Sunday, July 5, 2009

Simple Life?

Every day our area newspaper, the Worcester Telegram, has a quote, called Stop and Think. Today's quote was by an American writer named Katharine Fullerton Gerould (1879-1944). She apparently once said,

"The real drawback to 'the simple life'
is that it is not simple.
If you are living it, you positively can do nothing else.
There is not time."
I had never heard of her before, so I do not really know how she meant her words. However, it sounds a bit negative to me. The quote certainly did make me stop and think, though. There are many things in today's world that are meant to keep our life simple, but do they really? A lot of people are working awfully hard to make the money for items that simplify life. And a lot of people could really cut back on kid's dance classes, baseball games, soccer practice, internet, electronic games, and find that living simply would give a lot more time for some Dutch Blitz at the dining room table.
Looking at the years in which she lived, I wonder if she means simple life in the sense of keeping a garden, cooking from scratch, and so on. Even with all that, I would disagree that there is not time for anything else. More importantly though, why would you want more? If Jamie and I can provide those simple things for our family, finding happiness and satisfaction in that, and teach our kids a work ethic in the process, what more is there? Obviously it would be a full-time job to provide everything for the family, but we do what we can with what the Lord has given us. I have been spending an hour every day picking black raspberries, and while it is work, it is also satisfying. Should I go to the local store and buy frozen berries? Doing so would cause me to lose the joy in my little bits of simple life. (Although I am glad the thorn ridden black raspberries are almost done and the smooth stemmed blueberries are next!)
In the homeschool sense, for me there is no way to go but "the simple life". Pray a lot, lecture a little. Trying to create a classroom at home for the teens would drive me nuts. Jamie and I have really simplified the boys History and Language Arts for this coming year, and I honestly think it will be their best year yet. Using dvd's to help with math simplifies it for them as well. If you are living the homeschool simple life, then it leaves more time to do something else. That is one are where I will struggle to find a happy medium between keeping a routine for my children who have Down Syndrome , while not becoming a slave to the schedule I have to set.
Most days the quotes in the paper do not make me think quite this much! I'll go read a simple novel now to unwind...

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