A Simple Life

Sunset in snowy Spruce Forest

Several months ago I posted that my husband and I had decided to jump off the rat wheel and start actively making plans to move to Alaska and build a cabin, write, woodwork and homestead. In truth, it wasn’t the first time we’d made that declaration. We’d done it once before. Sold everything, saved like squirrels, even bought all the necessary road maps and did a family war cry. Only to be slapped in the face with the fact that we still hadn’t planned or saved enough when it was time. When winter came, the Al-Can was unpassable. We never made it out of the lower forty-eight. Hence, our pit stop in Utah.

So, when we realized that what started out as a chance to reorganize our efforts was becoming a material trap in suburbia, we renewed our dream. Only to be slapped again. Within weeks of openly declaring that we would work day and night to leave in the spring, our son was diagnosed with sleep apnea and fitted with a cpap. Which requires power. Since our cabin plans include only solar, we calculated the wattage and it wouldn’t be enough to power his machine through the night, especially in the long dark days of an Alaskan winter. We would need a small field of solar panels.

I really felt like giving up. Seems like there are roadblocks at every turn trying to accomplish our dream. I had no idea that trying to live simply would be so complicated. I envy those few that have simply walked away from their city life with a backpack and walking stick and made it happen. If my children were grown, I think my husband and I would do just that. Only we’d be carrying four cat carriers into the mountains, so that might get a bit tiresome.

Regardless, I can’t give up. I am so deeply connected to the past that I feel the overwhelming urge to live in it the best that I can recreate. For whatever reason, Alaska eludes us for now. We have to modify our plans to include power and have found some places in the northern states that might work out for us. Even if I have to adjust our location, I won’t give up on our quest for simplicity and freedom. And, as my husband said, “Even if it’s not ideal now, once all the kids are through college and on their own, we can always fill a backpack, scoop up the cat carriers and head into the hills.”

People ask us why we want to live such a life. After all, a simple life should never be mistaken for an easy life. It’s hard to explain. It’s not just the comfort of a woodstove or the smell of homebaked bread. It’s not just the economic freedom when you give up chasing stuff or the security that comes with independence. It’s all of it and more. I could never put it into words properly but I found someone who could.

The attached video really explains the mentality of people like me.

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Posted on November 13, 2014 and filed under Dear Diary.