living without

I spent a day with a wonderful family in northern Missouri a few weeks ago. The family doesn't use electricity — or much of it. Surprisingly, the day went by quite quickly. turkey slaughtering

I was paired up with a writer from MU's intermediate writing class, who was pursuing a story about the Arbuckles, a family from La Plata that tries not to use electricity in their lives. The reason behind this is for simplicity — it brings their family closer together. If you can only light your house with candles, you'll be spending time in the room that has light in it — which is probably around the rest of the family.

looking in a fridge

The mother and father — Holly and John Arbuckle — don't just want to avoid electricity for the sake of avoiding it. They want to better their lives. Therefore, they also have a freezer, a fridge and a propane stove. This makes them waste less money on food — since, if they couldn't freeze things, it would go to waste. They also have a car, which they need to go about their livelihood — John is a butcher and also a farmer, and they sell their eggs to HyVees in Columbia.

reading book to children

I'm just putting up some of my favorite pictures here — not necessarily selects, but ones I like. The writer, Melanie Loth, is currently looking to sell the story to a magazine, perhaps one interested in rural Missouri life. I'm trying not to publish all the pictures on my blog — I've learned from my mistakes in the past with doing that prematurely — but she thought it would be a good idea to put some pictures out there, and maybe see if someone would be interested in it. So, if you see this and you're interested, please contact me! There are many more pictures to look at.

walking with a candle

I can't tell you what a peaceful and interesting day it was spending the day with the Arbuckles. I attended a Quaker meeting with them, had lunch and dinner, watched Holly read a multitude of books to her kids, went around as John tended to the farm and also watched John teach his son, Noah, about life as they slaughtered a turkey. It was an enlightening day and I was pleased to spend it with such nice people.