Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t have a Dishwasher!
Earlier this week on my Facebook page, I casually shared a tip about how I use Lemon essential oil to keep my dishwasher from getting stinky, which I assumed would lead into a simple discussion about household cleaning and essential oils.
Imagine my shock when I popped over to the page to find folks expressing their displeasure at the fact that I have a dishwasher.
I sure didn’t see that one comin’.
So I’m clarifying a few things today.
I am a modern-homesteader, not a historical reenactor.
And as a modern-homesteader, it is my goal to weave as many old-fashioned skills as possible into my 2013 existence. I want to enjoy the best of both worlds.
As much as I like Little House on the Prairie, it is not my goal to emulate every single part of the book series.
I am thankful (yes, thankful!) for my washing machine and dishwasher. I personally do NOT think they detract from my goal of a wholesome, old-fashioned lifestyle in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I think they enhance it.
You see– while modern homesteading might be considered the “simple life,” it is not easy.
The workload I have from my garden, barn chores, milk cow, and from-scratch cooking is intense— especially when compared to the lifestyle of the average city-dweller who may or may not have to feed their goldfish before they plop down in front of the TV for the night.
Am I complaining? NO WAY!
But I’m also not Superwoman (sorry to disappoint you…), and trying to juggle the demands of homestead life while mothering two very small children and running a booming online business while my husband works in town isn’t for the faint of heart.
If I were to cast aside all modern conveniences just for the sake of being old-fashioned, then all of my time would be spent washing forks and socks by hand and stirring my homemade soap with a wooden spoon. And of course, if I were to be completely authentic, then I should toss my computer too– that’s definitely a new-fangled invention.
If you ever swing by my homestead, you are likely to find me:
- Talking on my cell phone while milking the cow
- Washing my stainless-steel milking bucket in my dishwasher
- Bringing a batch of homemade soap to trace using my immersion blender
- Washing a load of cloth diapers in my washing machine (although I do prefer to hang them outside to dry)
- Using my slow cooker to render lard
- Helping my husband drill post holes with our tractor, instead of a manual post hole digger
- Grinding our home-butchered meat with an electric grinder
- Using a regular oven to bake my bread. (Oh how I’d loooove to have a wood cookstove someday, but it won’t fit into my little house)
- Using my food processer to chop veggies and make butter
- And writing blog posts on my laptop while my home-canned beans jiggle away in my pressure canner
I have no shame in mixing some modern convenience with my love of old-fashioned knowledge. In my opinion, that is the beauty of modern-day homesteading.
If you prefer to wash your dishes by hand, or find some sort of spiritual meaning at the opposite end of a post-hole digger, then by all means— go for it! I’ll be the first to pat you on the back!
I wholeheartedly admire those who live fully off-grid, and who knows? Maybe someday hubby and I will head for the hills and leave all of our modern “conveniences” behind. (Of course, then this blog would go bye-bye… And then I would miss you all… But still…)
For now, I’m happy in my crazy little mixed-up world of technology and old-fashionedness. I’m sorry if this is disappointing to some of you- but I want to be completely up front with how I live my life.
And you know what else? I’d be willing to bet money that Ma Ingalls would have had a dishwasher if she could have fit one into her covered wagon. 😉