I have a friend who used to tease me a lot that she wouldn't be surprised at all to drive by our house and see a covered wagon in the driveway. I think she decided this primarily based on our decisions to home school our children and go without cable tv for a while. (I think it was the cable tv decision that really pushed her over the edge...we live so far from a large city that if you don't get cable--or satellite--you pretty much don't get nothin' ! ;-)
Somehow this came up again the other day. I was saying that when Todd was alive there really was some part of me that romanticized that way of life and kind of wanted us to pack up and "go out west" away from all the busyness of life and keep things simple. However, I knew the realities of having to stuff my own mattress or wring the chicken's neck were not really what I craved...or part of my "go west" fantasy. (One of my friends said it so well, "I want to be out in the fresh air and large spaces during the day, but I want to go to McDonald's when it's time to eat." ;-)
So I started thinking about what exactly attracted me to that picture of life. I stumbled upon something that really resonated inside of me...Ma's china shepherdess...at least I think it was a shepherdess ;-) She had one cherished knickknack that she carefully packed and unpacked (only after Pa had put up a special shelf for it) each time the family moved. One...can you imagine having only one cherished knickknack instead of the the hundreds (if not thousands) of "un"cherished knickknacks we collect and move around with us? I think maybe that this romanticized/sanitized version of Little House I crave has to do with the uncluttered lifestyle they chose to live. They often left many of their possessions behind as they loaded up the wagon to move out--all of them things they had built or prepared with their own hands, putting in much care, time and energy. Each time the Ingall's arrived at a new homestead, the entire family had to help prepare it because they had walked away (or driven--in their covered wagon, of course) from almost everything I would consider necessities and would never leave behind. What would it mean to not be so attached to so many "things"--even the things in which we have invested much of our care, time and energy?
I would appreciate your prayers regarding this for I know that on my own I will be deceived and potentially end up bringing all my "stuff" with me (and I think you probably understand I mean this on more than one level). I am hoping that with this new move, I will choose wisely. Choose what special treasures to take with me and what to leave behind.