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Gratefulness for “Little” Things

Gratefulness for Little Things

An old ice box used by a Florida family before modern refrigeration was available

How many big things in our lives seem very small because we are so accustomed to them that we take them completely for granted?  We have noticed some interesting things about ourselves since moving to this off-grid homestead last fall.  Things we had never before been grateful for are now causing us to rejoice and give great thanks!

In our affluent society whoever thought of being grateful for a light switch that can instantly brighten a dark room with one flick?  Why would we think of thanking someone for a handle we can turn that produces an abundance of clean water on demand?  Things like air conditioning and food in the fridge are things many of us have always just expected to have as part of our daily lives.  To be without them for even a few days (camping or mission trips?) is considered a true hardship.

My grandpa is almost 98 and we recently had him out to our place before he went north again for the summer.   We were reminded that when he was growing up things were totally different than they are today.  It wasn’t till the 1940s that farms were connected to the power grid and farming families out in the country started enjoying modern conveniences that we now take for granted.  And for thousands of years before that even the most sophisticated and wealthy people never experienced many things we now consider absolute necessities.

Grandpa jokingly says that his family made the first motor home.  He and his mom and dad and brothers used to travel from Ohio to Florida every winter to grow celery in the muck fields that his father and older brother owned.  Of course there were no big highways.  Travel was slow on dirt or gravel roads that wound around mountains and through the countryside.  There were occasional cleared areas beside the road where cars could pull off for a picnic.  Sometimes they stayed overnight at a house with a sign out front indicating they had a spare room set up for travelers.

The body of the car they traveled with wore out, so grandpa’s family dismantled it and built their own body for it.  They made places to sleep and store their belongings under the benches.  Grandpa is sure others saw it and decided they wanted one like it.  So the production of motor homes began!  Gratefulness for Little Things   Ha!

Down in Florida Grandpa’s family converted another car into a tractor that they used in the celery fields.  People came out to their fields every day from town to see the alligator they had caught and tied on a long chain in a canal.  I suppose that part of the reason I enjoy our homesteading adventures is because it is in my blood.

At any rate, in spite of the slow economy, most of us are still living way better than the majority in this country before 75 years ago, but rarely do we see a spirit of gratefullness about it.  If the air conditioner goes out or something causes a break in our community’s electricity or water or food supply, we feel we deserve to have it corrected at once because we’re entitled to these things.  That sets us up to be willing to give up freedoms for the sake of conveniences.  We’ve come full circle since our forefathers gave up conveniences to settle their families in this land of freedom.

Gratefulness for Little Things

A fireplace used for cooking in days gone by

The past weeks Silver Oak and I have mentioned several times that we are so glad to see gratefullness in our children about things we would never have thought of being thankful for at their ages.  It would have never dawned on me to be grateful for a well, but our children were so overjoyed when we hit water! And they were very concerned about the water pouring out onto the ground.  Some of them offered to grab containers to catch it so it wouldn’t go to waste!  Though it made me chuckle, I also realized the value of their concern.  It’s one of the “perks” of this homesteading lifestyle.

Gratefulness for Little Things

Putting up the first beam for the new roof


Gratefulness for Little Things

PS.  Right now we are in the middle of a major construction project…building the permanent roof over our deck and the camper.  The temporary roof had to be removed, making us keenly aware of the weather.

Linked w/Barn Hop, Morris Tribe, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Growing Home, Frugally Sustainable, Live Renewed, Our Simple Farm, A Rural Journal, Simple Lives Thursday, My Simple Country Living, Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post, and Seasonal Celebration Sunday.

Gratefulness for Little Things

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14 Responses to “Gratefulness for “Little” Things”

  1. Kathy says:

    You are so right! I’m glad you are sounding better too. It’s funny about the well. When we were building my husband had a younger man helping him. That man was from the heart of the city (St Louis MO) and not used to a rural setting at all. He asked about our water and couldn’t believe it when my husband told him we will get it out of the ground. He really thought he was being kidded. Once he realized we had a well, he was appalled. How could anyone drink water that came out of the ground! LOL (STL gets it’s water from the Mississippi river).

  2. SheliaD says:

    So nice to see a spirit of gratefulness in everyone, but especially the children. May this experience instill in them a love for the simple things. We were just talking about that kind of gratefulness last night with our children. Ma we all learn to be content with what God has given us and where He has placed us.

    • Rose Petal says:

      Gratefulness is a big deal, because it makes a huge impact on the atmosphere in the home or community. If doing without for a season helps to foster gratefulness, then that is another reason to be thankful for trials God allows in our lives. “In everything give thanks…”

  3. So true! A similar vein has been threading it’s way through my husband and I’s conversations recently. It is wonderful to hear your children having such an appreciation and understanding for the world around them! I loved hearing your grandfather’s story too.

  4. So well said. And I LOVE the story of the first RV!

    • Rose Petal says:

      I think my grandpa has so many stories that are amazing, like hunting at night with lanterns and raising a pet bald eagle. I hope he sticks around yet for a little while.

  5. I now understand where you got your creativity from — what a great story.

    • Rose Petal says:

      Ha! I do often think of the things my dad and grandpa have talked about creating and inventing…it has encouraged me to look for ways to improve efficiency in things we do.

  6. Rose Petal – I agree we need to be grateful for the little things! I for one am grateful for indoor plumbing…..:)

    Your Grandpa reminds me of my husband he sounds like he was a Visionary/Inventor/Creative/Resourceful! What a blessing he has been to your family for sure!

    Thanks for linking up to The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post!

    • Rose Petal says:

      Yeah, indoor plumbing is a big one! My dad and brothers inherited the inventor mentality as well, so I try to learn what I can from them.

  7. simplychele says:

    I love what you share today; grandparents like that are invaluable! It always encourages me to hear how they made do or repurposed ordinary things.
    We all need such reminders and restorers of perspective in our lives and I thank you for sharing this with us today:)