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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughtless people and the modern focus on leisure

Tabby and Ed the rooster
Tabby decided to sell her flock of Silkie Bantam chickens so we posted them on CraigsList.  We got a response very quickly from a woman about them.  I heard from this woman several times, all friendly, excited messages, and she confirmed a couple times about the pickup time and date.

So Saturday Tabby and I spent close to an hour chasing and boxing up her Silkies.  We felt bad for the chickens as they were so scared once they realized something strange was going on.  Her lilac rooster even cut the comb on his head trying to hide from us.

We were sweating and tired when we finally finished.  We carried the boxes to the front yard and put them carefully in the shade.

Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Tabby with two little chicks
 I texted and called the person.  No response.  I even prayed for them - that they were OK.

But finally, two hours later, we were really getting worried about the chickens being in the boxes because of the heat.  And, I finally admitted, they weren't coming.  ONCE AGAIN - another inconsiderate potential buyer.

Why is it so hard for people to just send an email, text, or call to say "Hey I'm sorry - I won't make it after all??"  Or "You know, I've just changed my mind.  Thanks anyway."  SOMETHING!  But just not showing up is so rude.  I pointed this all out to my kids several times making sure they understood how to handle situations like this.

So now we've relisted our CraigsList post and I added the blurb: "ONLY SERIOUS INQUIRIES PLEASE!"  Not that I think that will really make any difference.  People just are so self-centered these days.  (I'm not sure why this particular incident bothered me so much.  We've had no shows before.)

One fun thing out of all this is that we ended up keeping 3 of the newly hatched Silkie chicks.  Even Hunter was upset at the thought of there not being any Silkies anymore.  We just have a special place in our hearts for the little fuzz balls.  So each child has their own Silkie chick and they are currently living in a big tote bin in our dining room, under a heat lamp.

Hunter named his chick "Caroline Carla" and loves holding her:

I recently finished reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" series with the boys.  I was so glad they really enjoyed them and were even disappointed when we finished the last book.  Hunter said he liked Farmer Boy the best and Solomon liked The Long Winter.

I've been reflecting lately on the huge shift in our overall society from working diligently all day to working as little as possible.  (This is a generalization - I know!)  But isn't our current focus on getting the necessary stuff done so we can just relax and "play?"  Or even just procrastinating what needs to be done - not worrying about "work before play" - and just jumping right to leisure activities.  Just as the art of thoughtfulness has been lost, so has the art of work.  (Again, I am generalizing.)

Consider this scene from Farmer Boy.  Almanzo is in the barn in the winter time, helping his father thresh the wheat.  They did it manually, using flails.  Almanzo, though only 10 years old, doesn't mind hard work.  But he does ask his father why he did not hire the men with the threshing machine to come and help.  A whole grain crop could be threshed in only a few days.

"That's a lazy man's way to thresh," Father said.  "Haste makes waste, but a lazy man'd rather get his work done fast than do it himself.  That machine chews up the straw till it's not fit to feed stock, and it scatters grain around and wastes it.

"All it saves is time, son.  And what good is time, with nothing to do?  You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?"

"No!" said Almanzo.  He had enough of that, on Sundays.
(pgs. 307-308)

 I know it is pretty easy to survive without hard work anymore.  It's not like the old days when if people didn't work they didn't eat.  And I know they had to work crazy hard.  I am so impressed with how hard the women worked just to get food on the table, clothes made, etc. and still had pride to keep their houses super clean.  I know with all our appliances, stores, etc, we don't have to work so hard in the same way anymore, but I just think a lot of character has been lost.  We walk around pushing buttons to get this or that to work for us, waste hours everyday glued to a screen of some kind, and can charge most whatever we want on credit cards.  There really is value to working hard and many of us are missing out on it.

And ... though I know many people don't believe this ... work isn't something terrible!  (I hear echoes in my head as I type this, of some of my own children shrieking "Oh no! It is chore time!")

Solomon wrote, in Ecclesiastes 3:22:  "So I saw there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot.  For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?"

Odysseus is growing fast!  Solomon loves to help me take care of the animals
Why is it that studies have shown that Americans, in general, tend to be less happy than the majority of people in poor countries?  We have more stuff, more money, more choices, more playtime, etc etc. 

I can't help but wonder if it is because, in general, we don't like to work hard.  Therefore we don't feel that deep satisfaction that work gives and a true sense of purpose in life.

"No task worth doing is easy ...." - Theodore Roosevelt

Wouldn't Almanzo and his father be shocked to visit us today?

Finally, on an aside, Laura and Almanzo Wilder's daughter Rose was a famous author, before Laura ever was.  She incorporated stories she learned from her parents into her novels.  Let the Hurricane Roar is a great story about a young couple seeking to survive on their new homestead.  Rose Wilder Lane has a different writing style than Laura did, but I really enjoy identifying bits of her parents lives in her stories.


  1. great just danced an irish jig on top of my feet lol ...but now my question is do you have any suggestions for overcoming that "i don't want to work" attitude? how to get to a place where one can enjoy or at least be contented while working or with work? i certainly struggle with procrastinating or getting something done so that i can enjoy the not doing ... its so easy to see my flaws/sins sometimes but so hard to know how to change ...any suggestions?

    1. Oh I'm sorry about the jig! I hope it didn't hurt too much. ;) I do understand about procrastination - I'm actually reading an interesting book on the topic. And - I hope to soon write a post about a big job that I have been procrastinating about for a long time. (Lord willing I'll begin tackling it tomorrow! So says the procrastinator!)
      I think my temperament has helped me to usually feel satisfied with a job well done. That is often my reward - and to see results.
      But I still have some jobs that I just don't want to do. Sometimes I still have to play games with myself like "If I do this ... THEN I get to do or have this as a reward." Because we still need to do many things, no matter what we feel.

      Do you find there are certain jobs that you just don't want to do? Or is it everything? Because if it just certain things - perhaps it is because you don't feel confident in them. Like if you hated cleaning your house, is it because you truly hate cleaning or just that you don't feel confident in your skills in doing so. If that is the case, there are many ways to learn more about whatever you are struggling with.

      Of course there are just some things that we just don't like doing, right? I personally have a great dislike for making supper. But, I have found that if I have planned my menus ahead of time, and have everything I need handy, and it's a yummy meal!, then OK it really isn't so bad to cook.

      So definitely try to analyze how much you have that "I don't want to work" attitude and see if you can figure out why you are procrastinating about this or that. (I guess that's not very helpful, right?!)

      I'm not really sure what else to say right now (since I don't now more about your situation), but thank you for your comment! I was afraid I had scared everyone off or made them mad with this post, LOL!

  2. thank you for your response =) i thought about what you said...about the why or what is it ...i wish i could say it was merely confidence that seems easier to overcome lol ...but if i am being honest, its simply a matter of selfishness...its what i want to do vs. what i should be doing... i wish there was a quick fix or a 5 step program to getting out of the lazy selfish mindset ive been in most of my life...but since there is not i know i need to pray more about it and simply do what i ought and not what i feel ...
    thank you again for your post... i certainly needed the reminder to work on this

    1. I totally get that! Personally, I find getting started on something is the hardest part. Once I get going, I'm fine and even enjoy it. Like this past week - I had to totally clean out my kitchen after finding mice evidence. I started with one cabinet and put everything that wasn't already in glass jars into them for storage and to keep the food items safe from mice. It all looked so good I decided to do another cabinet. And before I knew it I had cleaned out every cabinet and drawer in my kitchen - gotten 5 boxes of stuff to give away - and cleaned and organized it all. It felt so good! (I WAS tired by the end. But I also caught 2 mice and see no more mouse evidence!) It was like a domino effect - the more I did the more I wanted to do.

      You might find the book "Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day" by Glynnis Whitwer helpful. I'm only halfway through the book but have found it very eye opening. She talks a lot about the choices we make and about procrastination and why we do it. She is the first one I have ever heard mention there could be a sin factor involved. It is really has made me start seeing my day and what I choose to do in a very different way.

      God bless! :)

  3. just ordered it and looking forward to reading it ...thank for the suggestion =)

    1. I'd love to hear what you think of the book. And I need to finish reading it! :)