Pure and Simple

We are located in Harris County, Georgia. Josh is stationed at Ft. Benning, and we live about half an hour north of Post (and a mile from the Chattahoochee River) on three acres. We have chickens, guinea fowl, turkeys and ducks. Soon we’ll have dairy goats. We also have a small organic garden. Of course, simple living is less about what you have and more about what you do with what you have. We spend a lot of our time trying to figure out ways to cut costs by making things ourselves and then putting those plans into action. This means that we are often rendering fat to make soap, building with recycled wood, and other strange activities. We are delighted to represent our corner of the deep south. We’d like to begin with something Lacy wrote back in April.

In the name of all things good and holy, where did our time and money go?

How often have I asked that very question?

Choosing a simplified life does not lengthen the day or make the world instantly bend your way. In fact, as we contemplate why the government doesn’t allow private citizens to install their own solar-energy system and fails to regulate the excessive installation fees … we feel the ugly shadow of discouragement creep over us. Then our bank account fails to produce the necessary funds to support our other inspired ideas or the tools to complete a project. Unfailingly, it is in these moments that we are reminded that our choice to pursue this lifestyle is morally on target. We are then given the chance to see the rewards of our labors and the lighter side of life…

A few months ago, I was busily researching how to convert a broken refrigerator into a large incubator for eggs because I have grand ideas of hatching eggs and selling chicks without spending a ghastly amount of money on an industrial incubator. As I scribbled notes on using bathroom fans near the thermostat and the joys of tilting trays, I heard Josh walking very quickly through the house and peeked just in time to see him step out on the front porch with a gun. He told me later that he had a sixth-sense moment so he grabbed his gun like a good soldier and went to save the day. I stalked him with camera in hand, hoping for action.

The simple life just went from frustrating to exciting. Three of our guineas were running in circles, sometimes running smack into each other — like heated up atoms. Josh raced ahead to the fence in the front lot. He stopped and took aim. It was then that I saw the flash of movement through the fence coming from our yard. Josh lowered his rifle but remained on alert.

The guineas raced past Josh, and he followed them. I carefully tiptoed along behind the group making as much noise as was humanly possible. Josh bent down. I prayed silently: “Oh no. Please, God, not more death!” The guineas were making horrible sounds. I glanced over in time to see the fourth guinea race over to join the group. Josh waved me over to see.

Sixteen guinea eggs had been guarded by mother guinea against a creeping fox who managed to avoid Josh’s expert superhuman sniper powers by aligning him/herself with the neighbor’s propane tank.

Suddenly all the red tape, lack of funds, and bureaucratic baloney all vanished … the only thing

in the world was my wonderful husband holding my hand as we stood over a nest of potential life. We were in awe of the boldness & bravery of our little guinea hen who protected her nest from a daunting predator. Fearless in the face of overwhelming odds, she held her ground until the fox was long gone.

This is what choosing the simple life does to you: The very moment you doubt your purpose or consider the obstacles insurmountable, some extraordinary force reins you back in. You find yourself centered and motivated. Suddenly the sacrifices seem minor and of little consequence. Making homemade soap, clothing and bread; gardening and canning; keeping poultry and collecting eggs; knitting, spinning, quilting and darning socks; and all the million-and-one ways of simplifying life are not only worthwhile — they are vital, renewable energy for the soul.

Please visit the Razor Family Farms Web site.

Published on Jul 30, 2008

Grit Magazine

Live The Good Life with GRIT!