The Family I Envy

Because we live in a small town, and unfortunately there are not a lot of accounting jobs to be had, I drive approximately 40 minutes to work. All country roads. Which, I love.

There is this one house I pass each and every day and I am so envious of the family that lives there. Now, I don’t know these people. It’s a family with a mom, dad, and several children. But, they look so happy and content. They live in a well-maintained old farm house surrounded by several trees. There is a barn out back, a rather large garden to the east and pens for chickens to the west. Their house is surrounded be farm fields, but I am not sure if they farm them or not.

I’ve seen the children outside riding their bikes, working in the garden, playing tag—being children. You can tell they love each other immensely and take pride in everything they do. I’ve seen the older girls outside hanging up laundry to dry, as well as shucking corn or snapping beans. Their children are home schooled—I have seen the mother teaching outside at a picnic table.

I imagine that they live a quiet, peaceful, but hardworking life. Their large garden is probably canned and feeds them through the winter months. I doubt the chickens are pets—but rather a source of eggs and meat. I can only guess that the mother bakes her own bread and pies, cooks dinner every night. She probably isn’t on a first-name basis with the local pizza parlor.

I’ve always had an infatuation with the Amish. Their simple traditions, simple living, faith in God, and their hardworking ways. This family that I am envious of is German Baptist. I’m not very familiar with their beliefs or ways of life. But, they look to be a simple, hardworking family. They are the family I wish my family was.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to go off the deep end. But, what have I missed growing up with cable television, two groceries stores within walking distance, the pizza place on speed dial, and everything handed to me “right now.” My kids will never know what life is like without a cell phone, computers, video games or any of the modern conveniences we have now. I can remember my mom hanging our clothes outside to dry—the smell of sunshine on our sheets that night. I don’t even HAVE a clothesline and I am not even sure you can still buy clothes pins. My kids will never know what it’s like to have a large garden and put things up for the winter to eat. I don’t know how to can… let alone have the time to garden on a grand-scale.

Technology is so intermeshed into our lives; there is no way we will crawl our ways off the grid. But, I am envious of those who survive without all the hassle. The families who grow their own food, play games, have fun, work hard, and have a love for one another that cannot be measured.

Today, driving into work, as I passed this family’s house I decided I wanted to make some changes. Cook more. Start a garden. Play with my kids more. Do more simple things. Am I going to take up quilting? Probably not. Am I getting rid of my cell phone? No way. But, I am going to simplify as much as I can.

I want my kids to remember the smell of sunshine on their sheets, the snap of fresh green beans, and the taste of home grown food. I want my kids to step back and appreciate life and the simplicity of how we lived.

I don’t even know where to begin.


  1. About 17 years ago, I visited an Amish community in the US. I felt much the same way as you. Now that my children are grown, they often comment that coming back home gives them much needed time to disconnect and recharge. I think we can give them permission to unwind if we too enjoy ‘downtime.’ Thanks for sharing with us at NOBH!

  2. Great post It wasn’t until I started to home school that I had time for a garden, and since we live in the UK have an out door clothes line. I haven’t used my dryer in 3 years. Clothes smell so much better.

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