Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Need To Provide

The snow is falling fast and thick this evening, big snow flakes that drift slowly down because there's no wind. It's supposed to be quite a blizzard, maybe we'll get snowed in! There's a certain romance to being isolated from the world by a thick blanket of snow. :-) I love Winter, I love the stillness and the slower pace, I love the smell of soups simmering on the stove mingled with the wheaty smell of fresh baked bread.
I love the peaceful evenings around the stove reading aloud to the children. It's the time set aside to regroup and plan for the coming year, to pore over the seed catalogs and laugh that we ever could have considered Summer to be hot. It affords the opportunity to help the children develop skills that they will need as adults. A time for every season.........

It's about this time every year, after the holidays are over, that the drive to provide for my family really kicks into overdrive. I'm engulfed by the desire to sew and spin and knit, to assure myself that my own are covered and clothed. Mrs. B is knitting a wool undershirt for her baby and I'm enthralled with the idea of handmade wool undershirts, I want to bring forth the knitting needles and knit myself into a frenzy with undershirts streaming into my lap one after the other. Of course then reality rears its ugly head to snidely remind me that I can't knit.
Well, at least not well enough to actually make something. :-/

My inepptitude is really starting to mess with my self respect. How can I be a real woman if I can't knit wool undershirts? But seriously, I feel the weight of responsibility upon me in this area (as in so many others) because we've chosen to be responsible on a different level than a lot of other people are. If I don't sew, we go naked. If we don't keep a fire going, we freeze to death. If Katie or I doesn't cook, we starve to death. If the chickens aren't cared for or don't lay, we go without eggs. There isn't a back up readily available to fall back on. And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have it otherwise. I love not being dependent on the outside world anymore than we are. But it does add a certain urgency to the situation. :-)

So, I'll renew myself and think and plan what needs to be sewn and what can be remade or mended. I'll vow to manage my time better and all the while I'll give thanks, really and truly tears streaming down my face thanks, that I have the family that I do and have been blessed beyond measure with the ability to care for them.


  1. Ahhh, the other side of Ken's blog!
    I love it! Paris, you help us in your descriptions more than you may realize!
    God Bless you and yours!

  2. I really enjoy reading your blog. And, I have no doubt that when you put your mind to something -- like becoming a master knitter -- you will achieve it in good form at a rapid pace. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  3. Dear Paris,
    Such a touching post!!!
    You are an extremely talented person, even if you can't knit. Knitting is hard at first. I'm lucky because my mom is a wonderful knitter so she is teaching me very well. At the moment I'm making a hood and mittens (w/ a cable twist, something I never thought I would be able to do). :) So all things are possible. :)
    How do learn best? Like reading books (wl pictures), people showing you, videos, etc.
    Hoping I can help!


  4. What a beautiful post, Paris. I so enjoy reading about your family on this blog -- it's like looking through a window into the world of Laura Ingalls! Here in TX, I can't imagine getting snowed in -- nor would I really be prepared, I think, to know how to provide for my family like you do. As Ken said, you do so much for us through your descriptions. Thanks! I can't wait to read more about what your garden plans will be...

  5. I love the visual your words have given. I need to have the motivation and speed to be able to do what you do. At the rate I do these things...we would be naked and starving I'm afraid! I'd like to think I could do what you do...and perhaps someday I will. I can knit though :-)..but not fast enough to cover any babies right away 8p

    Lots of love,

  6. Mrs. Graham,
    I loved the post. It made me want to come over and sit in your cozy house while the smells of soup and bread wafting through the house make it even cozier! :)
    Well, if it adds to any consolation you've been given already, I used be to terrible at knitting (still am, as I can't do a lot of the really nice stuff.. yet!) but now I can get my way through different things. So, I bet you can learn it pretty easily if you put your mind to it!! :) My best to you and your wonderful family!!

  7. Lovely post, Mrs.G!

    If it is any consolation, I could not knit for the longest time because I kept trying to learn from diagrams in a book. That just did not work me because they are so hard to follow. I ended up learning from It is free and you can watch the videos as many times as you like until you get it!

    Your descriptions really are lovely and as others have said, I could truly picture everything in my mind! I hope one day I can communicate the same :)


  8. Mrs. G,

    As I have said before, I both envy and applaud your way of life. How very wonderful to be so independent from the world. Would that my DH would have more of this mind-set, but alas, he is far from it.

    I, like you, so enjoy the winter for all of the reasons you stated.

    You are a wonderful woman, wife, and mother; it is so very obvious. How wonderful, too, that you are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for what you have.

    Blessings to you, my dear.

  9. Thank you for the comments. :-) I should clarify, I *can* knit and I can purl if I really concentrate and have my book open. But I can't increase or decrease or anything like that. I really want to practice and learn more but I don't learn well from books and youtube is a no-go with dial up. Ah well, maybe I'll find a teacher.