Plain living daily

I can be pretty enthusiastic about things. I am one of those natural evangelists when I get involved or intrigued, and I tell everyone about my great discovery. In other words, I can be pretty boring on my favourite topics.

Plain life may be one of them.

But the great thing about a blog is that if you’ve hit the page, dislike the subject or the writing style, you can just exit, no feelings hurt. I don’t know how much you actually read.

We live a very plain life. It’s a challenge in even a moderate size city. We no longer run a motor vehicle, and sometimes finances don’t stretch to include bus fares, so we walk a lot. The grocery store is just two blocks away, for instance. The seminary where we have computer use is farther, but manageable. The church is not, since it is across the city. So, Plain life situation number one: No motor vehicle, or rarely using one.

Plain life situation number two: Lack of electric/electronic devices. We do not have a television and its obvious peripherals. We do not have a computer at home. We have an older CD/tape player, rarely used. We have a digital camera, rarely used. I do not have a microwave, electric can opener, toaster, toaster/oven, handmixer, dishwasher or blender. I have an electric range and a refrigerator. That’s all. I don’t use an automatic washer or dryer. I don’t have a hair dryer. We don’t have any power tools (used to, wore them out, didn’t replace.) We have six overhead lights (hardwired into the apartment- no choice) and three table lamps. We do not have a land-line telephone. We have a two-year-old basic cell phone on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Plain life situation number three: Very few consumer goods. We have the basic dishes and kitchen ware, nothing extra or fancy. We have about four short shelves of books, mostly theological, herbal or gardening. We have an assortment of holy hardware (stuff that goes on altars or used in the liturgy.) We have a loveseat, five straight chairs, a dining table, a desk and cabinet, two bookcases, an end table, a bed, a dresser and a linen chest. We use the big dog crate as the other end table. The only pictures on the wall are icons (we’re sort of high church Plain), and the other “ornaments” are religious items.

Plain life situation number four: Using household space for work. I spin and do other wool work on the patio or in the living room. I have two spinning wheels, a skein winder, a drum carder and a sewing machine (electric). My husband does most of his studying at home.

Plain life situation number five: Home-spun fun, which is somewhat literal for us. We play word games and read to each other. We don’t go to movies, although we think about it sometimes and then back out. We don’t go to shopping malls, or shop for amusement. It took me two months to decide to go to a thrift store to get two coffee mugs. They were 69 cents each. We don’t travel for recreation, although if we had funds, we would visit family.

Plain life situation number six: Lack of fashion. All our clothes will fit in a six-foot closet, including winter coats and shoes. And there’s room left over.

Plain life situation number seven: And most important, an active life in Christ. For us, that is weekly attendance at worship, daily prayer and scripture, and most of our leisure time is spiritual reading and discussion. The Plain heart is a heart for God.

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