in tiny houses on little farms (itty bitty thought)

in tiny houses on little farms (itty bitty thought)

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My husband comes home from work in the morning and sometimes mentions something that’s happening in the news. This morning’s update was ABC and XYZ and other things of “importance”.

I assured him nothing in his update was going to change the fact that today I’m going to visit my grandma and tonight we are having slow cooker stew for supper.

Do you ever feel like you’re in a weird kind of life, watching some weird reality television show happen in front of you where the story line goes:

NEWS!!

BIG REACTION!!

OTHER BIG REACTION!!

COMMENTARY!!

(until)

MoRe NEwS!!

I can feel people’s eyeballs popping out of their skulls, their fists clenched as they wait for the next update—always from whatever news source will feed them the brand of MoRe NEws that tastes best to them.

I won’t do that. I just won’t be a part of it.

Today, I’m making stew.

I often hear that if I don’t know EvERY LiTTle THinG going on in the world that I AM a HORRiblE PERsoN.

Which makes me think about my great uncle who lived through the Great Depression. He died six or so years ago. If someone would have said he was a horrible uninformed person because he wasn’t glued to the news, he would have told them in colorful language (but with a smirk on his face and a sparkle in his eye) what exactly he thought of that.

My great uncle was an amazing man, I always enjoyed our conversations, especially the older I got. I learned a lot from him.

Things about planting seeds.

Things about simple hospitality.

Things about people.

But mostly I learned from him that no one out there on the news really much cared what was going on in his tiny house on his little farm. They didn’t care if his refrigerator was still running, or if his garden grew, or if he made it to church, or what, if anything, he ate for supper.

They’d never sat at his table and shared a cup of coffee with him. They’d never eaten the cookies he’d pull out of the freezer when guests came—cookies that had been made by ladies at the church who doted on him because his wife had died years prior and he never remarried and he was in that house all alone.

No one in or on the news cared about that, or a million other things I could tell you about him.

And he kind of thought it was strange that people in tiny houses on little farms would care so much about the ins and outs of the daily happenings of people who didn’t know tiny houses on little farms existed.

It's strange that people in tiny houses on little farms would care so much about the ins and outs of the daily happenings of people who didn't know tiny houses on little farms existed.

This is a guy who never had the internet. Never had a smart phone. Can you imagine what he thinks now as he peeks in on us from where he sits, probably still eating half-frozen cookies from church ladies?

What I learned from my great uncle was that in the 30s and 40s they knew what they knew and mostly that was just what was going on right around them—because that was what mattered and what they could (maybe) do something about. 

They helped each other.

They did what they could. 

Day in, day out.

And what they read in the newspaper (if they could get it) didn’t change much of that because there was too much other stuff to take care of every. single. day.

Which makes me wonder.

Does the fact that our society is living in a glued-to-the-news type reality show mean that we don’t have enough to do? Or does the constant flow of information brought by technology make us believe we’re more self-important than the people of the past and can somehow change the circus that’s bigger than it ever was?

Today I’m making stew for my family, because that’s what I can do.

I don’t care what famous person tested positive for what disease. I don’t care what politician said what. I don’t care who won The Thing. I don’t care who put their fist up for whatever cause.

I’m tired. I’ve got a lot to do.

And I’m going to make stew.

 — Amy Dingmann, 10-2-20

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9 thoughts on “in tiny houses on little farms (itty bitty thought)”

  • I love this, Amy. I stopped paying attention to the daily news cycle several years ago. I don’t mind checking the local news, but the national stuff I could really care less about.
    You know, people told me I would be lost and not know what was happening in the world because I don’t watch the news. Guess what? I still find out what is happening, thanks to family and friends who ask my thoughts on A, B, or C. I usually just say that I need more time to read up on it and make my decision. Honestly, a good 90% of the time, I just move on, but there is the occasional story that does intrigue me, making me do some homework.

    • Many years ago, we’d say we were watching the news and just waiting on the weather which they were always smart enough to put at the END because then you had to watch the whole thing. Then we decided it wasn’t worth all the yuck, and that most of what was being reported wasn’t anything that changed our life. News used to be “this is what you need to know” and now with technology, we “need to know”…everything, right? Ew. I don’t like it. You’re right, we end up finding out what we need to know from other people and if we feel the need to do more research, we can do that. It just saddens me to see so many people around so sucked in to stuff that they honestly think they can change, or at least, that they NEED to know about. But….why?

  • We have a neighbor who’s response to news is simply this: I’ll deal with whatever when it comes to my door. When he first said that, I thought he was nuts until I watch his daily life. He just has a great day on his little farm EVERY. DANG. DAY. He always waves and has a SMILE on his face!! WHAT?! NO NEWS?! NO INTERNET?! I read this and it so reminded me of him and my grandparents. Living everyday as though it was their last. Enjoying that day and having FUN DOING IT! Thank you, Amy. You are truly a godsend for this ole gal! I love your podcasts and now your website!!
    Have a beautiful day and stew supper with your family!
    OH! I’ve deleted ALL my news apps and have no internet OR cable service! Just my data!
    Just going to
    CARPE DIEM!

  • I think I’ll make stew tomorrow! Trying to slow my brain down…detaching from SM is hard work and it’s taking real effort.

    • It DOES take effort, mostly because we don’t realize how intertwined it is into everything we do. It’s automatic, sometimes. Have some downtime? Grab your phone, scroll.

  • Amy,
    Keeping things in perspective can be daunting. Frankly, I am enjoying my simple, anonymous daily life. The sun rises and sets every day. I still wake up with a gentle smile on my face and stretch like a cat after a luxurious nap in the sunshine. I feel like simplifying life is quickly becoming an “acquired survival skill.”

    Bet your stew was delicious and I hope you relished each and every morsel.

    P.S. I have frozen chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer: Come on over!
    ~~~ R

    • It’s interesting to think of simplifying life as a survival skill. I think that’s a really good way to put it. 🙂 The stew WAS delicious and exactly what we needed on that first cold day. Cookies sound delish — I’ll be right over after chores. 😉

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