Turkeys feeding at our doorstep.
As I write this, I have squash in the oven baking for pie. Yesterday my husband and I picked up a turkey, whipped cream and the other usual Thanksgiving accompaniments. We had just returned from town when I realized I had overlooked Thanksgiving altogether so we turned around and went back to the store to buy the supplies.
I wondered why customers weren’t fighting for the last turkey, why people weren’t wishing each other Happy Thanksgiving and I wondered how I had let the day slip my own mind. Thank goodness I’d caught myself.
Early this morning I began to take pictures for the blog as I began meal preparations. Our son loves pumpkin pie and I was making it from scratch for the first time ever but with the Delicata squash we’d grown over the summer. We had about fifteen gourds left that had been sitting on a side table for over a month and this was my opportunity to finally use them. Delicata pie.
I had a basic menu in mind and we were going to keep things simple (with the exception of the pie) . Things were going smoothly but something seemed off: plentiful turkeys at Safeway, no holiday salutations, my own uncharacteristic oversight. With a growing feeling of confusion, I checked the calendar.
Thanksgiving is next week. We eat anyway.
What goes on behind our backs.
When we sold our house on the other side of the state, we had no idea where we would be landing in the state of Washington or possibly Idaho or Montana. Personally, I didn’t want to move too far from our old home because of the ties. Friends and family and a fierce resistance to change make me like a limpet: I find a place to stick to and I stick to it.
When my husband and son first mentioned the idea of moving I had a tiny panic attack. We’d lived in our house in Snoqualmie for eleven years and in Snoqualmie in general, for about twenty seven. The idea of leaving it all behind and starting out fresh brought a strong fear of the unknown to me that went beyond uncomfortable. I needed time to digest the idea.
For anyone, the idea of moving can be incredibly overwhelming because of the logistics alone. The emotional and sociological impacts only quadruple the anxiety. I was looking at selling a perfectly good home (like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute) only the parachute didn’t really exist. My family was my only safety net to cling to amidst the chaos of change.
Logistically, there’s the selling of the home, packing everything you own (which is more than you think), finding a new place and moving all of your stuff there. Emotionally, you have to say goodbye to friends and family. Schools are changed. You worry about the effect it’s going to have on your child. Luckily, our son was on board which made things a lot easier in the guilt department.
As I said, we didn’t know where we would end up when we made the big decision nor did we know if we would buy land with a house or just land. We didn’t specifically think “we want to live off grid” at any given time. That was an aspect of the move that evolved over time. We did know we loved the outdoors and wanted something away from town; something with trees and acreage.
We spent about four months living in the little travel trailer we’d bought as a temporary home while we looked for property. We looked just over the pass near Cle Elum and Ellensburg, Washington and we explored properties further east and north of where I preferred to locate. As the summer progressed and we visited various prospects, it became apparent to me that I might have to accept the idea of moving much farther east than I’d originally preferred. I would just have to adapt.
After a very long drive to see our future home one day in August the decision was finally made. We would be situated in Stevens county in eastern Washington about seventy miles south of the Canadian border and about the same to Idaho. It’s beautiful here and there are seasons, unlike the Puget Sound region from whence we came. The property fit our criteria perfectly so we made the offer and went into a holding pattern until things were finalized in mid-September of 2017.
On September 17th, on an especially rainy night at Snoqualmie Pass where we were camping, we packed up and headed east.
The property was raw land and we knew we would be facing major challenges and expenses in making it our home but we were excited about our new lives and felt we were ready to face things head on. Reality did kick our asses, especially our first winter here but we’re still in the game and loving it.
Living off-grid isn’t just living; it’s an interactive adventure. You are directly involved with the quality of your life and the daily activities you perform to make things work. You have to be hearty and somewhat physically fit to live off grid as the work is hard. If I was a princess type, I wouldn’t survive a day out here but I wouldn’t be here if I was a princess.
When I get stressed out physically or emotionally, I feel overwhelmed and the constant tasks of every day living get to me. I feel frustrated and ask myself “what was I thinking?” but then I walk outside one morning to see turkeys crossing the property or a skunk trotting away from the bag of garbage we accidentally left out the night before. I see trees, mountains, hillsides, other wild animals. We have our spring and our garden.
It comes at a price and it is a life of extremes but that suits our personalities. Our new home reminds us we’re alive.
We have our new paradise and I’m great with it. 🙂
Questions, facts, observations, and our personal experiences with they who are ridiculous: The Turkey.
- What is their purpose besides being delicious?
- We call their young Gobblets.
- How is that weird looking wobbly red thing on the males supposed to intrigue females? I get the feathers but that?
- They speak Gobbletygook.
- What is a herd or flock of them called?
- How can they fly so gracefully with those fat torsos? Imagine trying to throw a turkey across your yard.
- What makes them look as if they’ve just gone through a wind tunnel?
- What’s with the beady little black eyes?
- Why did the turkey cross the road…today, yesterday, the day before, the week before, tomorrow most likely, every time we drive into town.
- They like bird seed and cat food.
- Why do my cats think they have a chance at bagging one of these?
- We have one in a tub outside our front door right now. It was too big for us to eat on Thanksgiving. We bought it at the store BTW. Last one. The glares of the people behind us……
- My husband is very good at mimicking their call. I told him to be careful around the ladies.
- What do you call a lone female? Hen Solo! My husband made that one up. 🙂
- We saw a male proudly displaying his feathers in all their glory standing amongst a bunch of hens who seemed completely oblivious to his presence. Our 15 year old said “Day 47 and they still haven’t noticed me”.
- If a Tom turkey fluffs up in the forest and no one is there to see him, is he still impressive?
Here are some trail cam videos. Enjoy!
No, not a turkey. I am temporarily out of my own pictures pertaining to RV repair.
I didn’t know how to install a water pump so I went to see the local RV repairman last week. He’s probably been doing this for about 100 years now and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about customer service anymore. When I asked him about the wiring he said in an extremely tired and irritated voice while gesturing violently at the water pump I had in my hand “red is red and black is black”!
Well, I made this picture for him to translate to him what I saw. No, he hasn’t seen it nor will he ever. 🙂