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Signs of Our Hippie Days - Livin' the Good Life

Apr. 11th, 2008

02:05 pm - Signs of Our Hippie Days

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Here is a picture of me and Steve and baby Ely at a hippie potluck at the Purdie Ranch in Yucca Valley around 1973. I was 24 years old, idealistic, and determined to live on practically nothing. I remember telling people with pride that we lived on less than $100 a week. Of course, living like that required a lot more work in some ways, because we did EVERYTHING ourselves. No one came and fixed our second-hand appliances if they failed. Steve figured out how they worked and did it himself. If our cars broke down, which they often did because they were old, Steve fixed them with parts from other old cars. If we couldn't afford something, we did without, as it was against our philosophy to go into debt. "Cash only" was our policy. It's amazing how little a person needs to stay healthy and happy. We look back on those days with fondness. Life was very simple back then. For my part, I nursed my babies, so it was very cheap to feed them in the beginning. After that, we had goats that I milked and our kids drank that delicious milk from a bottle and then a cup. I grew a garden that provided veggies, and a natural foods co-op that I worked in for a couple of hours once a week down in Joshua Tree provided everything else at wholesale prices. The kids always came with me when I served my hours each week. I bought food in bulk, mostly, because it was cheaper and I loved having plenty of food stored. I bought wheat in 25 pound bags, ran it through our grinder, and made bread every few days. I made my own goat cheese. We ate a lot of beans and rice. We had neighbors with chickens, so we had a steady supply of excellent eggs at low prices. We shopped at thrift stores for second-hand clothing. I even went through a period of making our clothes. I bought muslin, the cheapest material I could find, and made drawstring pants and shirts for Steve and me. (They were perfect clothes for the desert. They kept us covered, but not hot.) I made them fancy by embroidering along the edges of the collars. Check out my handiwork in the picture below. I also made our shoes for a while! I bought leather and made these great moccasins. Steve and I wore moccasins for years! They were wonderful desert shoes.
Ely Darlene steve w guitar


Date:April 19th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
I LOVE this photo. Wow-the embroidery on the clothes and making your own shoes? I'm very impressed. You both look very peaceful.

Enjoy the honeysuckle:)

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