365Ways to Simplify Your Life
An Interview With Patrice Lewis
By Amy Nicholson
Patrice’s daughters harvesting wheat after she’s scythed it
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do
your own business, and to work with your
own hands, as we commanded you; that
ye may walk honestly toward them that
are without, and that ye may have lack of
nothing” ( 1 Thessalonians 4: 11–12).
These verses guided Patrice Lewis’s family as they moved from a hectic life in the city to a simpler life on a farm. In her
book, The Simplicity Primer, Patrice suggests 365 ways to simplify our lives. I had
the pleasure of interviewing Patrice.
AMY: When did you leave your hectic
PATRICE: My husband and I were working as professionals in the city. One day
there was an accident on the highway. It
took me two hours to get to the office.
That night my husband and I looked at
each other and asked, “Is this really the
way we want to live?” After a great deal of
thought and research, we left it all behind
and moved to Oregon. The house was in
rough shape, but we fell in love with it.
AMY: What did you learn?
PATRICE: We instantly went from having a steady income to no income. We
had no money coming in for five months.
There is no faster way to learn frugality.
We learned not to take income for granted. We traded security for freedom.
AMY: Then you moved from a 4-acre plot
in Oregon to a 20-acre farm in Idaho?
PATRICE: After ten years in Oregon,
we needed more land. We wanted to expand our cattle herd. Since we work at
. . . My husband
and I looked at
each other and
asked, “Is this
really the way we
want to live?”