Camp Stove and a Crockpot

Several months back our stove quit. Shortly thereafter our oven quit too. Of course for most people the next step would be to go spend $500 - $1,000 on a new one.

"Not us," said the man! "We have a camp stove, let's use that. We'll save the $700 we'd spend on an oven and can have a crash course in frugal cooking. This is how we're going to be cooking when we scale down anyway."

"Riiiiight. Let's go with that..." said the woman who does all of the cooking and went from a four burner stove and oven to a two burner stove and a crockpot. (I may have secretly been thinking, "I wonder how long this will last before I lose it and we buy an oven.")

It was an adjustment, to say the least. I wish I could say I didn't complain, because I did. When the item in the household you have "scaled down on" is the one thing you use numerous times a day to provide for your family, there are moments of selfish outrage to be had. This was my biggest complaint. We still had the big TV, the big house, endless stuffed animals, a wine budget, etc, but no oven.

It was an internal argument with myself and an external argument with my man (many of them), but I finally got to a place where I started to let go of my frustration and just embrace what I had. There are so many people out there who have much less, and here I am wanting to scale down and live a life of servitude, complaining about my ability to cook with a two burner camp stove over a normal stove.

On the personal side, I needed to take the large step back and see where my man, my best friend, was coming from and respect his leadership. Why did he want this so badly? And why was I fighting him about it for so long? On the flip side, he needed to see why it meant so much to me to have one. He needed to appreciate the efforts I put into bringing meals to the family by way of a stove.

Weeks turned into months and I am still cooking with a camp stove and a crockpot.

By choice.

Our friends don't understand it, and for a long while I didn't either. Yet my ability to cook didn't reduce, it just changed. My ability to provide for my family didn't go away. My relationship didn't end because of a fight about an oven. All things that could have happened if I had focused on the negative and not taken the opportunity to grow.

I have realized many things from this experience, but first and foremost is to trust the leadership of the person I have chosen as my partner for the rest of my life. It may be crazy, ridiculous, and downright bonkers, but you need to give him the chance. Otherwise what is the point?

Secondly, society has turned us into a material focused generation who wants the best of all things and wants it now. We don't appreciate what we have as much as we should, and the honest truth is that we have a lot. We have much more than we "need."

In the end we will likely buy a new oven/stove, but until then I am content. I received a reality check, but we all need those every so often. What matters is how we react and handle them.

The weird stuff you find yourself doing while improvising


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