#23 Unplugging

When I was young, my parents were "back to the landers" meaning: they lived a simple life in a log home they built themselves with trees they hewed and fitted. We didn't have running water so we relied on the heat of a sauna to cleanse our bodies. There was a hand pump in the front yard where we could dredge up the sweet, irony tasting water which ran below the land my parents hunted and farmed. My dad sang in a rock band and my mom kept the home fires burning all day, 7 days a week. She handmade every article of clothing I donned. She gardened, canned, built furniture, did home repairs, and still made time to read a book to me before bed every night. I was a lucky kid in a lot of ways.

This past week, my mom and 9 year old niece were here visiting (which is the reason for my tardiness with the blog) and I tried to give my niece some of the experiences I had as a child. Sure, I took her to Circus Juventas and I bought her an overpriced Caribou Coffee- but I also took her to a laundromat and showed her how to find lost, overlooked, or abandoned quarters. She made $1.50 just patiently keeping her eyes to the floor! We went thrifting and I taught her that she can get twice the school clothes for half the price. And I wager that she'll be the trendiest kid in her class. I also took her dumpster diving. I know- this sounds like a terribly irresponsible activity to subject a 9 year old girl to... but she recalls it as her favorite part of her stay (a gal after my own heart!) We found so many treasures in that big bin. At one point, she proudly exclaimed, while waist deep in rubble, "one girl's garbage is another girl's treasure!" I bet she'll remember these off-kilter experiences with her weird aunt forever. 

Sometimes the most valuable things are the simplest. I had 4 days with my mom & niece, and while they were here I put the rest of the world on hold. When it was time to say goodbye to them, the voice messages and emails were still there. But I recognize that it was really important for me to take a few days with my family and totally unplug. We all need that every now and again. I'll let you in on a little secret: Davey Hazard rejuvenates with a calming massage, Lenny Renegade with a long run outdoors, and Danny Rampage with a good Bourbon & enlightening conversation. Hopefully my readers have had the chance to do some restorative activities recently. If you have and you'd like to share how you recharge, tell me all about it in the comments. I love to hear from you! I get that we're all busy and that our phones & computers are a big part of our self-created chaos, but being given that brief reminder of simpler times was wonderful and necessary. I'll hold onto those memories long after my inbox is empty.

 

8 comments

  • Peg Langlois

    Peg Langlois NH

    Mercy! we could be sisters...or at least best friends. I was raised with no bathroom and always picked the dump every week with my mother. I still ask for things when i go to the transfer station each week...I see the items and ask one of the guys if i can have it....i recently got a great wooden chair that I use at my sewing table. I cannot believe the stuff that people throw away! <3 Peg

    Mercy! we could be sisters...or at least best friends. I was raised with no bathroom and always picked the dump every week with my mother. I still ask for things when i go to the transfer station each week...I see the items and ask one of the guys if i can have it....i recently got a great wooden chair that I use at my sewing table. I cannot believe the stuff that people throw away!

    <3 Peg

  • Carolyn

    Carolyn SF

    You had it rougher than I did as far as the running water and toilet facilities. I love bargain shopping and grew up with 2nd hand things. I love driving in the country to wind down or hopping on a motorcycle. Love climbing and massages as well.

    You had it rougher than I did as far as the running water and toilet facilities. I love bargain shopping and grew up with 2nd hand things. I love driving in the country to wind down or hopping on a motorcycle. Love climbing and massages as well.

  • Sandee

    Sandee St Paul,Mn.

    You are an excellent writer &amp; I enjoy your sharing. My son (&amp; family) took a yr off from teaching &amp; volunteered to teach at a school in Africa for orphaned children. Their family learned what it is to have very little, not even the often taken for granted basic necessities of life. I'm visiting with my son this week &amp; so appreciate my time with him. I haven't seen him in awhile &amp; I'm so grateful for family, love &amp; the gift of sharing special moments with them. We often don't appreciate what we have &amp; how privileged we all are.

    You are an excellent writer & I enjoy your sharing. My son (& family) took a yr off from teaching & volunteered to teach at a school in Africa for orphaned children. Their family learned what it is to have very little, not even the often taken for granted basic necessities of life. I'm visiting with my son this week & so appreciate my time with him. I haven't seen him in awhile & I'm so grateful for family, love & the gift of sharing special moments with them. We often don't appreciate what we have & how privileged we all are.

  • Hot Pink Hangover

    Hot Pink Hangover

    Thanks for the comments, y'all! I love all the personal connections you are making, as well as acknowledging that even when times may have been tough, there are others who have it tougher. Thanks for all the insights and heartfelt responses... and of course, for reading! -Mercy D.

    Thanks for the comments, y'all! I love all the personal connections you are making, as well as acknowledging that even when times may have been tough, there are others who have it tougher. Thanks for all the insights and heartfelt responses... and of course, for reading!

    -Mercy D.

  • Connie Powell

    Connie Powell Bayfield, WI

    Cedes and DJ, Abbie and I LOVED coming to the city! We loved your gourmet food, shopping at goodwill and best of all the dumpster diving! Thanks for everything!

    Cedes and DJ, Abbie and I LOVED coming to the city! We loved your gourmet food, shopping at goodwill and best of all the dumpster diving! Thanks for everything!

  • Chris A

    Chris A Minneapolis MN

    It’s good to appreciate the simple things! I grew up with all second-hand clothes, and we raised all our vegetables, and canned and froze for the year. I felt I had enough of raising produce, but I still find gardening therapeutic. And a large portion of my wardrobe is from thrift stores! Some great finds...I still have trouble paying full retail prices.

    It’s good to appreciate the simple things! I grew up with all second-hand clothes, and we raised all our vegetables, and canned and froze for the year. I felt I had enough of raising produce, but I still find gardening therapeutic. And a large portion of my wardrobe is from thrift stores! Some great finds...I still have trouble paying full retail prices.

  • Jamie Lallak

    Jamie Lallak

    I can’t say I’ve gone dumpster diving but I sure can relate to thrift store shopping! I think I love it even more now than I did when I was younger. Mom definitely did what she could to get my sister and I what we needed and I appreciate more than she knows. To relax, I just love being outside and with ones I love. Oh, and getting lost in good music&lt;3

    I can’t say I’ve gone dumpster diving but I sure can relate to thrift store shopping! I think I love it even more now than I did when I was younger. Mom definitely did what she could to get my sister and I what we needed and I appreciate more than she knows. To relax, I just love being outside and with ones I love. Oh, and getting lost in good music<3

  • Hot Pink Hangover

    Hot Pink Hangover

    I'm so happy to see all my fellow thrifters chiming in! I agree that paying retail price is tough once you've seen the bargains at second hand stores... Now I just need to get Davey Hazard on board with this idea! -Mercy D.

    I'm so happy to see all my fellow thrifters chiming in! I agree that paying retail price is tough once you've seen the bargains at second hand stores... Now I just need to get Davey Hazard on board with this idea! -Mercy D.

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