Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ten O’Clock Musings

Posted by: Lynne

 

NOTE: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and debated about whether or not to publish it, but here it goes! I've got several blog posts pending so I hope over the next few days to wrap those up and get them posted. Laziness.

Okay, it's late and I can't sleep. Sometimes I lay there and thoughts run through my head and they won't leave so I have to write them down. I did that quite a lot when I lived in New Jersey and had my blog, but it hasn't happened in a long long time.

I find it interesting when we have company to visit and seeing what they make of where we are living and how we live. So far every one of them as asked us if we have a land line (for phone) when their cell phones don't work right up here unless they have Verizon, for which we have a booster here at the house. Uhm, that would be a no. We are "off the grid" and have no services.

They don't much wonder about our little solar-charged-battery-operated house either because in the summer months it hums along without much thought to most people. We don't stress about electricity as much as we used to either since our new array of solar panels, new batteries and the like were installed just before we moved. We know because we live here that we can't operate multiple big usage things at the same time, such as the vaccumn cleaner and the power sucking microwave. Not that we use the microwave for anything but warming things up, melting things, and the occasional emergency defrost. We never cook our food by nuking it.

Our range and fridge are powered by propane. Even the range has nothing that uses electricity. Now to be honest, our range has been problematic since the day we brought it home. It's from Canada, what can I say? They recently agreed we had a lemon (the broiler does not work; the oven might light if we are lucky, only to go out 15 mintues later which might require another 15 minute wait before it will light again) and sent a replacement range which we just put in today, so fingers crossed. It's pretty though in all its stainless steel glory, even our neighbors think so. Well, pretty is as pretty does goes the old saying.

They don't think about water for their showers either which we take much longer showers in the summer than in the winter because of the electricity that the water pump uses to pump the water from the well.

They also can't believe that we don't have "streaming." The only "streaming" going on around here is when the dogs go in and out of the stream that trickles from natural springs that flows through the old aspen, spruce and fir woods in the bottom of our property.

We do have satelite TV and internet, although our internet is limited. Our band-width is limited (unless it's from the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. when we have unlimited access and also when we are asleep), so I don't watch all those videos people post on Facebook. If I want to do a blog post I upload all the photos before 8:00 a.m. 

Pretty much, I think that they believe we are certifiably crazy. Especially after seeing our drive in to town.

Yes, the roads are dirt and at most times washboarded which shake your vehicle to death. But ... we see and encounter the most amazing things on the way. Eagles are very common, both balds and goldens. Various hawks, vultures, cows, antelope, deer, badgers and the ilke. The other day we were coming back from town on the way in that has fencing. An antelope was trotting down the road  toward us and when it saw us, it panicked (like they are prone to do, such skittish creatures) and tried to jump the fence. Antelope cannot jump, they usually go under wire fencing, but in this case this particular stretch of road is not antelope friendly and has an extra row of wire at the bottom so that they can't really go under it. The antelope got caught trying to jump the fence and had one hind leg caught up and was struggling to free itself. We backed up, got out of the truck (Rick grabbed a padded blanket we had in the back) and went over to the fence. I saw that its hind leg was twisted in the barbed wire and couldn't visualize how we were ever going to free it, when after several hard tugs of the leg, the antelope finally freed itself and bounded off. Just another day! Or how about the day we saw a badger family waddling across the road and stopped to take a photo (from the safe confines of the truck) and Daddy badger tried to take on the truck and went for our tires.

Friends of ours often wonder how we cope with being "in the middle of nowhere" meaning that we are not close to a city. Rick and I have lived a pretty lush life in my opinion. We lived for many years overseas in three different countries, experiencing things most people have no clue about and travelling a lot. We've wined and dined in some of the best restaurants in France and met Paul Bocuse along the way.

I can be that woman who dresses up and goes to posh events in New York City, the Oscars (while staying at the Beverly Wilshire) or I can be the real me who doesn't put on makeup every day, gets smoky sitting by a campfire and can enjoy the simple things of life. I suppose I am probabaly a little bit of both of those people but I prefer the unfancy side of me. I don't have to have the fanciest of cars, the biggest of houses, designer clothing and all the material things that people seem to strive for these days (I mean really, who needs a car that is so snobby it doesn't even have a spare?). 

All I can say is that we are happy and where we need to be at this time in our lives, and that's all that really counts.

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