people that have to have them. We lived the way that our parents and grandparents before us did. We preceded the prepper movement so we consider ourselves pre-preppers. We are the generation that was taught that God takes care of those that take care of THEMSELVES. That being said a little common sense goes a long ways. You will always find food in my house.
Maybe not fast food or packaged food but always food.
Never have I not had lots of quilts because I'm a quilter like my mother and grandmother before me. With a fireplace to warm me and lots of quilts you should never go cold in my home.
My clocks are wind up and a hundred years old not battery operated
My phone is rotary dial. If the lights go out my phone still works.
Without lights I still can see.
Without lights I can still sew
My clothes aren't designer they are homemade. A good pair of jeans or maybe some shorts and a shirt with big pockets for seeds or eggs is the style of the day.
As are my bed linens homemade
My dish cloths are crocheted
My dishtowels homemade
And my clothes line dried.
My nights are spent with a good book or the good book and maybe a DVD and a crochet hook.
My bread comes from the oven and not plastic.
And the list can go on forever.
In February of this year a major and devastating ice storm came through this area. We lost power for days and some even for weeks. Our life never changed other than the house was a little cooler than when we ran central heat. It never got below 55 in our home when other peoples pipes were bursting. When the local Walmart shelves were bare (and they really were!!!) we still ate and well. But the whole just of this long story is that as soon as we could dig out O Wise One and Baby O started knocking on our neighbors doors and checking on them. He and Baby O got out everyday and delivered hot meals cooked on our fireplace and barbecue grill to those who had none. Hot coffee and biscuits in the morning and atleast one hot meal at night. Jugs of fresh drinking water to those whose pipes had frozen or burst.
Now I could not help but thinking to myself that this was the same frozen food and jars of canned food that people had laughed at me about canning and being a prepper. Don't you get so tired of the zombie apocalypse jokes? This was the same food that people had encouraged us not to move that it wasn't worth it. This was the same food that someone had actually came by and tried to buy from me for almost nothing prior to my moving.
This was the same food that my husband and daughter now ventured out onto the ice covered terrain in the cold to deliver to neighbors we had never met ,door to door, to keep those people many elderly and some with small children fed. Many of these neighbors had no electricity or water for almost a week. Indeed the Lord helps those that help themselves but more importantly he also blesses those who help others.
One elderly widow neighbor lady told O Wise One "I have lived here all my life and no one has even been by to check on me". She asked my husband WHY he would do this for someone he had never even met. My husband's response.
"Congratulations you're my new neighbor and welcome to my
This same elderly neighbor just gave me the pears off her pear tree this year!
So the next time someone remarks negatively about your lifestyle choices or makes comments about your gardening addiction, quilting addiction, food hoarding or canning addiction. The next time someone tells you that you can buy it cheaper at Walmart than you can grow or can it. Or better yet how old fashioned you are. Just smile and think to yourself that there may come a day when those Walmart shelves are empty and plant a little extra for the neighbors.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter