Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Letter to a Kindred Spirit

Today I recieved this email.
My name is E. I found you on my friend Marcia Meehan's blog "Bees in the Antipodes". Marcia is an amazing person and I am blessed to know her. Of course we've never met face to face, because I live in the USA in the state of Mississippi. Even though you are 31 and I am 61, you are a kindred spirit. I can't tell you how alike you and I are. I love old time crafts and learning about how to knit, sew, crochet...I just love to learn.

I grew up in the country in Alabama and know a little about old time skills, ie. gardening, sewing, knitting, crocheting... Right now, I'm trying to get a movable chicken coop made so I can have a couple of laying hens. Supermarket eggs can't compare to fresh. There's a real difference.
I like the rug you made. I just read about cutting old tee shirts and making rugs out of them. My grandmother had braided rag rugs that she had made.Well, anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed reading your blog and listening to the music. (Also my kind of music).

Keep up the creative work. What would life be without the thrill of making something ourselves, or the thrill of discovering something new in nature or a new skill or new friends.

Life is a wonderful adventure if we never lose our childlike wonder.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with others. Knowledge is nothing unless it's shared.
I wish you well.

Dear E,

Thank you for your lovely email. It really made my day. It's nice to know I can make a little difference in someone's life. Sometimes I question whether its worth having a blog as especially lately, I seem to have little time to update it, and I know it's vain, but I don't have that many people looking at it or commenting. But it's connecting with people like you that make it worthwhile and I guess even if I didn't "make any friends" online, I'd still feel the urge to share and connect.

I know that I can be a bit different from most people around me and always have been with my love of old things and old ways.

Sometimes it's a bit hard being true to myself when I'm surrounded by people at work and in society in general that place such an emphasis on modern tastes and accumulating bigger and better things. I'm sure they think of me as a bit strange and daggy, especially when compared to others my age, and sometimes in weaker moments, I feel ashamed of my little rundown home and unconventional decorating. But the stronger side of me embraces my uniqueness and tries to remember that I not only embrace this lifestyle because its a reflection of who I am but its also a choice that I conciously make as a reaction to the modern lifestyle.

I want to teach my children that they don't need "things" to make them happy in life,
that an hour spent outside in the yard,

or reading

or drawing or playing games can bring them joy,
that their imagination can build castles where there are none,

that it's being with people and the memories that are made, or in being happy and content in being alone, that can bring true satisfaction in life, which the latest toy or fashionable house doesn't truly fill. These can be nice (we've just had to replace our old microwave and phone out of necessity and I admit that I love my new toys BUT its also nice to know that because we aren't extravagent in our lifestyle and spending that there is always money there to do those things when we need to, without having to get them on credit.)

I like the old-fashioned life because people worked harder but lived more simply and it was easier to find and appreciate the real blessings in life, to know what you really needed to be happy. I love Little House on the Prairie and how excited they got because Pa built them a door or made a fireplace so Ma didn't have to cook outside anymore.

It is why I love living in the country. It's going to the shops and having the time to notice the bird poking its head out of the hedge,

it's hearing the geese honk over at the ponds,

its having a main street of shops that you stroll up and down rather than losing your way in a giant, busy shopping centre,

it's driving 5 mins out of town and being surrounded by green hills.

I love the fact that the shops are closed here on a Sunday. I love the fact that my butcher knows who I am and cuts meat up specifically for me. I love the fact that when the girls play with their friends, it's doing things like catching yabbies at the dam or exploring the paddocks, avoiding the cows and the kangaroos, or dressing up

or playing Blind Man's Bluff.

So thank you for the affirmation. It's nice to not feel alone and its given me the lift I needed when I was feeling a little flat. Writing that has helped me reaffirm what I want in my life and the next time I feel down or embarressed about the peeling paint and cobwebs in my life, hopefully I'll remember it, and that while it's nice to have a fancy house, if it stayed unpainted and unpolished it doesn't really matter
because we're lucky to have a comfortable roof over our heads,

food on the table

and laughter inside.


  1. Just want to say I loved your last Blog and it made me kind of jealous in all you have. Don't let go of who you are, Esther... You inspire me!
    Love you.

  2. Esther,

    You are awesome and my inspiration!!! I know I definitely have the attachment to 'modern things' ha ha... but I get SO much out of reading your blogs as well... Its all about "lifestyle" and thus James and my attempt for 'our version' of finding ours... sooner than later hopefully..... Love you!

  3. THANK YOU Esther! It's true when we stop to write down or think about what is really important and why we choose things, it makes it more concrete for ourselves. You are truly blessed. I have always loved your 'rebellion' of society - it has spoken to me and it is SO important in this age of materialism.
    It's neat also getting that email from E ... we really do live in a global village.

    love you

  4. What a beautifully written post, and how thoughtful of your reader to write such a gracious letter.

  5. P.S. you need to add yabbies to your translator index.

  6. It's funny how people find each other via blogs. You left a comment on Saucy's blog that caught my attention so thought that I would visit your blog. I find myself nodding my head in agreement with so many of your statements. I am interested in so many of the same things you are so I find your blog interesting and fun to read. I am from Canada but will add your blog to my favorites list now and keep in touch. We will have coffee together in the morning and maybe tea in the afternoon sometime!!!! I love your photos that show some of your homelife. You can see some of mine on my blog although I have to admit, mine is geared toward scrapping more than anything else, but I do write about other things. I am just getting into the blogging stuff. I am not all that computer literate so it's taking it's time. Glad to meet you.

  7. Thanks Linda. Advice taken. A yabbie, by the way, is a small freshwater crayfish.

    Thanks everyone else for the love.

  8. I knew as soon as I saw "Anne of Green Gables" on your blog that you were a kindred spirit!! And Autumn is my favorite season as well (did some blogging about it just yesterday.) You absolutely should have confidence in faith in your life and your ways... special indeed. Please do keep blogging!

  9. I love your decorating style! But must ask, what is a Bickie and a chook?

    Off to search your site! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  10. Oh - and Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!


Comments make me happy. Spread the love.

Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.