Continuing my thoughts about Homesteading

by WhiteOak50

I wanted to share my thoughts today about Homesteading and answer some questions I have been asked.

A picture my husband created for me..

What our dream cabin would look like
Misty Morning Revisited
Misty Morning Revisited

Homesteading-Our Story

Yesterday I updated a Squidoo Lens I wrote about “Homesteading-Living off Grid” and I added it to a site called Amplify.  I got some really interesting comments and wanted to respond to them in an article, so I decided to write it here.

  A short background about this page: Back in 2005 my husband and I took a journey to a dream we both had about living off grid and getting back to the basics of life.  We wanted to experience life without electricity, running water and all of the conveniences of life as we know it today.  We sold and/or got rid of almost everything we owned except items that had a multi-use and did not take up a lot of space. Everything we own fit into a small u-haul trailer and off we went to a life that would change everything for us forever.  

We found a wonderful home/land package deal in another state and believed all of the events were Divine Sent.  Although things did not turn out the way we had thought, and we are no longer in that life style, we still believe the experience was Divine Sent because we learned A LOT!!

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Sometimes our minds are not in sync with our bodies...

Often in life, our minds are not in sync with our bodies.  When my husband and I ventured out on our journey we took a lot of things into consideration EXCEPT our age factor.  I was in my late forties and my husband in his early/mid fifties. We prepared for this journey learning to save our money and I stock piles can goods for food and so on.  But what did not consider was because of age it was harder for us to do some of the things that a younger couple could do without any problems.

  We lived in a one room home that was built for homesteading purposes.  I did have a small sink but it was a couple of months before we could figure out how to get the water inside.  So we hauled water from the top of our driveway down to the house so I could wash dishes outside and wash clothes by hand!  We had a small generator so we could watch a tiny bit of television on a very small TV to see what was happening in the world.  I would bake bread in a Coleman oven and we would heat up food outside on a Coleman stove.  We did not have a refrigerator or an inside stove so basically we lived in a camp-ground surrounding for months.   The ground was so hard that planting a garden was almost impossible, the weather was so dry and the heat was so horrible that having a garden that year just did not happen.  Long story short, we lived this lifestyle for about 6 months and gave it up and moved back into the world.

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Questions and Comments

(Q) Sorry to hear things didn't work out for you in Missouri. Would you ever consider going off the grid again? I would love to simplify my life, but don't think I could survive homesteading! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, the important thing is that you followed your dream!

(A) Believe it or not I would consider living off grid again.  This time I would go into it with the understanding that modifications would have to be made.  One of the biggest things I learned homesteading was the fact there is SO much we are totally dependent on in life, it does not matter if we are aware of it or not.  The convenience of having a faucet with running water or having a light switch to turn on and off or even having those baby soft towels to dry off with are all things we are accustom to having.  When we are hot, we turn on the conditioner, when we are cold we turn on the heat.  Living without all of these conveniences make you truly appreciate every aspect of the things we do have.  I remember sitting on the porch on days it was so hot that it felt like you were going to melt, and often we could get a slight breeze that made you feel so blessed it was a bit overwhelming. 

If I could only give one bit of advice to anyone who wants to live off grid it would be:  move to an area that you truly want to and base that decision on your age factor. If we were given a chance to have a cabin in the mountain region, YES we would do it again.  Both my husband and I believe in regular life we have more than we need, and homesteading teaches us to be thankful and appreciate everything that you cannot purchase with money.

(C) What a beautiful story and a lovely lens. Thanks so much for sharing your dream with us, at least you can look back at the memories and experiences, instead of saying "I wonder...what if?". You did it!!!

(A) I agree, often in life so many of us live with that horrible “What if” syndrome. I catch myself today remembering a lot of the GOOD things we experienced while homesteading and trust me, nothing could every take away the appreciation we were taught.

(C)I would like to now do you still have the cabin I like everything in the story and your experiences that you told on hear I appreciate reading it thank you

(A) No we no longer have the cabin.  We were pretty lucky because the company we purchased it from bought it back from us.  We purchased the home/land sight unseen and I suppose they took that into consideration.  I am not sure but I do know they took it back.

Engineer775 Homestead Channel


For today anyway...

Do I have any regrets for the months I spent Homesteading?  No, I do not because I learned so much and for that I am very grateful.  Would I do it again?  Yes, but not in that cabin in that state.  I could not handle the 105 degree weather everyday without a fan or an air conditioning, not being in my fifties today. 

I honestly believe and please note these are only my thoughts, but there is going to come a day when knowing how to use herbals for healing and how to grow our own food is going to be vital for our survival.  Learning to live “Without” all of the stuff will be an experience that many people will not be able to get use too because we have become too accustom to the “things” that make life easier.  

I often think back on the days in that cabin and still to this day incorporate some of the ways into my regular daily life.  I am very conscious of the amount of water I use, I try my best to take it easy on the electric and I still grow my veggies organically in containers.  I suppose you could say that both me and my husband both realize that Homesteading is a dream that both of us would love to live out the rest of our life doing if we could find the right location.

Would you consider homesteading or living off grid?

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Updated: 06/11/2011, WhiteOak50
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MBC on 01/01/2016

Everyone I know who has tried living off the grid has another home on the grid! Interesting snippet of your life.

frankbeswick on 05/27/2014

In England we use the term smallholding for homesteading. You chose a demanding place to go homesteading. As you were in Missouri, you were deep in a continental area far from the ocean, so you got cold winters and hot summers. This is not easy for a homesteading lifestyle. But raised beds would solve the hard ground problem,as would polytunnels. I have heard of an agricultural scientist who has one and half acres of marginal land on the Brecon Beacon hills in Wales, and he uses raised beds and polytunnels, and he has massive crops. Of course, we get temperate summers in Britain. It's not as hard as the climate that you endured.

WhiteOak50 on 06/25/2011

Thank you so much for your comment puerdycat. If you write about your experiences I would love to read them. I know to this very day I have containers filled with countryside magazines, mother earth news and others. Have you by chance ever read any of these magazines?

puerdycat on 06/13/2011

Thanks for your wonderful thoughts. I feel I've shared an experience with you and I so like your adventurous spirit! and your cabin in the mist. I lived off the grid (in my 20s) and was lucky to have some friends and family helping me learn how to manage in frigid and toasting conditions. Frugality and some good basic life skills will never hurt us, and even a little familiarity with current events--the work of mother nature if not what nations do to each other--suggests we wouldn't be wasting our time by learning to live pleasantly without the conveniences we know. Thanks again for writing!

WhiteOak50 on 06/12/2011

LOL-Susan. Next time we decide to do anything like this we will be moving somewhere where there is cooler weather for sure. (laughs)

nightbear on 06/12/2011

Oh my goodness, why doesn't this surprise me about you? I tell you what though, I admire you for living your dreams. And for having a wonderful husband that is supportive to your dreams together. Fantastic! However... I am a city girl through and through and would never survive. More power to you, but when you get hot next time, come visit me and we'll turn on the air! :)

WhiteOak50 on 06/11/2011

I remember my husband and I use to make weekly trips to the local library to check our emails and check on the want ads. I wish I would had known about being able to make a little $$ online back then because that would have helped a lot financially. I have links on my Squidoo page of Homesteaders Online Forums if you ever want to take a look.

WhiteOak50 on 06/11/2011

Thank you for your comment ohcaroline. Before my husband and I left to homestead, we spent a year preparing for it. We spent about 3 months using as little electricity as possible and no television (except to check the news). Even trying to prepare for homesteading, once we were actually doing it, it was very different because there was not really a choice whether to conserve or not, we had too. I do agree with you, life can be unbalance especially with the computer but these days that is folks are making money also. I will continue on another message...

ohcaroline on 06/11/2011

I so appreciate this article. Most people have no concept of the impact of living off grid. Sometimes, I think I will just unplug from everything for a few days and reset my priorities. I don't think we live a very balanced life any more with so much time spent on the computer.

WhiteOak50 on 06/10/2011

Thanks for stopping by tssfacts. I hear ya :0) But that "pioneer spirit" (for me) just will not leave me along. (smiles)

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