Category: simple living (Page 2 of 2)

Wine Steward on Board

Jerry pouring wine

Jerry pouring wine

Somewhere in Iowa he found what was for us, when first married, a go-to celebratory drink, Andre’s cold duck. It just about as cheap, sweet and bubbly as it was in the 70’s. This was a nice way to christen brand-new pure plastic wine glasses that will bounce when jiggled and jounced around on our way west.

My Great-Grandmother’s Diary

Part of this long road trip over three seasons is learning more history of my mother’s family and sharing some of what I know. This took us to Wisconsin and a large town outside of Madison where my ancestors settled after migrating from Vermont and other places East. My grandmother’s sister remained on the farmland there, so cousins who stayed on the land or nearby know a lot of the history. From there we visited a first cousin outside of Minneapolis, MN, and her husband. Kate was eager to hear all I’d learned and see what I’d brought from home. My mother was the only daughter and perhaps because of that was given much of what her mother had of family artifacts. These included a chest of drawers that made the trip west from Orwell, a spinning wheel from Vermont and fabric woven from its threads, and a tiny bureau made by one of our ancestors for a child. I did not bring these items in the camper.

img_4540Kate with Kate’s Daily Diary 1936

What interested Kate and me the most was a diary kept by Kate Buell Ranney, the woman my cousin is named for, in 1936 at the age of eighty-two when she is a widow and living part of the year with her daughter who left the farm to liveĀ in Des Moines and the other part of that year with her only other child, daughter who stayed on the farm and married a neighbor farmer. The lady had a busy social life with lots of calling and callers, club meetings, and church events. Letter writing and receiving was a vital part of every day.

Simplicity in a Swish

A simple daily joy of living out of a camper van as we travel across the country is how little time is spent cleaning up. For example, doing the dinner dishes takes about ten minutes from start to finish with everything is back in its place snug and tight for the next push down the road.


Part of that is that no steps are involved, just a bit of pivoting. It’s even better when Wren is plugged in, and someone remembered to turn on the hot water heater.

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