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Living Simple During Simpler Times

Updated on April 11, 2013

LET’S GO BACK IN TIME


I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
Lao Tzu

A picture and a thousand words….literally! Join me as I use pictures of the magnificent Rutledge Farm in telling a story of a simpler time here on Earth. What I am about to tell you may sound foreign to you. In fact, you might think it is impossible that such a place once existed. In today’s world of modern conveniences, technological advancements and rush, rush, rush, it might be hard to grasp the following tale, but I swear it is all true. It is a tale of how our ancestors once lived. Perhaps by telling the tale we can gain a new appreciation for a lifestyle that has been forgotten but will never be outdated.

The Rutledge barn
The Rutledge barn | Source
Incredible craftsmanship
Incredible craftsmanship | Source
Another era
Another era | Source

COME TOGETHER


The barn and farmhouse were built in 1853. Washington was a fledgling territory at that time, and citizens were few and far between, often separated by a mile or more of streams, hills and unbroken forest.

Building a barn back then was a community project. Word would spread that there was going to be a barn-raising, in the tradition of the “old days,” and neighbors from near and far would congregate on a pre-arranged day and build the structure. They used what they had to do the job. Tools that were carried over the Oregon Trail; trees felled on the property, tall Douglas Fir so plentiful as to seem endless; wooden pegs to fasten the boards together in lieu of nails which were scarce.

A barn this size would take days to build no matter how many neighbors pitched in to help. As tall as a three-story building and easily 150 feet in length, the barn had to be big enough to house a winter’s hay and other miscellaneous farm implements. Ladders were built to handle the tall work, and men scrambled from beam to beam securing the cross-sections so it would stand tall and strong throughout many a Washington winter.

They ate together during the building of the barn, and oftentimes slept under the stars until the job was completed, and then one by one they would gather their tools, hop up on the wagon seat, and urge their horses back down the path that led to their farms. There they would work their own farms until the call was raised to help another neighbor.

To help another neighbor…..these pioneers sensed that they were all in it together. Taming a wild country required teamwork. To lose at that game meant death. To succeed meant survival and another day of sunrise, work till dusk and a hard sleep.

The original farmhouse
The original farmhouse | Source

PRIORITIES


The farmhouse came later. During the early years the farm family lived in what could generously be described as a cabin. The barn was built first because the barn was necessary. Need vs want was a doctrine that was required in this tough country, and the barn was the working hub of this farm. The farmhouse was a luxury that would be built when time allowed.

So slowly it took shape, One room was framed, and then another, the family room and kitchen in that order, and later the bedrooms, study and pantry followed. Water was of course needed, so a ditch was dug from a stream a half-mile away, and water then flowed to the new home and farmland. Rocks the size of wagon wheels were dug from the earth and used to make stone walls, and constantly the sound of falling trees was heard as the forest was changed into farmland.

After a decade of labor it was a working farm with all the “modern” conveniences. A town sprung up five miles out, and postal delivery came intermittently, and neighbors multiplied as the territory approached statehood.

A COMMUNITY GROWS TOGETHER


There is something about working together and ensuring each other’s survival that forms a bond among men and women. These were people who wanted nothing more than a simple life. They had fled the crowded cities and the madness of the east coast in hopes of finding a new beginning, and here is where they made their claim and bet it all.

They looked out for each other. They partied together, celebrated holidays together and respected each other, and in so doing they formed a bond that would get them through the tough times to come.

There was, in short, a feeling of community. National politics meant very little to these folks. Statehood or no statehood, that debate held little interest for them. They seemed to sense, innately, that they were only as strong as their weakest link. Nobody was left behind and everyone shared in the bounty of harvest time. When the fierce winter winds blew they all kept a vigilant eye, making sure that a straggler had not fallen by the wayside, and if one had they all mourned together.

Yes, it was a community.

The wolves are always out there
The wolves are always out there

AND WHEN THE WOLVES PROWLED AT NIGHT


The yellow orbs looked from the fringe of the woods at night, and the howl was mournful and frightening, one and the same, and the neighbors would sit around a campfire and reassure each other, with their presence, that all was alright.

When trouble came a’callin, no matter its shape or size, there the community was, backing each other, providing strength and courage. This was a tough area and it had broken many a pilgrim, but it did not break the Rutledge clan and others like them.

TODAY IN A CHANGING WORLD


I see a revolution happening. Do you see it?

I see more and more people returning to some old, but not forgotten, principles of community. I see neighbors looking out for each other. I see community gardens growing where residents work together with a common goal. I see an increasing number of people who are becoming involved in the area that they live, starting projects for the benefit of all.

I see the Rutledge legacy passed down to a new generation of socially active human beings who want what the Rutledge family once had.

Are you a part of it? Have you finally said “ENOUGH” and decided to slow things down a bit and get back to basics? Does that sound good to you?

Learning from a chicken farmer
Learning from a chicken farmer | Source

Thoughts on Simplicity

A CHICKEN FARMER REFLECTS THE SIMPLE LIFE


We took a road trip this weekend to a chicken farm about thirty miles from our home. Our goal was to pick up six chicks so we can raise them and have fresh eggs each morning. We ended up buying nine, which is three more than we are allowed in our neighborhood but oh well.

We achieved what we set out for, but in the process we met a wonderfully kind man who taught us a lesson or two about life. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He came back from that war with PTSD, and he has struggled over the years. His wife died twenty years ago and then the struggles became demons and he was on a downward spiral with No Hope the next destination.

That was when he bought his eleven acres and decided to raise chickens as a hobby; something to take his mind away from the demons and focused on living rather than dying.

He now has a working farm with hundreds of chickens, four cows, some goats and some geese. He told us that his son and family help him when they can, and neighbors stop by to lend a hand, and all of them share in the labor and share in the rewards. He has found peace on that farm, and just talking with him filled me with peace and hope for the future.

I want what he has. I want what the Rutledge family had. No, I am not talking about farms, although I would be quite happy living on a small farm. I am talking, rather, about a lifestyle where people help people. I am talking about being in control of my own financial future, and relying on my labor and ingenuity to make it happen. I am talking about living in a community of like-minded people who have my back as I have theirs.

I am talking about Living Simple!

Simplicity….patience….compassion…..according to Lao Tzu, the greatest of treasures. I will add a fourth….do all things with love as you live a simple life.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I am of the belief that it can be that way again, and it's up to us to show the way. Thank you my friend. Keep being you and the simpler movement will carry on through your actions.

      love and hugs from Oly

      bill

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... I recall the day when people simply dropped in to say hello and if there was work to be done it was done and the visiting carried on just the same. A time when kids could be kids and a time when there was a need the community gathered and helped. Hard working and yet so simple... very well written and loved what you have here...

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, the chickens say hello from Olympia and they are growing like weeds. Life is good my friend and it got that way the day I quit the rat race. :) Thank you as always.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      The simpler life is most attractive and one that entices me. We lived this as children growin up in the midwest, everything was natural and home-made or home-grown. It doesn't get better than that, dear friend. Enjoy those chickens!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I fought that battle with my son for years. Now he is 28 and understands quite well the concept of need vs want. He has no other choice but to live simple. :) Thank you for all the attention this week. I appreciate it greatly.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      My daughter needs to study this hub. As a 10 year old she is having a hard time understanding need vs. want lately. Let's hope she figures it out soon. It's amazing what kids think they need these days.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary and yes, we always do agree on this topic. The chickens are growing rapidly and will be outside in a couple more weeks, as soon as the weather warms up a bit more. Thanks for stopping by my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, to act justly and to love mercy...now there are some words to live by. Thank you for sharing that with us, and blessings to you and Greg my friend.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      You and I always agree on living simpler, more frugal lives.

      I'd like to stop back in time to that time I was growing up, but sadly, that is impossible. Now I have to live in the present world, I'm afraid.

      Hope your chickens are growing well. Soon, you will have fresh eggs!

      Voted UP, etc.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      This article moved me in time when I started to construct this house, the home for my kids. We the people that have grown old, may understand and see what you have exposed here. It is really a good feeling to know that "hope" for the future generation is being seen.

      The Bible says in Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

      Very nice words my dear friend Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you said it much more eloquently than I did. Serving the money master can never lead to true happiness. Why is that so hard for some to understand?

      Thank you as always.

      love and blessings,

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Living simple sets us free, as we cannot serve two masters (one being money), for we will become a slave to the money and never truly be set free! It is up to parents to teach our children about kindness by demonstrating such in our own lives.

      Great hub! Voted up +++ and sharing

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, we can only hope, right, and be a model for that kind of behavior.

      Thank you my friend.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Let's hope kindness will really come into fashion and be a continuing trend. Well said!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, you will always be brilliant in my eyes. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      No, no, I must confess. I used a currency converter.

      I'm still brilliant though. ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sadika, simpler really is better, and I actually think it helps our health as well. Congratulations on graduating from college and best wishes on your future.

    • Sadika Alloush profile image

      Sadika Alloush 4 years ago from Baja, California

      I came across this hub, and your are totally right. I just graduated from college and I did not realize that a simplier life is better. It is a great feeling to live a simplier life. There is so much that a person can do to make their life better.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, did you convert that in your head? If so you are brilliant. :) We'll put the tea on to boil and it will be ready when you get here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, that was a great analogy. Thank you for sharing that and I agree, we need to bloom and experience the wondrous colors of our writing.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Brilliant! Now all we have to do is save up £5,000 ($7672) and hubby and I will be right over. :)

      All kidding aside, I really would love to visit and see your little slice of paradise.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Billy,

      you share very inspiring story in this hub. Perhaps we should learn how to cope hard times from plants. Plants become dormant in winter and bloom in spring.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, that is good to hear my friend because that's where I'll be in two years. :) As always, thank you Sir!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      As inspiring as ever. I have lived on a chicken farm for years with the barest of things and a far simpler life. I'll vouch for the peace of mind a simple life offers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Coffee, I hope you realize your dream in the near future. In two years we will move to a small farm and then my dream will be a reality. :) Thank you!

    • Coffeeatdawn profile image

      MB 4 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Billy, this reminds me so much of my grandmother's farm where I spent most of my childhood. Family and friends would always say that I am an "old soul" because I always relive those memories. For me "That is the Life!". I myself am working towards the goal of retiring in a farm, then that would complete my circle. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, I love the simple philosophy and the feeling of community. I am still seeking it in today's world but I'm getting closer to finding it.

      Good luck with those chickens when you get them. Right now ours are cute, but soon they will just be eating machines that give us fertilizer. LOL

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Love this philosophy, Bill. "Nobody was left behind and everyone shared in the bounty of harvest time. When the fierce winter winds blew they all kept a vigilant eye, making sure that a straggler had not fallen by the wayside, and if one had they all mourned together." The way it is meant to be. Now I want to go and get some chickens to raise.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      souleclipse, you are very welcome. Thank you and I love your hub name.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill and yes, it would be great to see society do a complete circle. We can only hope, right?

      The chickens are a kick in the butt. They are growing like weeds and will soon be outside on their own.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wonderful hub Bill. Wouldn't it be great to have society go full circle and return to the day when everyone helped out and pitched in. I do see this starting and I hope it continues and multiples.

      You will love raising chickens. My sister has a dozen and they are now like her pets, all with names. The fresh eggs are great. Enjoy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Koralee, thanks for the great comment. I have lived in communities like the one you described and it is a fantastic experience, one I hope to return to in two years.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      debj, leave me out, too. There is no way I'm living without electricity, heat or facilities. LOL That is not my idea of Living Simple at all.

      Thanks for stopping by my friend. I hope you are well and happy.

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 4 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      Great hub! You took me back in time to my childhood. I grew up in a farming community of 100 people (I lived in town, not on a farm), and everyone did help each other out. When a farm hand lost both of his arms in a combining accident, the whole town chipped in to help his family out, with everthing from meals to shopping to donating money and other things they needed.

      I can see the trend of people wanting to return to that lifestyle. I'm thankful that I grew up in that atmosphere because I alway try to keep things simple, no matter where I am in the world.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Living simple and being part of a caring community has a lot to say for it, Bill. But accompanied by no running water, no electricity, no heat, no indoor facilities? No way. That's too simple for me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, that is interesting about your subdivision. I have never lived in one so I was fascinated that you rarely see your neighbors. What a shame that is. I have fond memories of a neighborhood that interacted and was always helpful. Maybe some day I'll return to that way of life. :)

      Thank you Barbara!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, your comment to learn from what was the best of the good old days is right on. Sure there were some bad things associated with those times, but the sense of community and not belonging to the rat race...those concepts will never go out of style as long as I am around to write about them. :) Thanks as always, Jo!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ruby! My main goal in this article was to stress the importance of community. I think it is missing in a great many places and I think it is so important that it be found again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, we are leaning in a similar direction in two years but most definitely we will have running water, heat and two-ply toilet paper. :)

      Seriously, it has been a dream of mine for some time, to sit on the front porch and watch the critters in the yard, and say howdy to the neighbors as they pass by. If it is a dream then it can become a reality, right?

      Thanks for a great flashback my friend.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      The simpler life would be so much better. We live in a subdivision where you never even see most of the neighbors. They just don't seem to do anything but go to work. I mean honestly even see them. There are 50 houses here, so it is almost a community. When we take walks, we get to talk to all the dog walkers and we know the neighbors that live close. I think it is a shame that life is like that now.

      You wrote a nice memory from the past. I still remember when life was close to being like that.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, this is heart-warming and beautiful. Funny how hardship and adversity tends to bring us closer together as a community. It seem the wealthier and more self-sufficient we become, the less humane and isolated the life we live. It would be something, if we could learn from what was best about the good old days. Those who embrace the simple life, through choice or necessity does appear to be happier, I think we are all so darn tired of the rat race, getting back to nature and the simple life is a wonderful dream.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, you can have the pick of the new hatch. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is simply wonderful! I would love to live the life of a farmer in a community where everyone loved and shared. I envy their life. I hear people say that the pioneers life was too hard, i know it was but the happiness was genuine. Your writing gives me a new perspective in living the simple life and doing more in my community..Thank you Bill..

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you kindly for the offer, Bill. It sounds like it would be an awfully fun adventure. Just answer me this: Can I have a chicken?

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Billybuc, my friend, the first thing I did was to vote you up and awesome! You make me want to cry for my childhood when Mama and I lived with Grandma and Grandpa. Daddy was away at war in the Pacific.

      There were three houses on our farm, all occupied by family, and the neighbors were close. My grandparents lived in a 125-year-old log house with electricity but no running water. Oh, the memories of cold feet running down the front porch to the bedroom Mama and I shared. There was no inside entrance to our room, and it had a chamber pot so we didn’t have to go out in the cold at night. The water was drawn from one of three wells and in the daytime, we did our business in the outhouse that was well-stock with Sears Roebuck catalogs. And oh, the animals, the milk cows, baby calves, chickens, pigs, and grandma’s old plowing mule named Jude.

      Mr. B and I are still considering buying some rural property when I retire. We long for the sense of family and community that we had when we were children. But we agree that our return to the good old days will have to be tempered with running water and central heat, hopefully powered by solar panels and wind generation.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, you can come and live with us in our community in two years. I have a vision and I'm working towards it. You will always be welcome to live on our commune. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      livingsta, thank you my young friend. Simple is beautiful...how very true. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jcressler, you make a great point. Organic before it was popular...I love that. I agree totally that cancer goes hand in hand with modern farming techniques. Thanks for your excellent comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      INFJay....yes, there are tough periods for sure, but we still learn lessons even from those tough times. I want to always learn, from the good and the bad....that, I believe, shows growth. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love the image you've conjured. A real community where no one is left behind. I've been searching for such a place for so long. I don't think I'll ever find it but I keep searching nonetheless.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful writing here Bill. Yes as they say simple is beautiful! It is peaceful when you lead a simple life. I liked that story of the veteran that you have shared, it made me smile.

      Thank you for sharing this with us.

      Votes up and sharing!

    • jcressler profile image

      James E Cressler 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I was raised up in the tail end of the simpler times in western Colorado. Life had a much slower pace and we raised our own livestock for meat, eggs and milk. My dad and grandfather didn't trust anything from a supermarket. We were organic before the term came into existance. Is it a coincidence that not one member of my family tree has died from cancer? I think not.

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 4 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      I enjoyed reading your hub, which is loaded with lessons for appreciating life and making the best of it. When I look back at earlier times, I do so with great fondness even though I remember at the time it was a very difficult period. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the return, DJ! Your description of the harshness of life back then was right on. I have heard stories until my head wants to explode of how difficult it was, and I am amazed that they were able to endure and stay sane. I am beginning to think that every citizen in this country should be required to live like our grandparents for one week....just a little reality check so they can appreciate life a bit more. :)

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Bill, I guess I got carried away. Not good memories when I think back.

      I do like your ideas of community spirit and people watching out for each other.

      People seem to get caught up with getting the latest and greatest. You are right.

      Our truth and worth should not get mixed up with possessions and greed.

      I get it....People should be our priority, not possessions.

      Thanks, Bill.

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, it does seem that way, doesn't it. I think we tend to complicate thing without even knowing that we are doing it. I know I am aware of myself doing that and I am constantly trying to slow myself down and smell the roses. :)

      Thank you as always for the visit.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      The world gets more and more complicated everyday, with there having to be forms for everything and the such. Things that should be so simple to follow, end up being the most complicated thing in your life. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I have no desire to step back that far in time. The Simple Life, as I have been writing about it, refers to a community spirit, of people watching out for each other. It refers to realizing that there are more thing important in life than possessions and greed. It is a state of mind rather than a physical deprivation. :)

      Thanks for some great memories of the hard times. My grandparents knew all about tough times on the farm during the Great Depression, a farm they lost and a memory that haunted them for the rest of their lives. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, the hope will never die as long as you and I keep it alive. Never underestimate the power of a small group of determined people. :) I'll walk into battle with you by my side any old day my young Dunedin Warrior.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheri, there you go. Although I really do appreciate running water, I understand what you are saying. You are just an old-fashioned girl, aren't you? Thank you for your memory.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elias, nicely stated, and I think those things too. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Victoria. It's nice to see you here at my site.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, let us hope that indeed. I see it starting...and I so want to see a tidal wave of it soon.

      I hope you are well my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Prettynutjob, some of us are doing that, and life has never been better. I hope you will be able to do so, too, in the near future. Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, all we need is the acreage, and we will have that in two years. I am so looking forward to it.

      Thank you as always. You know how much I appreciate you, right?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I don't think I have ever had my writing described as a car wreck. LOL I'll take that as a compliment in a very strange way. Take it one day at a time my friend, and sooner or later you will be able to shake off the billybuc curse.

      Thank you my simple living friend.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      I don't know about the simpler life. I remember my grandparent's farm. Life was grueling for them and it took their health. They were poor, but did not realize it. I remember when they got electricity. One light for each of their four rooms. No indoor bathroom....No TV, one radio, no phone.

      On winter nights they slept in the beds that were in the big family room.

      The only heat was from the coal burning fireplace. My grandfather

      would have to get up during the night to add more coal to the fire.

      A fried chicken dinner started with ringing the neck of the slowest chicken and plucking the feathers.

      Come fall, I remember the screaming of the pigs.

      No, Bill, I do not want to go back to simpler days. I have been there

      and it is not pretty. It is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

      The screens are patched with thread to keep the mosquitoes from

      getting in and making life more miserable. The only books to read were "The Farmer's Almanac" and the Holy Bible. No Board games, no card games.

      The idea of a simpler life sounds charming. It is charming if we get to pick the 'simpler ways' that we want, and we are still close enough to

      a Jiffy Mart if we need milk or bread.

      Bill, I admire you for taking a step back in time. I admire that you

      want something more meaningful. I truly believe that you and Bev will enjoy some of the simpler ways. And, for those who can take a step back in time, it can be an experience worth the effort.

      But, let us never forget the hardships of our grandparents.

      Let us never forget the harsh living that they had to endure.

      It was not "The Little House On The Prairie".

      DJ.

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      It's always so inspiring to hear stories like those of your veteran farmer. He has many things to be sad and depressed about, but he chooses to live rather than merely exist. I'm also inspired by those who demonstrate how a little simple self-sacrifice reaps unimaginable rewards, like the teacher in that video about the garden walls. Just amazing! I'm still reeling over that one. Thanks for keeping the hope alive, my friend!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Beautiful. Reminds me of much of my childhood on a farm in Northern BC. We had no running water and heated the house with an old wood stove. But we had commuinty with all the everyone helping each other out. Thanks Bill

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Great post, when I think simplicity I always think of a life that goes more smoothly, I think of a life full of wisdom :)

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 4 years ago from Georgia

      Great topic!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"....let us hope the time has again come and the purpose of community hits home like this great hub!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Wonderful hub, voted up, more and shared. If we would just go back to the simple way of doing things, life would be a whole lot less complicated.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Absolutely beautiful Bill and have no doubt you will have this life someday in the very near future, because you are already doing so much to get to this point. Thanks for sharing and you know I have voted way up and shared all over as always!!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I tried not to read it, but it is like a car wreck, I just have to slow down and look. You see my life is real simple and it worries my wife. Is there a support/twelve step group to help me with this Billybuc addiction?

      I actually spent my summers on our land where we and our neighbors built first a cabin and then Grandpa and Dad built a house. Sweet memories.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Thunder...living in a small village would be nice. I will write a hub about the chicken adventure in a few weeks. I could definitely live on a farm and do this animal thing daily. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I see it too, and it does my heart good. Maybe if we live long enough we will see a great many people getting back to basics, and we will see more love in the world. That is my hope.

      love,

      bill

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      Beautiful hub bb, and a reminder that not that long ago we understood what was important and that relying on each other was not a weakness but a strength. It sounds like a slice of heaven to me. I am lucky enough to live in a village where everyone knows everyone and someone will always have your back. It's a great place to raise children, but I still crave a simpler lifestyle. Chicken sound wonderful, please keep us posted on your progress with them, I'd love to hear about it.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, simplicity and kindness are finally coming back into fashion. At least, that's what I see. I know so many people who have recently stepped out of the rat race to slow down, stopping to smell the roses along the way.

      If we can't achieve peace in the world, at least we can achieve peace of mind and peace in our hearts.

      I love your story. And your chicks. How cool!