Recently, I stumbled across some written memories I recorded after visiting our Old Order Mennonite friends. My mother had come along for this visit. During the time of our visit, our Old Order Mennonite friends were in the midst of cleaning, in preparation for the wedding of their daughter. This wedding was to take place in the buggy shed connected to the barn. Here’s a little bit of my journal entry, which provides a small idea of what it’s like to visit an Old Order Mennonite farm.
“Mom was worried about the fact that they were in the middle of a working bee for the wedding with the rest of the ladies. But, our Mennonite friends seemed to have no qualms about laying down their mops to spend an hour of leisure with us. It seems as if nobody keeps track of the time in their world; maybe because nobody has cell phones or watches. Continue reading “Memories Made with the Old Order Mennonites”
On a summer trip to Boston, I was able to visit the John and Abigail Adams homestead and second home, known as the old house, Peacefield. I was struck with the simplicity and smallness of their homes and the practicality of the Adams upbringing. The Adams lifestyle was one of self-sufficiency, hard work, and melioration. I left with five main impressions.
1). The Adams never had slaves, but employed servants who worked alongside the Adams. During a time when slavery was common-place in early colonial America, the Adams never had slaves. They had paid servants; local white people who they employed and provided fair wages. Of all the presidents, the Adams actually lived what they preached when it came to the issue of freedom and equality. The Adams were hard working people and worked alongside their servants. Abigal Adams was known to keep a very clean house and participated in daily tasks of cooking, sewing, knitting alongside her servants.
A simple google search on the “world’s trash” reveals that the United States is leading in the amount of trash generated. We produce more trash than China, which has a population four times larger than the United States. The world’s trash problem is predicted to produce 4 billion tons by 2100. Check out this video and article on “The Guy Wearing 3o Days Worth of Garbage Around NYC.” He certainly makes us think about the amount of disposable trash the average American generates.
I believe that conservation comes down to individual actions and thought processes. Awareness is important, but being willing to try something new is key. I must begin by pointing the finger at myself. I love living in the Ranchette household because one of our goals is to live sustainably.
Recently, I have been investigating books based on the letters and the life of Jane Austen. I am reading a book by Deirdre Le Fay entitled “Jane Austen’s Country Life; Uncovering the rural backdrop to her life, her letters and her novels.” As many know, the majority of protagonists in Jane Austen’s novels are gentlemen’s daughters, such as in “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Emma,” and “Persuasion.” However, in “Mansfield Park,” the protagonist Fanny Price happens to be the daughter of a common laborer. Interestingly, this novel was Jane Austen’s least successful piece of work. However, this novel also happens to be the Ranchette’s favorite! Continue reading “Two Things You May Not Know about Jane Austen”
This past week, we were visited by our Old Order Mennonite friends from Dayton, Virginia. We grew up with these people. As a young teen, we spent our summer on their farms mostly during the summers. Many of the girls in this picture above are the children we helped babysit. Now they are all adults with children of their own. These Mennonite people have been one of the greatest influences in our lives. They live collectively, work hard, practice stewardship, worship privately, and are fiercely protective of their lifestyles. Following are four facts you may not know about Mennonites. Continue reading “Our Friends, the Mennonites”
The Ranchette’s favorite holiday is coming up. You guessed it. It’s St. Patrick’s day! Even though the Ranchettes cannot claim any type of Irish ancestry, we cannot allow this absence of Irish blood to sway us from undying loyalty to the Irish. We love Ireland so much that we decided to travel to this country a few years back. Continue reading “The Ranchettes in Cushendall, Ireland”
Skeet shooting is something that the Ranchettes have been known to do on a wintery day, especially if there are the right amount of rifles to go around. You can see from this picture that the Ranchettes need a little more work on their “skeet shooting” form. Continue reading “Skeet Shooting at the Ranchette’s Farm”
Thanks to a recent snowfall and a couple of school days to relax, I finished reading one of my most favorite books of all time “A Girl of the Limberlost” by Gene Stratton-Porter. It’s been more than twenty years since I last read this book. When I read the book again, I felt like I was unveiling so many of my own lost childhood memories, naive and as simple as they were. Continue reading “A Girl of the Limberlost”