Friday, December 17, 2010

Living Off the Grid

The only sound I hear when I wake this morning is the "creak....whoosh....thump" of a thick blanket of snow sliding off the steep tin roof over my head.  There must have been a heavy snowfall last night, by the sound of it.  The room is still pitch black, giving me no hint of the time.  I lie quietly and listen.  A rooster crows in the barn--it's after 4:00, then, and my eyes feel rested: it must be late enough to get up.

As I slip out of bed, I feel the temperature of the air, warm on my bare skin.  Since the wood stove gets damped down at night, the outside temperature must be near zero.  Still in the dark, I put my hands on my clothes and I dress, then make my way down the ladder into the living room below.  As always, I've left the matches and candles where I can find them by touch, and soon the room is lit by the warm glow of firelight.  I open up the stove and put water on for coffee.  Another day off-grid has begun.

I've been living like this, in the Cariboo Mountains of BC, for nearly twenty years.  My house (most people would call it a cabin) is 25 minutes on a gravel road from the nearest village, but that's not the reason I live without power.  It's a lifestyle choice.  I've chosen to have time rather than money.  Time to garden.  Time to wander in the forest every day.  Time to enjoy inter-species friendships and human community.  Together with my husband, Charles, I've set up my farm as simply as possible, so that I can grow my own veggies, milk my goats and make cheese, make my own wine, work part-time for some cash, and still have the time I crave for solitude, socializing, and philosophical musings.

Over the years, I've been advised many times to write a book.  Well, a book is too big a project for me, but maybe people will be interested in reading a few notes on how we live a high-quality "simple" life.  Since I don't have a computer, I won't be able to post every day, but I'll post as often as I can.

In the meantime, there's six inches of snow waiting to be shovelled.  Who needs a gym?


  1. I like what you say, "it is a lifestyle choice." It is a choice that my husband and I have made also. Nice to meet you and find your blog!

  2. Thanks. I'm looking forward to lots of contact with other people, like you, who enjoy this kind of life.

  3. I have always wanted to live this kind of life style. Simple and fulfilling. I'm not afraid of hard work or living off the land.