As I sit here, fingers hovering over the keyboard, wondering how to put my thoughts into words in such a way that makes me sound somewhat educated – I look out the window to see big fluffy flakes pouring from the sky and covering the ground. It’s November 22nd, and going by recent years’ experiences, we’ve been lucky that Mother Nature has chosen to wait this long this season. I know this snow won’t last; we’re expecting some more above seasonal temperatures in the coming week…and yet as much as I dislike winter, it makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy. I’m an odd creature, I know.
I sit here with my cup of coffee, which is going back in the microwave for the 4th time, and my Thermal Wave (with no remote…Sherman – our Rottweiler – ate it!!!) space heater; which I swear by this in the cold months; aimed right at me…I despise being cold! …I think, what a pretty picture the falling snow makes…like a post card, or a Christmas greeting card. And then I crash down to reality pretty darn quick and remember I still haven’t put winter tires on my car, and the garage still hasn’t been cleared out so I can park in there. Sigh.
And then I think of what’s going to happen in the next few years – mainly because I can’t think of much else these days- when we are finally on our land – which we still haven’t agreed on…although I think I will prevail with my idea of PEI…I am woman, hear me roar! – …and it’s December or January, and we have multiple feet of snow outside and have to trek through it to feed the chickens and milk the goats (Oh yes, I’ve got big plans!!! hehe). And what stops me in my tracks isn’t what I expected at all! What I expected was to be deterred by my own loathing of winter – it’s pretty strong – ….but instead, I’m finding myself actually looking FORWARD to my first winter on our forever land! Isn’t that crazy?? How can I go from one extreme to the other in such a small space in time? …well, I won’t question it too much for fear that it will go away…instead, I’ll choose to embrace this new-found excitement!
I’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, yet it’s been a dream of mine for a very long time. Since I was a child actually…reading and watching Anne of Green Gables grow up through dusty pages and VHS cassettes…wishing I could be her, red pig tails and all. And in more recent years, the dream has grown up a little bit, but the romance hasn’t disappeared. I long for the red beaches, the green pastures, the cliffs, the ocean breezes, the colorful towns and villages, the fishing boats… how can I long so strongly for something I’ve never had? I don’t know…maybe, in another life, I was the wife of a fisherman. Who knows where these feelings and ideas really come from…all I know is I want it so badly, I can almost taste the salt air!
I know that living off grid and building a homestead from the ground up won’t be easy. It will take a lot of adjustments – will create a lot of challenges – will most likely put us on an emotional roller-coaster, and will test our wills at every possible turn. And yet, knowing all of this, I still can’t wait to get started! Ever since I was a young girl, I remember saying that I wanted to “live like Mémère (grandma) did when she was little”…I don’t have any grand illusions that life was easier back then…but I am so infatuated with the idea of going back to living the way we were meant to, that all of the challenges and hardships I know for a fact will put themselves right in the middle of my path, don’t for one single second make me think twice about it. It might sound crazy (and it probably is!), but I almost welcome them! I know that with every obstacle and every challenge will also come a new lesson and a new experience, and those are priceless!
Right now, my head is all over the place – the internet has an overwhelming amount of information about every possible aspect of homesteading. There are hundreds, if not thousands of blogs out there from people who have done it, or who are currently doing it…and just as many websites with how-to’s…and NOT to’s… for everything from gardening, keeping livestock, building, energy, wells, and I could go on for hours… so at the moment, I feel like a complete scatter brain. I start with one idea and by the end of the night, I’ve moved on to a dozen more.
So what I’ve started doing, is building my own little (or not so little by the time I’m done) Homestead “Bible”, so to speak, of everything and everything I can think of that we will need to know or learn along the way. The reason I’m doing this, is because I fully know that there will come a time along the journey where we probably won’t have internet access on a regular basis. And although my husband is a contractor by trade, and pretty much becomes an instant expert at everything and anything he tries his hand at (It’s quite infuriating to be honest…the guy can pick up something he’s never done, and excel at it immediately…don’t ask me how, it’s just one of life’s great mysteries!)…there will come a time when we need to look something up, and won’t have technology backing us up, or a library close by. So I’m killing a few trees in the process (I’ll re-plant, I promise!!!), in the effort to bring all of that information with us. To my way of thinking, it’s a step in being prepared…and one can never be too prepared! I know my collection will be quite extensive, but I would rather have to build an extra shelf in my (currently imaginary) library, than to come across a problem and not know where to find the answer.
It also helps to be able to follow and read the adventures of others who are doing, or have already succeeded at, what I plan to do…and I must be pretty obsessed because my husband who can never remember a name, now knows exactly who I’m talking about when I say “Alyssa and Jesse“…now a household name in my home. So thank you guys for putting your entire life up for scrutiny, at the fingertips of the world. You inspire and impress me on a daily basis and I’m so glad I came across your story on Mother Earth News. You’ve got a loyal fan and follower in me, and you’ve officially been added to my Bucket List of people I want to meet!