Monday, June 30, 2014

Same old lifestyle, new name

Living off-grid, raising small livestock, tiny home living, car-less living, big gardens, wood heat -it's not a new idea. That's how people used to live in my dad and granddad's day. Back then it was called being poor.

As soon as they got a few bucks together, they modernized: electric lights, a car, central heating and fancy store bought food.

We are poor again.

Oh wait, I mean we are living in a more sustainable manner. At least we've learned a few tricks along the way.

Being off-grind doesn't mean not having electricity, thanks to solar electric panels. People who don't have cars often have really high technology bicycles and access to public transportation, or even a ZIP car membership. People might be burning wood, but thank god even that technology has improved. Rocket stoves use a lot less wood than the old fireplaces. Air tight woodstoves will keep a fire going all night long. My grandfather used to wake up every couple hours to put wood or coal in the stove. Thanks to new products and techniques, we don't raise small animals like we used to. Grandfather had no idea what a chicken tractor is.

Dad is happy with his retirement in Florida. He's got a nice little air conditioned double wide trailer, a new car, and goes to Walmart almost every day. There's no wood to split or chickens to feed. He's living large. Of course, after years of retirement, his pension is barely keeping up with his “modern” lifestyle.

He knows he's always welcome to move back in with me -if he wants to live like hunter/gatherers.



  1. When I was young, we had to "bank" the coal in the furnace to keep it going all night. Didn't give off as much heat, but at least it kept us from freezing and we didn't have to re-light the furnace in the morning. Good old days. And yes, if you didn't get it right it go bank and blow the smoke stack off the back and make a mess and release smoke into the house. Not a good situation.

    1. My first house came with a coal stove and 700 pounds of coal. I burned the coal then sold the stove. Not a fan of coal at all.

  2. It's kinda like the old saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same!"

    Maybe it's because we got a lot of practice!