See You in a Hundred Years Four Seasons in Forgotten

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See You in a Hundred Years Four Seasons in Forgotten America The premise of the book was okay butI'm a country girl myself My great grand's house had been outfitted with electricity and running water by the time I came along but right up the path my grandad still had to get well water and the bathroom consisting of a room with a big metal tin for bathing in with a chamberpot for the nightly bathroom trips and an outhouse So the planting harvest totting water to and fro preserving and pickling tending animals I watched and knew how all that worked out before I was 6 years old That said I found it amazing an adult person would have that hard of a time learning the ropes Some of the things he did like killing harmless black snakes then complaining of the rodents and peeing around his crops gross made me snicker I try not to be too judgmental though I have been to NY twice and both times I'm sure I looked like a deer caught in the headlights The whole 1900's bit threw me off It's like he felt having electric lights would completely make the experience unauthentic Anyone who's lived in the country can tell you if you are living off the food you raise and grow you don't sit on your hands you WORK From the time you get up to the time you lie down you are doing doing doing Just because there was electricity and tv barely anyone watched it I didn't start with TV until we moved away when I was 6 His life would have taken a complete 360 living in the 21st century on a farm even with a few amenities What I found really despicable was his wife had been in horrible pain and he don't want to drive her to a doctor because he don't want to break out of the 1900 role playing?I suppose this book would be 'eye opening' or shocking to someone who has lived a busy city life but to me it was nothing impressive The only thing I thought was it was nice he stuck to his guns Still the whole 1900's bit just seemed ueer and backward to me Tired of their stressed out 21st century city life Heather and Logan Ward and their young son Luther sell their fashionable New York City apartment and buy a farm from another century They settle in the farming community of Swoope in Virginia’s Shenendoah Valley determined to live a “nothing modern” life out of 1900 for one full yearSound romantic maybe even idyllic? Reality soon roosts with the chickens forcing the Wards to face 1900 – and themselves –sans starry eyed blinders “Not only are we stressing ourselves out in order to de stress we’re rushing to slow down recreating the past with the period appropriate stuff so much for Thoreauvian asceticism” p 27Divided into two parts Green and Seasoned part one rims with idealism frustration tension angst fear and exhaustion Chapters include Goodbye New York Old Year’s Eve Expedition to Nowhere How I Learn to Drive and Waiting for Rain Part 2 Seasoned turns a corner into guarded optimism with chapters like Picking Cleaning Shelling Shucking News from the Future Under Fire Home for the Holidays and Back to the Future“Recreating the past” has its share of bumps bruises and adventure “Simple life” in a century past also proves complicated than the Wards anticipated Making coffee and oatmeal before noon is a major accomplishment in the new old century Others include learning to drive a “bombproof” draft horse Belle and a wagon battling drought snakes garden pests rodents exhaustion a cantankerous wood stove and incredulous at first neighbors The Wards must also learn how to milk twin Nubian goats maker their own cheese and butter do without electricity a phone TV computers email and running water Not to mention doing laundry with a hand wring “washing machine” and figuring out how to survive a Virginia winter with nothing but a wood stove for heat But there are other surprises the art of the Drop In These unannounced extemporaneous visits from neighbors initially irritate but later invigorate Unexpected kindness Generosity with skin on Handmade birthday and Christmas gifts A good sleep after a job well done This occasionally uneven sometimes coarse and often hilarious chronicle takes us back one hundred years while wondering “How did they do it?” Ward’s pithy commentary and observations include “By respecting the past we can live a meaningful present – and future All my doubts about why we left New York? The fear that I was fleeing adult responsibility putting my family at risk because I could not cope with reality? Those worries were unfounded This project isn’t about escape It’s about exploring those inalienable realities facing humanity since the dawn of time – food water nature community It’s about finding our place in the continuum of history” p 227As their year in 1900 winds down the little family forges tighter bonds Connections Deeper roots New skills Old fashioned ingenuity A network of support not bound by time or technology New friends Neighbors CommunityWritten with a nimble touch and brisk panache See You in a Hundred Years is persuasive without being patronizing honest without being acerbic It almost makes you want to chuck your stressed out 21st century life for “simple life” too Almost I'll admit that I received this book nearly 4 months ago for Christmas and it has languished on a shelf bc it's non fiction My husband was excited about it and read it not long ago at which point he strongly encouraged me to make time to read it With non fiction books I essentially have to force myself to get started and then if it's a good book it's easier to keep going sort of like a good run where getting out of bed is the hardest partI really enjoyed this book The premise is that two thirty somethings decide to live with their two year old for one year like it was 1900 This means no running water no electricity no cars etc What I enjoyed was the way their experiences made me think about how I live my own everyday life Where am I letting technology cripple rather than assist me? Am I helping my children be in tune to the natural rhythms of the seasons? Are we connected to the food that we are eating and its preparation?If you've ever fantasized about chucking city life and moving to a farm read this book you might change or your mind or sell your house A fascinating read about the author and his family's year of living life as it was lived in 1900 Everything they did was done the way it was back then from using a horse and buggy to reading by candlelight I appreciated his honesty about the difficulties he had with farming and in his relationship with his wife The epilogue in which he updates us on what his family is up to was a nice ending A heartwarming uick read Logan Ward and his wife Heather took their son and set up house in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia They spent a year living as if it’s the year 1900—growing their own food forgoing TV and tampons taking splash baths etcDamn I like this bookIt’s not even the 1900 stuff that’s most interesting although it is Their son is still in diapers when they start the project brave souls It’s the interaction with his neighbors this getting along with people that would sooner poke their eyes out than live in New York CityWe lived in a different part of the Shenandoah Valley for years and I’ve probably exhaustively documented the ways in which it didn’t feel like home to me But there is something about the area that feels like time has touched it um really gently It might have had something to do with the old order Mennonites still riding their horses and buggies or the ongoing popularity of mullets I don’t know But even with email and TV and hot showers living there felt remote to me After reading See You I’m thinking the remoteness had to do with the feeling that it just wasn’t my communityIt’s good book Also I'd love to hear Heather's perspective on the year I really enjoyed this account of a family trying to live a year as though it were 1900 though I was put off by the many f words in the first half just a warning to like minded friends First the author just tells us his family's decision describes how it went relates what he thinks of it along the way and honestly shares his conclusions There is no agenda no politics no beating us over the head with how we all should do this or that Second he weaves his experience with history by setting the 1900 scene as he goes along I liked that there wasn't an entire section on how people lived in 1900 followed by his own trip to the past; details were given as needed Finally his consistent honesty is just awesome He shares his fears of safety for his son He describes dreaming of a real razor of his temptation to use a sample razor from the mail He freuently emphasizes his appreciation for the unexpected community support He's candid about all the stupid mistakes and simple successes One thing that was lacking was his wife's perspective There were some details about her cooking and canning but there had to have been so much As a wife and mother I wanted to know how all that housekeeping and childcare worked out for her This book didn't make me feel guilty for not being 100% green; instead it made me examine where my life can be simpler how I can certainly work harder and how I can reach out to my own community Logan Ward and his wife Heather were prototypical New Yorkers circa 2000 their lives steeped in ambition work and stress Feeling their souls grow numb wanting their toddler son to see the stars at night the Wards made a plan They would return to their native South find a farm and for one year live exactly as people did in 1900 Virginia without a car or electricity–and with only the food they could grow themselves It was a project that would push their relationship to the brink–and illuminate stunning hardships and eually remarkable surprisesFrom Logan’s emotionally charged battles with Belle the family workhorse to Heather’s daily trials with a wood fired cooking stove and a constant siege of garden pests and cantankerous animals the Wards were soon overwhelmed by their new life At the same time as Logan and Heather struggled with their increasingly fragile relationship as their son relished simple joys the couple discovered something else within their self imposed time warp they had found a community a sense of belonging and an appreciation both for what we’ve lost–and what we’ve gained–across a century of change This is a leisurely read of a family who decides to move from New York City to rural Virginia; and much importantly live without technology that did not exist in the year 1900 This is not an updated Walden The autobiographer certainly extolls the virtues of living off the land getting off the grid and many other sustainability type colouialisms However the family uickly learns that life with modern techonology is very difficult For the first several month of the experiment the family found themselves stressed not less And by the end spoiler alert but the this story is about the journey not the destination the family eventually gives up not only their pre modern life but also all of their pristine surroundings for a return to the modern inconveniences of their past lives Pretty soon these folks could not even find time to grow a garden So power to Ward if this book was financially successful But Ward unintentionally proved the point of many anti environmentalists that life before modern technology pretty much sucked See You in a Hundred Years is nice night time reading But keep looking if you desire some type of sustainability morality This book chronicled a family's decision and execution of an idea to live as if it were 1900 for one year It's a fascinating look at everything they have to remove from their newly purchased rural farm such as electricity indoor plumbing and even the automated water pump and their resulting dependence on the land their animals each other and their community You'll think they're crazy they are but by the end you'll wonder if you could do it because they gain so much and lose so little Mildly interesting but largely uninspiring this book is another entry in the 'alternative living project lit' category A young harried professional couple with baby in tow decide to drop out of the rat race for a year and live on a rural farm as if it were 1900 Clearly the result of a book deal it feels a little too gimmicky and not very historical Watch 1900 House or Frontier House by PBS for a interesting and historically rich riff on this theme

  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • See You in a Hundred Years Four Seasons in Forgotten America
  • Logan Ward
  • English
  • 09 October 2015
  • 9780385342681

About the Author: Logan Ward

Freelance writer Logan Ward has written travel stories for National Geographic Adventure the New York Times Men’s Journal Popular Science House Beautiful and other publications He also writes regularly about science and architecture and is a contributing editor for Popular Mechanics Cottage Living Coastal Living New Old House and Southern Accents In 2000 he and his family moved from New