Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Oh I wanna live the simple life..."

I know it's not a Musical Monday, but I've been reminded of this song the last few days -- Carolyn Dawn Johnson's Simple Life.

photo credit
Tuesday morning Abby and I left with some friends for a mini-road-trip. We spent Tuesday night and as much time as we could Wednesday in Shipshewana, Indiana. It's in the heart of Amish Country. I honestly have mixed feelings about the place. Shipshewana has really become a tourist destination. There is a giant flea market and auction twice a week, and a couple of blocks of little shops, restaurants, etc. Many of them are staffed by Amish and Mennonites, but many are not. I loved the shops with homemade Amish items, from jams to rugs to paintings and more, but found myself a bit turned off by the other stores -- the ones that sold items I could get anywhere.

I found myself wondering about what the Amish people in Shipshewana thought. Are they glad for the business, that they're able to sell things and give buggy rides and wait on tables so they can earn money just like any other person? Or do they wish the area had stayed traditional, like many other Amish communities across the country?

I grew up in a rural area not too far from many Amish families. Sometimes on my way to or from Big Rapids I would take the "back way" and go down dirt roads, just to catch glimpses of the buggies and clothes on the line and families taking a break with some lemonade on their porch. A few years ago I went through a book-reading-phase where I read so many Amish stories by Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstetter and Beth Wiseman. (it even often inspired me to bake and clean!)

Sometimes I crave that simple life. To do away with [most] technology, to live off the land, to just tend my garden and bake my bread and raise my kids. But short of a major lifestyle change (that I know none of us are ready for), that's not going to happen to our family anytime soon. So I try to find ways to live a simple life right where I am. I know there are books and blogs galore on this topic, so I won't be short on ideas. I just have to go for it...

I have wondered this world far and wide
I've been all around to the other side
But there's nothin' like comin' home
Nothin' like comin' home

I wanna sit on my front porch and drink my lemonade
Cut my grass after church every Sunday
And go out on Saturday night
Live the simple life
Wake up in the morning to these fields of gold
And take a long walk down a gravel road

Spend my days in the sweet sunshine
Rock in my swing and watch my garden grow
Know that I'll always have someone to hold
Oh I-I-I wanna live the simple life

I wanna take a blanket down to the creek
And let the water sing me to sleep
Let go of time
Live the simple life
Lately I've seen too many city lights
I wanna go somewhere where I can see the stars at night

Spend my days in the sweet sunshine
Rock in my swing and watch my garden grow
Know that I'll always have someone to hold
Oh I-I-I wanna live the simple life

Do you have any desire to live the simple life?


Rachel said...

That is my biggest desire. It's why we live in a "too small" house, and why I'm constantly getting rid of stuff. I'm happy with simple. I love my clothes on the line, my used [paid off!] car, and my garden. I think if everyone slowed down a little, we'd all enjoy life much more.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

This really touched a cord! Simple is better. When people lived the 'simple' (IE 'Family') life, we had less crime. Less want. Less delinquency. Thank you so much for sharing. (And I have been to Amish country, too. I LOVED their shops of handmade items!)

Sadie VK said...

I love the Amish!! The summer after 8th grade, my best friend and I revamped an empty chicken coop at my parents' house and turned it into our Amish home. We spent all summer dressed like the Amish, not using electricity, hand washing our laundry, etc. (Ok - not all summer. We did 24 hours with no electricity - couldn't make it longer than that.) Beverly Lewis largely inspired us. :-)

Kelly @ View along the way said...

Yes! It would be so nice to live like that. How did Abby do on the road trip?

Carrie Roer said...

Kelly, Abby actually did very well considering it was the longest car trip we've taken since she was an infant and slept the whole time! She freaked out about 2 hours into the trip down, so we stopped and I sat in the backseat with her the rest of the way (I'd been driving). Then she slept all but the last 1/2 hour on the way home. :)

Urban Earthworm said...

I occasionally fantasize about the same thing. I can see some real and true benefits to it. But, of course, I'd never be able to pull it off.

We got some Amish chicken while we were in MI last week . . .

Maybe one day I'll get a lot closer, but for now the career is just too crazy.

Alia said...

Ooooh! Yes, how I long to live the simple life!
I came across your website on the SITS Forum Thread 'Let the Following Begin'.
I am now following you.
Do visit my blog too and follow it.
Keep the 'Sistahood' alive!


Modern Mommy said...

I totally agree! when I was a teenager, I lived in the "Heart of Amish Country" anywhere, Lancaster PA. It was one of the most peaceful places to coexist. I saw a Plain (amish) and Muslim woman shopping in walmart together..following from blog hop, follow me back, please:

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