I watched this PBS show when it first came out back in my college days, and I just got it on Netflix and watched it again. The premise of the show is that three families can't use anything invented after 1860 something, and try to see if they have what it takes to make it 5 months in Montana. Watching it a second time around I realize how much of this show stuck with me even though I wasn’t aware of it. Many of the seeds of my desire to home school and live simply came from this show. Doesn’t God work in mysterious ways?
The fascinating part of the show was not seeing how hard they had to work, a new found appreciation of my dish washer and washing machine, or the drama between the families. For me the fascinating part was watching the children change, and the family units change. The children had responsibilities that left unfulfilled would cause the family to fail. One of them said he discovered his imagination out there. Another child said he thought it was better out there because he got to do things with his dad, which never happened in their ‘real world’, and his dad taught him things and he wanted to be just like his dad. Their talents and creativity shined. It was heart breaking for me to watch the follow-up at the end of the show and the interviews with the kids back in the real world. The two teenage girls interviewed back in the ‘real world’ sat in the swimming pool next to the 7,000 sf house overlooking Malabo and said how boring life was, that they were tired of going to the mall and putting on makeup. I couldn’t blame them.
When I was kid I wanted to live in the early 1900’s or the mid 1800’s. I wanted it SO bad; I remember talking with God and asking him why he put me where he did. I don’t want that anymore, and yet I don’t want to a part of the average early 2000’s either. I don’t want to be a consumer; I want to be a more content person. I don’t want to have average children that I sent off to some one else to turn into the rebellious teenage filled with angst, entertained and open to anything that comes to their eyes and ears, like mindless lemmings. I want to know my children, really know them as people, to help them learn how work hard, and dream and see, to be brave enough to go out and be different in the best possible ways, and fulfill their callings. I want to know what it means to raise my own food, and really appreciate it. I want to learn to live on even less that I have before, to bake for the neighbors, and know the poor of my community and learn to be a blessing to them. And I want to do it all with my oh so lovely front load washing machine. I praise God for progress! I know it can bring a lot of bad with it, but I just can’t help thanking God for that lovely appliance. =) c