I had my grandchildren overnight Saturday and noticed a unique quality to our day that reinforced, to me, the benefits of a simple, minimalist lifestyle.
We have time for the things that really matter.
It only takes a few minutes to sweep the bare floors, tidy up spaces, or toss food into the slow cooker so we can enjoy our time together.
Let me show you Saturday in pictures.
You may notice the children were wearing different clothes in them, this was due to the wide fluctuation in the temperatures, how dirty they might have been or simply because they love to play dress up. We started and ended the day in the mid 40s but had a high of 61 briefly in the afternoon.
When the children arrived the first thing on the agenda was to hunt bugs. My grandson figured out that slugs and snails like to live in the bricks around this planter bed. He removes every single brick to collect the insects which are then relocated to an open field not far from my property, with the exception of the worms that he carries up to the raised beds in the yard.
Once all the bugs have been collected he will put the bricks back. Mom or I will follow and straighten the bricks behind him.
He finds other insects that are admired and put back where they were.
He draws a crowd of children and adults alike who are impressed he knows the names of all the insects and which are good for the gardens and which are not.
We then have to take a walk around the garden and town to see other people’s gardens
This is the healthiest marigold plant I have, yes it’s just one plant, but it has yet to flower.
Around town the children wanted to see certain houses like this one with a flower walk way.
Or this family’s pumpkin patch
They wanted to stop at the library where we read books and Little Guy played with the farm set.
Our walks take forever because the children have to stop to look at everything. They also have to stop to rescue caterpillars and worms from the roads and carry them to safety before we can move on. Being the only adult on this walk I didn’t take photos while in the streets. Little Guy has an obsession with autumn leaves and stops to collect them off the roads as well. Here’s one of his saves.
Back home Little Guy practiced on his new bike that I pulled out of the trash
Coming in for lunch, we had to take time to play Princess. Nails had to be painted.
And hair had to be done
A knock at the door from the neighbor boy asking if he could help with anything because he was bored saw this section of the yard getting cut. It’s been too wet in that area leading me to get my chair stuck.
He had his birthday party later in the day and brought the children some of his birthday cake which they enjoyed after dinner.
I tackled with some help a section of my property that is difficult to keep cut. I planned to landscape this section with plantings but decided to make planters out of old tires and fill the rest with rock to prevent people from using this patch as parking for their cars after one hit and broke a section of my fencing.
Back inside the children made refrigerator magnets using leftover scraps from sheets of magnets I used to cover the upstairs vents for closing off that part of the house in the winter.
Running low on laundry detergent I made another batch which the children love to help with.
Speaking of laundry, the children help me hang clothes to dry. My granddaughter asked me why I don’t have a dryer she listened to my reasons then, as only a princess would, informed me that in Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty’s name) hangs her clothes to dry too. In the morning when mom and dad arrived to pick the children up she informed her mother that hanging clothes was fun because it gives people time to spend together. I’ll convert at least one child to forego the clothes dryer. 🙂
When my daughter-in-law returned my recycling bin, (we don’t have recycling pick up in my community but she does so she takes mine home with her) but left it on the deck when she went home. In the morning I found it and left it there for watering plants. The next day it was half full, roughly six or seven inches of rainwater.
I scooped out some of the water for plants, the children then washed some of their toys while Little guy decided the house and this storm door could be cleaned too. He ran inside and came out with a rag from the rag basket. He’s our clean freak whose favorite activity is to grab a spray bottle and rag to clean.
One good thing about fresh air and activity is children sleep soundly. While his parents complain that he wakes around seven in the morning, he usually sleeps until ten here.
With cold mornings I love bundling up in sweaters and having a cup of hot tea, the children enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Little Guy ate his breakfast at the table then carried his cup to this chair. When I asked him why he couldn’t drink his hot cocoa at the table he replied that he was like mommy who drinks her coffee in a comfy chair by the window.
His parents think I’m crazy to give him a real ceramic mug, fearing he might break it, but he’s ever so careful because it makes him feel grown up. Shortly after breakfast it was time for them to go home.
For me, simplifying my life meant eliminating television, processed foods, and clutter. This allows me the time to enjoy more of family and nature and share that love with the little ones. Like their older cousins, they have benefited from my lifestyle by having my complete attention when we are together.