Q: When did you first start Choosing Voluntary Simplicity?

A: I sometimes think that Choosing Voluntary Simplicity started itself… beginning with the drastic lifestyle change we made about twenty-five years ago. The reason for that change was a tragedy that abruptly made us face how short life can be and also how easy it is to remain “in a rut” just because the changes you want will be difficult. It took months of soul-searching before we could admit (even to ourselves) that we felt trapped in work we really didn’t enjoy. We yearned for less stress and especially more time to enjoy the already simplistic life we had created at home. The hard part was walking away from the security of the thriving business we had built and into a very uncertain future… it was a very out-of-character decision for practical, security-minded people like us, but we have never regretted our choice.

Then early in 2007 our life changed again. I was confined to bed for nearly four months because of complications from a previous back injury. As you might imagine, those days and weeks, filled with pain and enforced immobility, dragged on and on and seemed like they would never end. I was determined to find something that would fill those long hours, and I decided to categorize the hundreds of hosta and garden photographs that were just sitting there on the hard drive. I had also been gathering all the information I could find about the various plants I was growing, and I started rewriting that information and matching it with the photographs. Someone suggested I use a blog format, so I did, although the “blog” at that time existed only on my own computer.

Eventually in late May and early June, when I was finally able to be up and about for short periods each day, I realized I now had even stronger convictions about what things in my life were important and what things in my life were not. I was amazed at how appreciative I felt about EVERYTHING, especially the “everydayness” of life that (like most people) I had previously taken somewhat for granted… the blue of the sky, the colors of the plants and the flowers, the sunshine… they all seemed so vivid… and my relationship with God, the people I loved, our simple lifestyle, and my home were especially precious to me. After months of not knowing if I would be able to walk again, even limited mobility made me feel so very grateful. And as I became able to add some simple, everyday chores back into my life, just being able to do something productive again was a pleasure too. The present version of Choosing Voluntary Simplicity grew out of this gratefulness and appreciation for the NOW of my life… and my wish to share the how’s and why’s of our simple lifestyle, as well as the joys and blessings that this kind of lifestyle brings.

A more simple answer to the question of when this blog began is that I uploaded the first post online on June 4, 2007. :o)

Q: Who are you, and where do you live?

A: My name is Shirley, and I am married and the mother of two sons. We live in northern New England in a very rural area, complete with rustic stone walls, narrow dirt roads that are sometimes impassable during “mud season,” and an abundance of gorgeous mountain scenery.

By choice, we have always lived close to nature and opted for the simple way of life, so the philosophy of voluntary simplicity and a conscious and deliberate spiritual lifestyle was a natural, even years before I knew there was a term for it. This blog is a reflection of my principles and beliefs, including my enjoyment of nature, my gardens and plants, and the wild creatures that are all around us.

I have always loved being around and caring for animals. In the past we have had chickens (including many of the fancy breeds), guineas, geese, ducks, goats, rabbits, pigeons, doves, and an enormous pig who played with a ball and used a pine branch to sweep shavings into a pile to make her bed. I especially love birds and raising the helpless, featherless babies. Currently we have a goat, doves and pigeons, two talking cockatiels, a super-smart, super-talkative Amazon parrot, two wonderful cats, and two tiny lap dogs just bursting with love.

I love to read, especially very long family-type sagas that extend over generations, biographies, and history. I knit (mostly afghans), crochet (not so much), and sew (mostly slip covers), although I always would prefer weaving baskets to any of the three. I enjoy making soap and doing other old-time projects. I also like simple antiques… not the fancy stuff, but the dishes and furniture that ordinary people used every day. I have a collection of both new and old pig statues and an assortment of antique china heads… also a few cookie jars of cows with an attitude… although I’m not actively “into” collecting.

Q: What ideas would you like people to take away with them from this blog?

A: Mostly that living simply is a choice that will give you a better, happier, more productive life. I’m always surprised to realize how apprehensive some people are about embracing simplicity, and I hope to show by example that it is possible to live well… and normally… by living the version of simplicity that is the best fit for you.

It truly stuns and humbles me that so many people from so many countries are reading what I write. I am so grateful to the amazing number of people who have taken the time to write personal messages to me. Thank you… I appreciate them all so much… and I would love to hear from YOU.

Comments for this post are closed.



I always felt sort of a “kindred spirit” when I read the articles so well written on your website. Now I know why. I too, love old American pottery, birds (well, all animals…including my two little ankle biters!!), knitting, and literature about how families in early America lived. Because of my husband’s job (one for which I am truly grateful, indeed), we cannot relocate out of Miami anytime soon. But I do long for the day when we can get a little place out of the city and into the quiet where I can have a few chickens and a little veggie patch of my own.
Thanks for sharing so much. You give me inspiration and ideas while I await my day to live out in the country again!!


I wish you were my neighbor. We would be friends!

Jared D.

Nice to meet you! I’ve actually been reading your blog for almost a month now and decided that today I’d actually leave a comment to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your writing. You write about the things that are becoming more and more important to me and I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks!


It sounds like you’ve really been through some bad periods but you’ve used the experiences to make positive changes in your life and outlook. I admire that. I’ve been through bad patches myself and I’m a little ashamed to say that I let them make me bitter for a while. I’m coming out of that now and I think I have to credit this blog as part of the reason. You’re right, some things in life are important and some things are not. You give me hope.


Hi Shirley, your blog tag line is what I’m searching for and your blog is a constant source of inspiration to me. I know things won’t happen overnight but I will get there.
Thank you for your excellent writings.


Your site is great. It has pushed me and my spouse closer to semi-retirement. We must live now and appreciate each moment. Thanks

Dayle A.

I just commented under your entry on one of the hostas (it confirmed the identity of an old hosta I have). I am so happy that my search brought me to your site. I now have it bookmarked and will be returning often, both to read new posts and to catch up on old. Very much of what you write parallels my own life. I grew up in a place and time where living simply was the norm, and I early made the choice to maintain that in my life. It is so much less stressful!

Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for creating such a remarkable blog that touches on so many of the truly important things in life.


I have always felt that it is the simple little things in life that we take for granted, and often don’t appreciate.

I am a novice gardenener from Northern New Hampshire. Unfortunately because of health problems and other distractions in my life, I got started late this year. As I was surfing the web this morning for information on growing bleeding hearts, I stumbled across your blog. And I am so glad I did. You have so many interesting articles here, and so much to read. So I will bookmark your blog in my favorites, and when I have more time I will return to read more.

Your blog is a wonderful inspiration, thank you for sharing Shirley


Your website information is so close to Buddhist teachings and I really enjoyed my visit. I wish you all the best! Keep up the good work.


I just happened upon your site today searching info about Hosta seeds and hope to check it out further. I also agree with your philosophy. I feel like today’s society takes people away from self-sufficiency and being in touch with what is “real”, a connection to nature, growing our own food, appreciating contentment from simplicity. Kudos to you for helping to enlighten others!


I am enjoying this site, it is fun to see that others are adopting a lifestyle that my husband and I have considered “normal” for our entire married life (35 years). We were both raised by frugal parents and that philosophy has served us well. We are farming 400 acres of barley with equipment refurbished by my husband. We heat mainly with wood and cook in the winter with wood. Now that our family is grown, we don’t garden as much but at one time we fed our family of three kids from our garden and with venison from our fields. It is a wonderful life. I might note here that our three kids got good educations and jobs and chose not to live this way, but as they age we see them drifting back this direction.


Hello Shirley,

I enjoyed your historical posts very much and hope you haven’t finished writing them. Old recipe measures have always fascinated me, as have cookery and housekeeping books from the past. History aside, thanks for the pure fun of learning how to take a bath!


I check every day for a new posting because I love your writing so much.The gentler, simpler life is calling to me and my husband every day as we try and leave the corporate world behind.Thank you for everything


I just want to thank you for this blog. You have been such a positive influence on my life. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your writing. Thank you for being you and for everything you give.


I came across your blog this morning, and I just love it! Thank you for all the work you put into it, and for your carefully chosen words and well crafted entries.


i teach environmental ethics and a course on the environment at north carolina state university and use vol. simplicity as an example of how we can actually begin to work toward solutions in our own lives. just wanted to thank you for a very excellent website … :)


Shirley, I just read a post of yours (about accepting responsibility for your life) and loved your statement: “However, I do strongly believe that even though you may not have control over everything that happens to you, you do have control over how you react to situations and events.” I’ve been trying hard to live by that philosophy for awhile now and it’s made a big difference in my life. Thanks for your blog, I will keep reading (and recommend you to others)


I found your site today and was charmed. It encapsulated so much of the way my family has been feeling recently and I wanted to say “thank you.”


Your blog is wonderful — so educational and thorough. I really like how you talk about all aspects of simple living, and don’t focus only on “cutting back” like so many others. I’ve been learning about and implementing parts of simple living for a few years now – we have no debt besides our mortgage, and we don’t seem to buy many “things”. We do have one weakness though — home improvements. It’s easy for me to ignore clothes, jewelry, cars, etc, but when it comes to new flooring, a deck, or new fence we’re ready to pull out the cash. We despise the renovation process, but love the result.


It was so heartwarming to read about you appreciating digging and eating dandelions. I try to dig at least 2 five gallon buckets. My 93 year old Dad has asked me to bring some to him in upstate NY. I live on an island on the coast of ME. I am trying my hand at living more self sufficiently with a garden, chickens and meat rabbits along with 3 German Shepherds, and two Maine Coon cats. Wish I’d started this before reaching 60+ years of age but I doubt my exhusband and 4 boys would have been very supportive of the project.


just wanted to say i have just found your blog/site and think i am in heaven…i have thought alot about how i need to “simplify” a bit more and will be using this site as a primer on doing it! i love the idea of having an ongoing place to read about the process…farming is a simple life generally anyway and we do farm, but with the boys almost grown, i have a bit more time to concentrate on slowing down more now…sorry…rambling, but just wanted to say thanks and i look forward to much happy reading.


I share an apartment in a suburb of Boston. One reason we make such good roommates is that we both feel it is important to live mindfully and in as green a manner as possible.

We have both been going through a period of intense overwork and stress which has us looking more seriously at how we are living and what choices are within our control.

I have happily found your website and am delighted to have such a warm and commonsense approach to life – shared. I had adopted the habit of starting my day by reading the news on line and diving in to answer emails from work.

My new pattern is to read a entry or two from your blog – turn off the computer and sit with my tea, taking a few minutes to center myself and reflect on my priorities and goals before beginning the work day and interacting with the world’s priorities.

I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. You remind me that I can always choose to live by my priorities rather than surrender to the pushes and pulls for other forces.

Dene B.

I just found your site through a friend on facebook.. you are living my dream! My family is also on a quest for a more simple lifestyle. I look forward to reading more of your posts..


My name is Mega and at present I live in Indonesia (I used to be in Reno, NV about a year ago). I just want to say how much I enjoy reading your articles. Thank you and Keep up the good works. God bless!


Shirley: I stumbled on your website while searching for info on hostas I’m considering purchasing. I’m glad you’re sharing your experiences with others. My husband and I have been moving in the direction of simplicity since we moved to upstate NY in 2001, and more so since he lost his job last summer. It’s worth it because he (and we) are much happier and less stressed! We are investing in our land, growing vegetables and herbs, planting an orchard, and doing worm composting (can’t do it outside because of hungry bears). We also gather wild food, especially blackberries (looks like a bumper crop this year). Please keep sharing your thoughts with the world.


Hello! I just found your website and want to thank you so much. It is amazingly difficult to find a website that offers good information for simple living…that’s “normal” (if there’s such a thing)…and won’t condemn me for using white sugar…or tell me not to shop at certain stores…you get the drift. I just want a simple, warm-hearted, loving, beautiful life and your website is adding to it. Thank you!


I just thought I would drop you a quick line to say how much I have enjoyed finding your blog this morning. We live in New Zealand, and hope to move to our rural property soon, building a wooden house together as a family, and farming our 7 acres. Your blog is going to be a great source of helpful information!


Each person’s thoughts are important. Thank you for sharing yours — you are such an inspiration and encouragement to me!


my name is Irina, i`m 23 years old and i`m from Romania-Europe. I`ve discovered your blog the other day and i totally loved it. There are so many tips and good advices here, that i can use and improve my life with so let me thank you for that!


Just thanking you for the site. It’s good to have reinforcement to resist the empty temptations of a materialistic consumerist oriented society. Your site helps me do that.
Keep up the good work.


Hi there. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading your posting about your super smart and super talkative amazon. I have the same. A super chatty and smart little double yellow head. She runs he house and tells on the cats and dogs when they misbehave. Your blog is in my list of favourites.
Thank you.


Love your blog!! Thank you for it!


What a wonderful read! I love this site we have a small farm, not as working as I would like it because we have made life too busy with external activities failing to see the rich busy work we could have right on our small plot of life. This is changing this year for sure…


I really enjoy your blog. Thanks!


My ultimate dream is to live full time on a family homestead, the great thing is, because of this economy, my dream may be coming sooner than I thought I could have it happen!


I have been here for over 2 hours! I love it! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!


I have been following your blog for a few months now and I have to say thank you! You make a great job and provide a lot of information to a lot of people. You are an example!
I am in a way to simplify my life and your blog offers me a big support. I hope you will blog for a long time and wish you all the best!


I discovered your blog for the first time tonight after googling “country lifestyle”. It is refreshing to find an informative and interesting site that is also well written. I’m excited to read everything, as my husband and I may soon be headed down the same path!


Hi! So glad I finally found you again. I have read some of your posts a few months ago and thought I’d bookmarked the site. : ( …I hadn’t. I was telling a co-working about some of what I read and wanted to share more and read more of what you’d written but could not find the info/link. This week end I was ‘surfing’ and trying to remember what I had been looking at, reading, researching, etc. when I originally found you. Still no luck. I fell asleep on the sofa and after my nap woke up remembering a thread …and now, after several hours, and following the thread (through some crafting sites, and other places) …I found you again!! I’m very happy. : ) Looking forward to reading more and maybe chatting too.
…so I’m doing something I NEVER DO …posting a message to a complete stranger.
Well, I think that’s enough for now, this short hello has now become a ‘long babble!
It’s 1:27 am and I really need to go get to sleep or I will be one crabby crabby person. It’s Sunday brunch too and I want to make my favourite ‘farm pancakes’ for my son and hubby!
Good night Shirley!
: ) Pamela, land-locked in the middle of Canada


I just discovered your website yesterday and I just can’t get enough. You are so wise and I want to thank you for all the effort it took to put this together. I’ve already found several articles that will help me TODAY!
May God Bless you today and always.


Ever since I was a child growing up in a suburb of central Maine, I had a passion and yearning for rural living. I have found memories of a beloved great-aunt in Springvale who washed her hair with rain water from the barrel in the yard and had a garden that seemed to stand 8 feet tall and resembled more an inviting forest. I have longed for a homesteading lifestyle for longer than I have known of the word. In the last 10 or so hours I have gone through most of your links and postings and I am enchanted and inspired. I look forward to staying in touch with your adventures and would like to thank you for sharing. Warm wishes to you Shirley. I look forward to staying current with your postings.


Hi Shirley,
I have just found your site and I love it. What a beautiful idea to help and educate people . AWESOME.
First that caught my eyes was growing Sempervivum tectorum in your gardens, for this is my favourite plant. It’s not only that is very decorative and beautiful and does not ask for much attention, but it has medical qualities too. This is the BEST medicine for earache, works miracles. Just wash the leaf with hot water, break the leaf and squeeze few drops into the ear. It can be applied on wounds and burns.
I used that on my children and myself for 40 years.
God bless


I must say that I really admire the thought and effort that you’ve put into your blog. Never before have I felt inclined to comment on a posting or contact an author. Not once. However, the content and structure of your blog… the philosophy behind it… compels me to voice my appreciation to you. I only discovered it an hour ago. What little bit I have read has been insightful and inspirational, as the subject matter is so closely aligned with where my husband and I now find ourselves at this point in our lives. I can’t wait to read more and I’m excited about sharing this site with my friends. Thank you for sharing this like you have. You’re doing a good thing here.


Hello from a fellow New Englander! I have been reading about Voluntary Simplicity for some time now and am starting to make some small changes. For me right now it is not about making a huge life change – maybe some day – but it is about being more genuine to myself and my family – less emotionally tied to work – and more thoughtful in what I “need”. Your blog has inspired me greatly and I look forward to coming back and reading more.


I just found your site. I found your writing to be of interest to me. I am a retired medical missionary. I have always lived simply. Its good to find others who share this way of life.


Thank you for your site. You have helped me see that our family is not alone in our adventure! We are getting ready to make a huge change, moving our family out of town to pursue our ‘Small Life’.


I love, love, love your web site, and come here often to “toodle around” and just “be”. I embrace the concept of voluntary simplicity, and have made it my chosen lifestyle too. I feel so happy, healthy, and balanced living this way. THANK YOU for your beautiful and inspirational web site. You are a gift, and a beautiful example of living a peace-filled, full, and balanced life.


Your wonderful writing is helping me. Thank you so much. Sincerely, Jan


I enjoy reading your blog Shirley! I want to live my life more like yours… Thanks for the inspiration and great tips on gardening and cooking!


Just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your blog! I bookmarked it in my favorites and when I have a few spare minutes (I am a stay at home mom of 2 boys) I go to your blog and read an article. I live in Alaska and about 2 years ago I got very sick and it made me re-evaluate my life. I kept saying, “I want a bigger SMALLER life” to my family and they all thought I was crazy. I googled, “Simple Living” one day and it changed my life. I just recently found your blog and I have enjoyed every article you have written. Thank you so much for sharing your insights! Take Care!

Linda from Missouri

I just stumbled on to your web-site. This is me! I’m looking forward to reading about all the subjects I love and hearing from other like-minded people.


I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I have the very same way of thinking and it is a pleasure to have someone else reinforce these ideas. Keep up the good work and I have got to get reading some more of your site. Thanks :)


When I stumbled upon your blog yesterday it was an answer to my prayers. I grew up in a small town (pop 46) but now my husband and I live in an increasingly urban area with our two daughters. Life has become increasingly chaotic with us both working full time we feel like we no longer have time for the important things in life. As I searched the internet for downsizing life and simplfying I found your blog. It was such a breath of fresh air, and I immediately felt some peace. Thank you for affirming my opinion on simplifying not meaning absolutes, not meaning dumpster diving for needed goods. Your blog is full of practical advice that I desperately needed. Thank you.

Connie F.

I’m very glad to have stumbled on this site and am pleased to meet you. I kinda think we might be neighbors-ish. I live in Cambridge, Vermont………..love your mindset.


Hi Shirley,
I love your writing and values/lifestyle so much it is very much what I am working at growing in my life and I read your articles many times to build my confidence in myself for holding these ideas. Thanks so much for sharing and having the courage to share.


I agree with another lady, you would make a great neighbor of mine. Ever considered moving to Texas? God Bless


Hi! I just stumbled across your blog this afternoon and have the last couple of hours reading your posts. I love that you live a simple lifestyle! Thanks again for your wonderful blog!


Found your blog when looking up some plant info on hens and chicks, which I have grown forever but recently killed! Love your style of writing and how similar our interests seem to be. Thanks for sharing your life here!


I just wanted to send you a quick note to THANK YOU for your wonderful website!!! I found it about 10 min. ago and I am thrilled! I try to live a balanced simple life full of joy and contentment. I have been searching for blogs and websites of this nature and I have found them few and far between. I am so excited to read the archived articles on here in the days and weeks ahead. :) Live simple. Live Happy :)


Dear Shirley,

I found your website today, looking for a wood burning oven/stove.
I am getting “all my ducks in a row” to build a house which will be self-sufficient.

You are an inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to share.



First may I say you are a joy to read. I have been looking for some “old” ideas to remind me that there are some real things left, simple things, that can restore us despite all the problems brewing all around us. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!!Jeff


Thank you so much for posting the section on starting hostas from seed. I am going to give it try this winter and with any luck will produce some amazing hostas. I have been reading your blog now for over a year and it has inspired me to get back to the simpler things in life. I look forward to rising each day to tend my gardens without any other care in the world. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you and for taking the time to share everything that you do.

Kindest regards,


I found the article on the year without a summer (1816) interesting. A 7th generation grandfather was a mail courier in Canada and had a farm (outpost) at Lake Temiscouata in northwest New Brunswick. That year he had to request help from the Provincial Governor due to crop failure as they had frost every month and snow on June 7th.


What a wonderful website – totally inspiring!


Thank you for the info on hollyhocks. I too believe in allowing plants to seed themselves. I have a large area of flower gardens and could never afford to buy perennials for the whole area. Sometimes allowing self-seeding does require a bit of judicious “weeding” to remove those that are too numerous, but even that process yields plants that can be passed along to friends.
Love this site–just stumbled upon it this AM. I found it to be very calming that there is someone else who appreciates the rhythm of ordinary life.


Shirley: It’s been a pleasure to ‘find’ you today and learning more about you. You’ve affected so many lives in such a positive way. “One person CAN make a difference.” Not only is your story inspirational, but so are the other stories I’ve read on your blog. As one of your readers wrote, your calm approach makes one feel one can try anything….and SUCCEED.

I think you should write professionally but then again, that takes time away from gardening!! then where would we be?

I have now spent the last 2 1/2 hours at your site and I need to go but I have this site saved for future reference. Thank you for providing more ‘sunshine’ today.


I found your site when searching for the answer to: “How in the world do I get boiled eggs to easily peel every time”? I would say it was purely accidental I “clicked” on your prompt while searching through Google; but I believe it was Divine Intervention that brought me to you!!
I’ve not had the opportunity to read more than the above-mentioned article yet since I’ve only discovered you approximately 10 minutes ago. However, I am SO EXCITED!! I know in my heart the Lord directed this path and I sincerely look forward to learning all I can from you…my Sister in the Father :)


I absolutely love your website. It is beautifully written and very inspiring. You are a true human being. God Bless!


I’ve been reading your blog for months and finally decided to read the section about you and then, of course, the comments left by some of your readers. I still have tears in my eyes. It must feel so gratifying to be so important to so many people! I really appreciate you and thank you!


I love your site. I appreciate knowing that there are other people like myself who want to take time to value what they have! Thank you for sharing.

William M.

I’m loving this blog. I think you can definitely add Northern Ireland to the list (this is not Ireland or Great Britain although your blog might think it’s GB, I’m not sure). Anyway keep up the great work.


Hi Shirley, I came across your blog a few months ago. This topic is very close to my heart, although I myself still have ways to go to live as simply as I would like to. But if anything keeps me trying, it is folks like you, who are a true inspiration. I have learned so much from reading your posts, and want to thank you for all of it.


Wow! i just logged onto my laptop and came across your title…. I just had to read it… I think my husband left it up when he was looking for a recipe….by chance, I stumbled upon it and I can’t wait to read more!


One of the most outstanding blogs I have ever read. I thank you for your well-said words, written so “simply” but yet leaving a very impressionable message. I moved to the country (northern New England as a matter of fact) eight years ago from a large city. It was culture shock to say the least. I have since adapted and can’t imagine ever going back to city-living. An added and unexpected benefit to living a simpler life was the emotional and spiritual healing that took place within me. I truly didn’t realize the turmoil I had in my soul that is now gone thanks to enjoying nature, quiet mornings on our property, the gift of silence, and a kind word from the folks at the local country store. Thank you for the work you do here. It helps more than you know.


Hi Shirley,
Still fascinated with your blog. I am amazed at how so many people realize “That Simple Is Better.” God Bless Continue Your Work and This Wonderful Blog. So Happy I found You.

Remain Blessed, Warmest Regards


Love the article about the laundry that you found in your Grandfathers journal. The images were very clear. A good part of history.


I came across your site, and I want to tell you how wonderful I think
it is. I admire you, and hope to incorporate your ideas into my own
life. Thank you.

Richard C.

Dear Shirley,

I am preparing to sell the big city house where my wife and I have raised our two children in order to move to a small country home for our retirement years. I am using your blog as inspiration for planning a simple living lifestyle. Thank you for the great thoughts and ideas.




Hello Shirley,

I have been ‘poking around’ on your website this past week. Reading your posts on simplicity, decluttering, and balance, I have enjoyed your view on all these subjects. My life has been one of simplicity for the most part. I agree that balance is most important, not the act of decluttering for the sake of purging. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.


You feel the way I feel about nature, the birds and respect for the world out our back doors. I too relish in all these things. We are drawn to nature because we are one with Nature, God has made us this way. I take my hats off to you for your convictions and keeping things simple. I truly believe if more people realized what they have right out their own back doors, the world would be a more beautiful place to live. God Bless you and your family!