13 July 2007

Our home

I wonder sometimes why our paths lead us to this simple way of living. None of my friends live as we do, neither do any family members, although both our sons don’t have cars for purely environmental reasons and one is an organic gardener. But here we are living a kind of ideal life that has made us more relaxed and happy than we’ve ever been while the others are still off shopping, playing bowls or bingo or travelling around the country with a rolling sea of grey nomads. Strange.

There are days when it suddenly hits me that we don’t work for a living now. That whatever we decide to do on a particular day is what we’ll do, with no input from a boss or a looming deadline that requires us to do something else. Our days are spent in the garden and the house, listening to the sounds of a quiet home. We hear birds, and now know some of those birds live here with us. It never hit me before that while I think of this land as “ours” there are a few families of birds, some snakes and lizards, who, while they don’t spend all their lives here, spend a significant portion of it here and regard “our home” as their home too. It’s a nice feeling to be part of the natural world, to have birds you know by sight sit near you when you’re in the garden.

Our days are punctuated by meals and tea breaks, with chores and rest served in between in equal portions. Although we’ve never actually divided up the work that needs to be done, we’ve naturally fallen into doing what suits us best. It doesn’t seem like work, it feels like just making things comfortable for ourselves.

And we’re easy on each other now. We never argue, it’s all relaxed and effortless. I’m not sure if that’s come with age or if it’s because we live well with very little stress. Maybe it’s a bit of both, whatever it is, it allows us both to do what we feel like doing without the unspoken disapproval of the other. I haven’t seen “THE Look” for a dozen months. 

I go to work at my voluntary job two days a week and that really suits us because we need time apart too. Working where I do gives me a feeling of being in the right place, and when I come home each night, I feel satisfied, tired and grateful that I am accepted by the homeless and the disadvantaged as well as the business leaders and local government officials who are able to make life easier for my people. 

H has just called me for morning tea. He’s been quietly making tea and pikelets and the aroma here now is something special. We never say to each other that this is the good life, but I often think it. I wonder if he does too. I must ask him while we sit in the sun and sip our tea.


  1. Hi

    I've just dropped by from Kate's Our Red House.

    It's really nice to read about someone's happiness in their blog, and to see what there is to look forward to, and maybe appreciate already in my own life. I work and often feel like I'm being yanked between work and family (and the gardening and caring and cooking that entails). But within the time crunch there's still a lot of loveliness. THanks for reminding me of that.

  2. Hi Rhonda

    Just a little note to say I love reading your blog and hearing about your life.

    warm regards

    PS, its round 2 for the sourdough today!

  3. Oh my, you brought tears to my eyes Rhonda. What a beautiful post. I'm really struggling at the moment with being "different" to those around me (was just blogging about that myself on my blog). I'm trying hard to be true to myself and follow my heart but some days it's harder than others. How do you deal with that or is it not really an issue for you? We're not quite at your stage in life but we're trying at the moment to find a more balanced approach to our lives - less work, less money, less stress, more time together and with our children. I am thoroughly enjoying it (although the less money won't actually hit us until next year so we'll have to see how we cope with that side of things) and would love to continue in this manner. I'm just not all that confident when it comes to being "different" to those around us.
    P.S. The seeds arrived - thank you soooo much!!!! :-)

  4. thanks for sharing about how happy and relaxed both you and your husband are at this "more simplified" time in your lives :)

  5. Thank you for that lovely personal insight into your life.
    I think one of the things that ails society today is that we have forgotten how to just 'BE" and are always 'doing'.We strive towards some unseen, unattainable goal of which I'm sure to many is quite undefinable.
    Allowing ourselves to slow down and notice the seasons and our surroundings nourishes the soul and reconnects us with nature.
    I often think that that over the years women have been sold a line that says 'you can have it all' when all we really need is 'enough'. Cheers, Michelle.

  6. What a great post! Our lives are really different right now, I'm still in that hectic toddler stage, but I find that happiness too on a daily basis. It comes from being unplugged from the mainstream. Living simpler, quieter and happier lives. Difference is, I still get "THE Look" on a regular basis!! :)

  7. Oh Rhonda, thank you for posting that. As I read your post, one thing really stood out for me. That both of you have embraced the simpler life in all its aspects. You sound so together and have found a deep peace not just in your lifestyle but also with each other.

    How beautiful.

  8. Welcome kris, I hope you return.

    Duckie, thank you. Let me know who wins the sourdough battle.

    Lightening, don't struggle. You are what you are. Most people will accept that if you do. I hope you get a good harvest from the seeds. Take care.

    Ali and Shula, it's a pleasure to be blogging with such great readers.

    Michelle, no one can have it all. That's a lie we've all been sold. You are so right about slowing down and reconnecting.

    Farm Mom, cherish your toddler time, although it seems to drag on, it's over in the blink of an eye. I hope you give THE Look back. LOL

    Eilleen, I wondered how H would cope when he first left work, but he loves our freedom and how we live each day. We are closer now than we've ever been. It's a wonderful feeling.

  9. I would say that you HAVE indeed reached the good life. Your description was fabulous. I always love reading what you have to say and look forward to trying to peek in on you each day to see what you are up to. Sometimes I'm not sure how I feel about technology but it's nice to feel connected to people that are clear on the "other" side of the world.

  10. Hello,
    We are toward a simple life too. I have enjoyed your blog.My dh retires in 5 years. We are counting down the days. This next year we are downsizing our home.
    I have enjoyed my time here.

  11. I have enjoyed your blog. I saw our link on eyesofwonder,(jewels) blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  12. So lovely. It's wonderful to read about people living the life I aspire to. I can see things changing when both my children are at school (another 1 1/2 years) and most of my stay at home mum friends go back to work. I don't plan to! My husband is 38 and I'm 40 and we have 2 children, which I look after full-time. A couple of years ago he quit his high-pressure, long hours, crazy boss job to start his own business with a partner. Now he pops home whenever he pleases, can do the school run for me when I can't, he's always done a lot of the cooking, he plays golf twice a week, and most importantly, he WHISTLES (which means he's happy). I know people who think he doesn't work hard enough (since when does working long hours equal increased productivity?) and plays too much golf, but it suits us just fine.

  13. I was interested to learn that you live with snakes, I am assuming they are poisonous?

    We bought a house last year, a cheaper one to be debt free. We haven't moved their yet, doing building work etc. At one point there was a snake in the house, and then another in the yard.

    It is a very quiet place, two blocks, great for chickens, but can't decide what to do.

  14. Your words are some of the most inspiring that I have ever read. Thank you, Rhonda Jean.


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