Lately I am receiving many messages from readers asking questions and thought addressing them here would be a good idea. Some are serious, some are silly but overall most are asked good naturedly and I am grateful that you all take the time to read my ramblings.
The most frequent negative question I get asked is “Why would you subject your children to isolation and the dangers of living in the wild”? My answer is not so simple. I for one do not feel like we are isolated nor do I feel that the are in any more danger than living in the city. We have technology to keep us in communication with others and we do make trips to town. Yes my children are isolated from other children and I am hoping this will change some BUT I don’t feel that they are being damaged in any way from not being able to experience things like bullying or any of the other things the outside world has to offer. My children have friends and a social life be it a limited one. As far as the dangers of living out here remotely, yes they exist. There are wild animals that don’t consider us the top of the food chain and there is always the chance of an injury. In the outside world there are dangers too and I am much more comfortable predicting an animals behavior than a humans.
How did you gain your knowledge is the next most frequently asked question-That one is much easier to answer but lengthy. First of all I have always hungered for knowledge of old ways and from a very young age intrigued by the way pioneers made a new life with little in new lands. I have spent hundreds of hours listening and learning from old timers. I remember once when I was 5 or 6 watching my Paw Paw making fishing sinkers-he would melt the lead and pour it into molds he made out of sand. I asked him why he didn’t just buy them at the store like everyone else and he responded by saying “its good to use what you have” and tapped the side of his head, chuckled, then said “and a quick trip to the store wouldn’t be as fun as spending time making them together”. For years I had one of his sinkers on my key chain to remind me of those times. I later discovered old cook books! Old cook books are full of information and if your lucky enough to acquire one where the original owner wrote down her words of wisdom you have a rare and beautiful find. The contents of old cook books spans mch more than recipes as it was the second most important book in a household, the first of course being the Holy Bible. Old cook books led me to other books then Mother Earth News and eventually I discovered the internet. Knowledge is everywhere but you have to have the desire to harvest it!
Another question I receive frequently is how do we make do without running water? honestly believe that people waste water and should try this experiment-put back 15 gallons of water and you can still use your toilet normally but for everything else such as cooking, washing, brushing teeth and doing dishes you can only use from the water you have. No cheating, no turning on the faucet. After you’ve completed that challenge spend 24 hours keeping track of your water usage. It will amaze you how much is wasted. Personally I have grown to love the outhouse. That may sound silly or crazy to some but even on the coldest days I always find myself enjoying the walk to it and there is lot to be said for the quiet time it affords me. Heating water on the stove has become habit and in the summer months it waters my plants too.
I love this next question: How can you be online and “off grid” ? We have technology out here in the Wilds of Alaska. Battery packs, solar panels and a generator supply our power needs and cell service keeps us in contact with others and provides our internet connection.
Now for a little humor. To those of you who want to know if we live in an igloo the answer is no. Can we pet the wild animals? Not while they are living or they think you are dinner. The last most funny and heartwarming question comes from a readers 5 year old son who likes to look at the pictures- Yes Charlie this place is very real and I’m sorry but we don’t sell admission tickets. It is nice though that you think it looks like a fun place to visit.
Thank you to all of you for sending me your questions. I do enjoy reading them and try to answer each of them to the best of my ability.
For Charlie I am adding a few more pics I do hope you enjoy them. Good night and God Bless each one of you.