I am in the mood to share very briefly some of the highlights of my simple living journey. With only about ten minutes to write, I need to be very concise! Here goes…
Childhood: My parents were very frugal and we did not have a lot of stuff. I remember living in Indiana from 3rd to 5th grade where we played for endless hours in the our back yard especially in a little forest. Everyone had big yards, and we were outside a lot. I rode my bike all over town. During the winter we loved to go sledding and ice skating.
Age 13-18: I really lost my simple life for a while. I had lots of clothes and shoes, wore make up, and was involved with all kinds of activities which kept me busy. But still, my car was a 62 VW bug, and I still loved the outdoor sports including bicycling, volleyball, running, and back packing. Back packing was one of the highlights of my two years of college. Now that was simple life!
19-20 Traveling alone with just a small back pack for 13 months through countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India forced me to live simply. When I returned to America, having seen so much poverty and suffering, I felt inspired to live very simply so that I could have more time to serve.
Age 21 During the year following my journey to the East, I lived so simply that I did not even need to have a job because I earned my room and board just because a wonderful woman wanted me around. I helped with gardening, food prep, cleaning–but it was all voluntary.,During this time I met Cliff Mikkelson, my first husband, who was living really simply. We married 6 months later, and moved to Arkansas.
Age 22-25 Cliff I lived our first year on $30 a month that was donated by someone who wanted to help us try an experiment where we lived by the law of giving and receiving. We helped the people on who’s land we lived and helped our neighbors as well. We grew our own food and bought staples from the local food co-op as well as gleaned food from generous farmers. Wild edibles were also part of our staple diet as well as dumpster diving in our once a week journeys to Russelville. We returned to California because we felt like we just were not achieving our dreams…but then our simple life got a bit more complicated.
Age 26-39 Cliff and I still lived more simply than most, but because we wanted more things we needed to work more and served less. This was very frustrating because Cliff worked at night while I worked during the day. And it was hard on our marriage. We only had one car and our rent was much lower than most people’s because we almost always lived in places where the landlord’s were friends and they did not want to charge a lot. I was having a lot more dreams which I wanted to invest money into, so I needed to work more. Still, we had few possessions, very little furniture, and we were not in debt at all.
Stay tuned for more installments.