My counselor told me to write a book so I’m writing a blog instead. I meant to start it a year ago but being at the bottom of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs delayed things a bit.
The following stories chronicle our family’s journey from suburbia to the edge of the frontier where we settled on raw land. We are a married couple with a fifteen year old son and two cats and we were growing tired of the increasingly frenetic atmosphere of the Puget Sound region.
The decision was made to head east in search of wide open spaces more compatible with our nature. We sold our house in the spring of 2017, bought a twenty foot travel trailer and hit the road.
We camped in the national forest and began to cruise the online real estate websites for land. The RV had canvas pullouts and was supposed to be our home for only the summer but we ended up living in it for an entire year. It hit me one night that there would be nothing but cloth walls between us and the snow come winter. I was right to be nervous.
We bought a few acres of raw land in eastern Washington near the Idaho and Canadian borders and set about making a new home for ourselves. Moving onto undeveloped land meant we had to do without things such as electricity and water from the city. We learned this is called living off-grid and it necessitates using stand alone systems.
For the first few months we hauled city water from a standpipe home in a barrel in the back of our truck. Then we discovered natural springs on our property. How lucky is that? For power we used a gas generator and installed solar power. It was tricky to set up and we learned from our experiences but I highly recommend it.
We initially used WiFi for Internet but it became us vs the Google data pig. The neighbors let us use their WiFi until we got into a fight and they changed their password. We could only connect from my husband’s spot in our bed and only if it wasn’t raining. It eventually took downing three gargantuan trees to get Internet service to the property.
Emotional and social adjustments were inevitable with such a big move. Like the new extremes in the weather in eastern Washington as opposed to those of the moderate rain belt we moved from, the emotional highs and lows have been more extreme.
Hotter summers and colder winters came with newfound happiness that gave way to days and weeks of depression. I hope the hardest times are behind us. I’m ready for the kiddie rides after the roller coaster that was our first year.
It was autumn when we moved in and we were very low on our budget. Still, it was new and fun and I repeatedly thought to myself “this might make for some good reading” and I made plans to start a blog.
Then winter came on fierce and with a seriousness that slapped all thoughts of anything but survival out of our consciousnesses. We experienced a reality smack-down like no other and any ideas I had of the self actualization of “artfully” documenting our adventures disappeared under the snow along with most of our worldly possessions. I was too busy crying to write.
Zero degree temperatures forced us to make the decision to relocate my son and I to an emergency shelter while my husband hunkered down at the property with our cat.
Three months later, we came back to the property and picked up where we left off; still struggling financially and with very little to work with. Spring, then summer came with new challenges. We got a crash course on ticks and dealt with hordes of Yellow Jackets. The heat, and a continuing feeling of oppression made summer one of the longest I’ve ever experienced but we had things in the works.
We tilled rock-hard soil and planted a garden. We dug the spring and water delivery system. We used antiques we found buried on our land to construct things we needed such as the fence to our garden. We did whatever we could to pass the time and keep our chins up.
Thank you to my husband for helping me to get through it all. When I was at my worst, he would hold my face in his hands, look at me and say “Good things Baby, good things”.
As fall arrived, our “eggs” began to hatch and we were finally able to make some huge changes to our living conditions and begin to build, literally and figuratively, the quality of our lives. We could stop trying to just survive and begin to live.
It was time to take up that blog again…..
We’ve accomplished a lot since fall. We now have a solar power system, generators, a large shed, an upgraded RV (we decided to put off building until spring), and other necessities. We have a fireplace to sit by, a wood pile, larger propane tanks and other means for which to stay comfortable and dry for the winter. So far, so good as of January 2019.
We have lot’s of plans going forward. We are excited and ready.
I’ve edited this first post several times and didn’t want to give up my original bullet list outline so though it may be a little redundant, here it is:
- We are a husband and wife with a teenager who sold their house in western Washington and moved to eastern Washington.
- We have two cats and want a dog but not before we put up a fence.
- We are not perfect. Far from it.
- We don’t care that we are not perfect and we are known to swear but we are nice people (although one neighbor said we are evil).
- We sold our house in May 2017
- We lived in a trailer all summer while we looked for property
- We found property we liked. It “spoke to” my husband 🙂
- We moved onto the property and continued to live in the trailer
- We had a major reality check as fall progressed
- We weren’t very well prepared financially and some things happened that made it worse but things are better now 🙂
- We made the best of things but winter sucked
- Summer then sucked
- Fall is here and we’re doing WAY better but some things still suck but most things DON’T suck anymore
I love humor and aspire to write in the style of Jean Sheppard of A Christmas Story fame. I try to write poetry and you’ll find some in these pages although of a somewhat unconventional nature.
Now that I’ve acquainted you with our story, I hope you’ll enjoy those that follow.