The Good Life
We had a good weekend. Time with family and friends, church, fellowship, and good food.
When I wrote my post on Saturday about my breakfast with eggs from our chickens, I thought that most would roll their eyes and say,"that was a waste of two minutes."
But you didn't. It touched something in people. Most comments had to do with wishing that they could have chickens of their own. As I was reading Brenda's weekend posts, and then emailing with Debbie this morning, my thoughts came together about this.
I've always wondered why we romanticize past eras and wish we could have lived 'back then.' I don't think it is a desire to not have indoor plumbing, or cell phones or the internet, but the desire to have a simpler life. One that makes us feel secure, whether in values or in the ability to be more self sustaining.
I grew up in Southern California in a house that's property measured 40 ft by 120 ft. It was zoned R2 which meant that the property could have two individually owned houses on it. Look again at the size of the lot. My parents current home here is on a half acre of land and the property they owned in California would fit in the front yard of their current home. I say all this only to say that I never dreamed that I would live on a 4 acre property or that I would have horses and chickens.
I stand in awe of what God has done for us. We weren't looking to recreate Little House on the Prairie when we were looking for a new house. We just wanted some elbow room. Space to let our kids play and explore and experience nature. Have a dog or two. Maybe a cat.
We couldn't find anything in our price range in the 1/2 acre category and were discouraged. Then one day we "happened" upon this property. The house was a mess, the property overgrown - we didn't even know it had a creek! It was for sale by owner and the owners wanted to get rid of it quickly. We bought it for less than half of what the land would have been worth, and set about fixing it up.
This included tearing out all the carpets and linoleum (they were all trashed), pulling down all the door trims, replacing every door in the house (thankful for a regular construction auction). We painted, planted, cleared brush, put in central air and propane heat.
Then the Lord provided riding lessons for Lindsay and the next year a chance to own a horse. A small inheritance from my grandmother allowed us to fence in nearly two acres and Tim started clearing trees and undergrowth. We built a barn.
We try to garden, and keep working at it because we love fresh food. This lead to chickens. Now we have fresh eggs, too. Last year we put in four fruit trees; two apple and two peach. We may try to raise some meat chickens.
It's not about wanting more work to do, but its about being able to be self sustaining, even just a little bit. I don't know about you but food prices just keep going up and we don't like to eat a lot of processed foods, that are not really food but chemicals. And with the severe drought in California food prices will rise again. Big time. You can see a Weather Channel article here. My friend shared the following statistics -
California is the nation's number one dairy state.
California's leading commodity is milk and cream. Grapes are second.
California's leading export crop is almonds.
Nationally, products exclusively grown (99% or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.
From 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California.
California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberry production. Approximately 12% of the crop is exported to Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan primarily. The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.
California produces 25% of the nation's onions and 43% of the nation's green onions.
Life is good. We are living with the effects of the economy, money is tight, so what is good is not about having a lot of money. Its richness comes from a good God who gives us abundantly above what we ask or think.
This is the key, my friends. Its God who provides…relationships, fellowship, food, resources…everything we need.