I was born at home, in my parent’s bed. There weren’t many naturopathic OBGYN’s at the time and home births were not very common, but my parents found someone they trusted—someone who would make house calls and home deliveries—so that our first breaths wouldn’t be in the sterile environment of a hospital.
My older brother took a LONG time to come into this world. Dr. Vander Yacht napped off and on on the couch for the final six of the twenty-six hours that my mom labored. About two years later I was a little quicker, but without any meds at all my mom felt every moment of my birth.
A few more years into this life my parents had notions for more children, and were starting to form a vision that involved raising their family in the country, with fewer modern conveniences but a greater connection to nature and the simplicity and freedom that it could bring….
The house [we built] was a tri-level with a wood stove inside and solar hot water panels on a south-facing hill outside. Without a furnace we relied on the wood stove and the collected solar heat from the greenhouse to keep us warm when the temperature outside dropped.
In the colder months we would keep the door between the house and the greenhouse closed until mid morning when the sun had been up for several hours and heat had started to gather in the greenhouse.
I remember as a child watching the thermometer on the other side of the sliding glass door until it rose to a temperature higher than that of the house, indicating that it was time to throw open the door and let the heat flood in.
Dinners in the summer came mostly from the organic vegetable and crop gardens. Everything from potatoes, greens, and corn to currants, melons, and herbs came from these gardens. We ate like kings and queens from late spring through mid-fall and froze and jarred extras through the plentiful months so we could enjoy the just-picked freshness (and nutritious qualities “fresh” frozen can have) even after a chill set in.
We lived in a secluded family community where we could run barefoot from house to house, swap cucumbers for beets when one’s harvest was especially good, take picnics in the woods together, and ski through endless wooded trails in the winter. It was “simple” living at its finest.