Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Simpler Life


"Who would have their clothes hanging out to dry on a gray, 35 degree day?", I thought to myself, as we drove into the town of Harmony, home to Minnesota's largest Amish community.

I actually had to stop myself from asking that question out loud, and after thinking for a moment, I realized the simple white farm house we passed was home to a lifestyle so different from mine.

As I type this blog, the jeans are tumbling dry in the laundry room...the dishes are being washed by a machine...the noise from the television carries from a few rooms away...my phone signals that new e-mails are waiting.  Even in the barns, chickens are cozy under their heat lamps and cows' water troughs are being filled automatically.

Visiting the farms of Amish families this week reminded me of the simpler life that some choose to live.  By choice, the clotheslines hang low with sheets and pillowcases, shirts and pants, all winter long.  Roads muddy from melted snow give evidence of traffic by the number of hoof prints and deep grooves of buggy wheels.  No power lines running to houses.  No cars parked out front.  No switches to turn on the heat.  No cameras.  That's right...they don't even take pictures.

I have so much.  So many things to make life easier, that it ends up being harder.  So many things to help save time, it ends up taking more time.  Although I'm not hoping to trade in all my modern conveniences for a full time Little House On The Prairie lifestyle just yet, it is good to be reminded that I could, we could, still live a full life in the absence of "things".

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