One of many (thoughts)

I mentioned an hour ago, my mind is a tangled up mass of  thoughts.  There’s a song in my heart so the tangled up knot is not stress related. (For which I’m thankful) 🙂

Thirty minutes later, I was out in the orchard picking up branches.  My mind went to a comment I’d left on a Dave Ramsey facebook group this morning.  (Dave Ramsey in case you’ve never heard of him is a money management, get out of debt author and speaker)

Someone on the group asked the question:

 Where would you love to retire?


Out of the 82 people who answered, only one person mentioned they loved where they currently lived, wouldn’t mind being able to go somewhere warm in the winter, but 81 of them  said something other than where they were.

While I rarely leave comments on an open forum (except with those of you I know via blogging, I decided to say something….

“Two thoughts.

Love what I’m doing, (I’m a carpenter) as my dad was fond of saying “retirement” is not a word in my vocabulary, so plan do keep doing some variation of that as long as I’m physically able.

Secondly. Love where we live. Plan to stay right where I’m at, as long as I have any say in the matter.

Years ago, when my life was spinning out of control with too many commitments,  small children, work, financial know, the normal every day, stuff all of us deal with, I remember wishing things were different.  I remember saying to someone, “Peace and contentment are entirely under rated.” 

What I wouldn’t give for a more peace filled life.

Here’s a picture I’ve shared before from that season in my life… I taped it to the wall to remind me business does not automatically equal progress:

When I read later about  Henry David Thoreau  tromping off to the woods to live on Walden’s pond, I remember thinking to myself,  why did he only stay there the better part of two years?  Why not stay there long term?  I made up my mind at that point, to do just that…create my own version of Walden.  I hate water, so I didn’t need a pond 🙂  (I can’t swim, don’t have the patience to fish, plus with standing water you have to deal with mosquitoes).

And so, since  1995 I have been slowly moving in the direction of a life that I don’t need to take a vacation from. Here’s what it looked like in 1995:

…an old run down acreage with a set of 100-year-old farm buildings. Curb appeal it did not have. The house and out buildings hadn’t been painted in 50 years. Nothing appealing except that it was 4 miles from town, and the foundation on the house was still solid.

I  have been  slowly  carving out my own version of Walden here ever since….Laying hens, apple trees, honey bees, lots of flowers,  garden beds, a dog, no TV, lots of books to read.

My vision of Walden  would probably looks different from yours.

But I would suspect it would be built on the same foundation stone.

The stone of living life intentionally.

Talk to me about living life intentionally. What does that mean to you?

It is never to late to start.

Take care. DM


19 thoughts on “One of many (thoughts)

  1. A happy man content with his lot? Wow.

    I don’t think life will ever see me settled.
    Too long living from a kitbag does that.
    That and the knowledge that grass is always different over a hill.
    Not always better, although it might be.
    And that always drives me to GO SEE!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post brought up so many thoughts for me. We had the acre, the peach trees, the patio, the garden. I thought I could grow old there…and then I knew we couldn’t. The roof was going to need replacing, the deck was falling down. Ben had to work full-time plus maintain the house and acre. He was tired and wasn’t as invested in the property as you are to your yours. It was the wheel you described.

    Now we are downsizing our storage from 10×15 to 10×10. Not a very big space to contain all we own plus what’s in the truck and trailer. I’m looking at the last of my mom’s furniture. Conflicted feelings. Some say, “get rid of it all. You’ll feel so free.” But the drawer in my mom’s dresser still smells like her perfume. The hutch went wherever she moved for most of her life with the great grandmother antique dishes displayed. Now they are in boxes and I’m a vagabond. Trade offs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Big hug to you Martha. Was thinking about you two earlier this week. Absolutely don’t part with that dresser. There is something powerful and grounding (to me) when you mention those smells. I experience it when I smell freshly turned dirt in the spring, or curing hay. Takes me right back to my roots.


  3. Hmm, right now we are in our early 50s and still have a houseful of kids to support on a salary from the ’90s. We are thankful for the blessing of a home in the country, but it can be frustrating not having the money to do much with it. Neither of us seem to be good at ‘side hustles’. It is what it is and I’m just gonna be glad it’s not worse! I know there must be a better way, a way out of this debt and barely making ends meet, but at least we have a home, food, good health, and each other. And hiking is reasonably cheap. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have much in common…..raised a house full of kids ourselves on one blue collar income (and just like you, knew the frustration of not being able to do much with it, other than survive. Side hustle sounds good, but a person needs to have something left over @ the end of the day, for the kids and our mates….. so no side hustle here either 🙂 You are bless! (have a home, food, good health and each other, plus you know the Lord of all creation, which puts everything else into perspective. Until about 2014, we were living check to check, and slowly sinking…stumbled across the book by mary hunt with no change in our income we began to create some breathing room financially..I actually loved that book more than the Dave Ramsey stuff. Good to hear from you. DM

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to be honest, books like that scare me. We are already living without many things that others take for granted, so I hate to read books that tell me to give up more things. Do you mind sharing the gist of her method? I already do things like balance transfers to save interest on credit cards, get the cheapest of everything, buy stuff that I absolutely need at the lowest possible price. 🙂 I don’t like shopping. We have old furniture, old cars, old clothes. Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Her book gave me hope. I am self employed, our income can fluctuate as much as a 1/3 from year to year and in spite of our frugal lifestyle, the financial pressure was continuing to get worse. To use a word picture, I felt like I was flying a 747 ten feet off the surface of the water..yes, we were still in the air, yes we were still moving, (barely). The same week I started reading that book, the moral in the cockpit of my life had changed. The trajectory of our finances had changed, and even though the numbers hadn’t changed (balances on all of our outstanding bills, and net income) I could feel the momentum, and within just a short time, we began to get a little distance between ourselves and the water, and we began to climb…..that was in 2014.


  4. I loved this so much!

    Q: Living life intentionally. What does that mean to you?
    A: I find myself living intentionally on weekends and vacation ~ to bed when tired, up when not, eating when hungry, moving a LOT, being outside, going hours without speaking or speaking for hours, my choice, reading, putzing, being mindful with time and who I give it to.

    It’s harder to do during the week because I answer to many, some of whom I like, others whom I don’t, but I do it. I’m starting to feel some burnout, not because of the work itself, which I enjoy and am good at, but I’ve realized I respect (some) of the people less and less. That, for me, is a dangerous place to be. I can’t be who I’m not.

    Good food for thought, DM!

    ~ MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked it MJ> I HEAR you, when you mentioned the respect issue. You’re a good person and it’s hard working with knuckle heads. Your weekend routines sound perfect! Take care. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you, Doug, I love where we live, long winter and all, and would never think of moving. I love everything about our town and our part of the world. As the world gets more uneasy about where it’s headed, as the cities get bigger and bigger, and everyday stresses seem to grow even when not necessarily warranted, smaller population areas have lots to offer. Friendliness and a welcoming nature top the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are a lot alike. I LOVE the winter season too. We have all 4 seasons here, as long as the heat doesn’t go out and I don’t run out of coffee, it puts the rest of the year into perspective, plus a person can always throw on another layer of clothes…:-) Small towns rock..for all of the reasons you mentioned. If you ever are in the mood for a short trip, you’re invited this way…(we’re re-opening our B and B next month..just in time for apple picking. Good to hear from you Jane. DM

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My daughter and I had lunch today at this cool place called The Local that has these “topic cards” on the table. One of the questions was “where do you like to go to relax and get off the grid”? She said HOME. My heart felt at peace.

    A life you don’t need to take a vacation from…yes!

    Minus the apple trees (planted 2 but they died) and honey bees (switch out for bats!) and add in horses -your “Walden” sounds much like my “Walden”. I hadn’t thought of it that way really until now. You are such an inspiration. I do believe we are living life intentionally, however I sometimes forget to appreciate that. What a great piece you just wrote. Love your thoughts!

    On another note, I love Dave Ramsey. I just recently, though, read Mary Hunt’s Debt Proof Living that you recommended and was surprised at how she had Dave Ramsey’s thing down before he did. Had never heard of her before you.

    Liked by 1 person

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