Massachusetts – The Simple Life

by Funhog Family on August 18, 2011

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” – Thoreau

Life in the Woods

When Jodi told me Walden Pond should be our Massachusetts adventure, I thought okay but didn’t really get it until today. As we drove to the Walden Pond State Reservation, not just Walden Pond(yes there are 2 locations named Walden Pond, and we were initially headed down the wrong road), Jodi read some of Thoreau’s quotes to me. I get it now! He and I have some things in common. Thoreau took a journey of discovery, much like our 50 state challenge. He was restless and needed peace and quiet to work on his first book. Taking that first step, his journey led him to Walden Pond, land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson who became Thoreau’s mentor. Thoreau desired to simplify his life, and he did. “The cost of a thingsays Thoreau, “is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.He built a 10’x15′ one room cabin for $28.12 on the edge of Walden Pond and lived there two years, two months, and two days, reading, writing and meditating on life.
We got to check out a replica of Thoreau’s house, and then we went for a very short, wet walk around the beautiful Walden Pond. (Yes, it rained and poured and drizzled all day long.) While walking around the pond I was thinking about how counter cultural Thoreau was in his day and especially today when the world screams for us to give up the simplicity for the business of ease and more. There is a must read book called Henry and the Great Society authored by H.L. Roush that deals with the consequences of giving up the simple life. A good friend, Kevin Miller, wrote a couple of blog posts on Henry and the Great Society.  Check out the book and Kevin’s post here.

With the words “Simplify, Simplify” still ringing in my ears we drove to Lawton’s Family Farm, a raw milk retailer. We drove up and there was an old barn with the door open and a sign above it saying, “The Old Barn.” Elijah and I got out in the pouring rain to check out the store. Inside we found several freezers full of organic free range meats, raw milk cheeses, raw milk, and farm fresh eggs. It was all so perfectly simple, that we stood there for about ten minutes waiting for the owner to show up, until I saw a sign that read “Honor System – Please leave money in the basket”. I was so impressed that I ran out to the van to tell Jodi how amazing the store was. I grew up in a small town but have spent the last thirteen years in a large city. Trust and honor are not things you give strangers too often in the city. It felt so good to be trusted that I purchased more than I came for. We left with hamburger, eggs, and two gallons of yummy milk.  Our Massachusetts adventure ended with the family birthday tradition (Chloe is now 6) at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!!!

Walden Pond



Dan Levin August 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

WOW!!! I love that family farm store!!! WOW, the honor system that is so awesome.

Funhog Family September 1, 2011 at 5:02 am

Hi Dan, It was such an honor to use the honor system.

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