When it comes to simpler living, Ma Ingalls is my hero. I know she wasn't a minimalist on purpose, and that she is at least a little bit fictionalized, and that her life was oftentimes very difficult, but when my girls and I cuddle together on the couch to read from the Little House series we sigh and swoon at the beautiful simplicity of the life they lived.
My 4 year old would be thrilled to spend her days playing barefoot in plum creek with a homemade bonnet swaying on it's strings down her back.
So as silly as this may sound, sometimes along this journey to a simpler life, I ask myself what Ma Ingalls would have done. I've stood in my kitchen holding single task kitchen tools asking myself "Would Ma Ingalls own this?"
And lately I've been contemplating how Ma Ingalls celebrated the seasons. In fact, how anybody celebrated the seasons before pinterest, and magazines, and entire aisles in Walmart devoted to seasonal decor.
I live in a place that has four distinct, beautiful, humbling seasons. The notion that I would need to store boxes full of manufactured decorations in order to savour these seasons is starting to seem a little bit ridiculous to me. It seems especially odd as autumn approaches, a season marked by contentment and thankfulness.
The rhythmn of the year is a beautiful thing, and it is only natural that we would want our homes filled with the sights and smells and festivity of the seasons. But the fact is that there is nothing in those seasonal aisles at Walmart that will make the season more meaningful for our families. Nothing. There, I said it.
So instead of decorating for autumn this year, I am letting autumn permeate our home. The pumpkins waiting to be turned into pie, the sunflowers from the yard, the apple pie jam we will make and cool in jars on the counter top. The lovely braided garlic from the Farmer's Market that will be disappearing a little with each stew and pot pie we enjoy together.
I have a wire wreath form that I will be adorning with seasonal foliage, and I might splurge on a scented candle if I find I have a spot to enjoy it. But aside from a few small items, our goal is that most of our seasonal decorations would be consumable or compostable.
The Verdict: I feel like a weight has lifted. I don't need to craft a fall mantlescape or create a charming porch vignette. My seasonal decorating can happen organically, as I find a place to perch our winter squash until it is time to make soup or fill our house with the scent of autumn while I heat apple cider on the stove.
I like to think that Ma Ingalls would approve...
We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!