In somewhat of a continuation of Taking Stock I thought I’d share our philosophy of Do We Really Need That? (DWRNT?). It forms a backbone of how we build our lifestyle. It isn’t deprivation oriented at all. It is simplification oriented. Here’s an example… When we first starting living (Ed full time and me part time) in our barn house we didn’t feel like we needed a washer and dryer. We made do bringing laundry back and forth to where there were facilities. Then it finally seemed like it really would simplify things to have a washer. Between pets and people with allergies and farm dirt it just made sense to have one. But we don’t feel like we need a dryer. We just plan laundry day around good weather for drying. Or we put up with a drying rack in the living room by the fire, but it doesn’t feel like we’re missing something significant.
Another example is glassware … especially wine glasses! What an impractical item stemware is! In a dishwasher (which we don’t have) they never fit right. In a dish rack they tumble about. On a coffee table they are a perfect target for a big dog’s tail and on our concrete floor they don’t have a chance. We are down to our last one and it won’t be replaced. We are not savoring fine wines with extraordinary bouquets that need to be experienced with an appropriately shaped glass for savoring! We are just having wine and we find that a mason jar works just fine (and doubles for small leftovers and dressing) plus has a chance to survive a fall to the floor.
This year we had the opportunity to meet some interesting people who live nearby. They are off grid and they depend on a small, simple solar system, propane and firewood for their energy needs. They pump garden water from their well and for drinking and washing they fill bottles at a nearby spring. They don’t have a kitchen sink! They live in a beautiful house with a lovely, well-equipped kitchen, including a freezer, stove and microwave, but no sink! It’s awesome and it really helps you think about what you really need to live well … in a lifestyle that feeds your soul in a way appropriate for your personal needs.