Happy New Year! I pray this new year brings each and every one of you joy, peace, love and many blessings.
I apologize for missing an article last week. I normally write my articles Sunday morning before going to church. But last Sunday, I was under the weather and couldn’t sit at the keyboard or anything else for that matter. I have had a heart condition since birth and last week, my ol ticker decided to start acting up so it was much needed (and rare) day of rest for me.
The past three articles have talked about some planning and mindsets needed for this lifestyle. In the first article in this series, I suggested to everyone to be frugal. In the next article I suggested that you needed to make sure your partner was of the same mindset about this lifestyle and in the third article, I gave a few suggestions about how to properly make plans. This article is about what came first in the planning, for us.
Deciding to live a self-sufficient lifestyle can feel overwhelming at times. How does a person go from living the urban life, drinking the five dollar Starbucks coffees while stuck in the morning rush hour traffic, to living a rural life where the biggest traffic jam is waiting for a train to clear the intersection? If you have children, the stress of making this decision can be even more difficult.
Ranae and I focused on survival and sustenance. We focused our attention on six (dang, I like that word) key issues. Water, shelter, food, energy, finances and community.
While we are currently on co-op water, we wanted to make sure we could someday install a well affordably at our location. Using co-op water is great for a short term fix, but depending on someone else for our water is not a part of our long term plan whatsoever. A well is the only way to go for us and we will have one just as soon as I locate a good and inexpensive driller.
We also wanted to make sure our land had a pond. Since my training is in survival, water purification is a simple task if we ever need to rely on our pond for drinking water.
Shelter is pretty easy for Ranae and I, but we know countless folks who would not be able to endure the time we have spent living in such small quarters. It’s not easy moving from a nice house in the city to a 12 foot by 32 foot cabin in the sticks. But Ranae and I had a goal… frugality and this entire lifestyle. Our little cabin suits us fine. It has allowed us to live on the property instead of having to maintain our house in the city and only work at our property on the weekends.
Food was a big concern for us out here. There isn’t a supermarket on the corner like we had in the city. A day shopping for groceries out here usually involves an all day trip to a bigger city and several ice chests to protect the food on the drive home. That’s why Ranae has such a big garden. We eat healthier and we don’t have to go to the grocery store as much. Our chickens supply our breakfast eggs and soon we will have rabbits again that will supply a good portion of our meat like they did when we lived in Missouri.
Energy can be a real concern out here too. The electric co-op out here is… well… pretty awful to put it nicely. Last year we had 28 days with the power out for more than five hours and 172 power blips lasting over 5 minutes. Yes, I’m a computer nut so my computerized monitoring of it proves these numbers. As such, we have invested in multiple generators and use propane for heating, etc. As we build the new house, we are installing a substantial amount of solar generation. Our entire roof will be one huge solar panel and will give us more than enough energy to do as we wish.
Finances were a big part of this life style as well. We aren’t wealthy and we had just returned from being full time missionaries in Guatemala. Money was and remains tight for us. Making the leap to live out here was made possible by the fact that I am a computer programmer and can work wherever I can plug-in my computer with internet. We had to jump through some major hoops to get internet out here, but we have a very stable three sources of internet here on our property now. It’s not cheap, but it guarantees that I am never without internet and the ability to earn a living. I will discuss all the internet issues in a future article.
And last, but certainly not least, was community. We chose our location because of the people who live in this county. Access to our type of church was crucial. Other deciding factors about this community included the political position of the residents along with the type of law enforcement available here. In short, we fell in love with this community before we purchased our land. We made several visits here and observed people for weeks at local restaurants; at the local feed stores; etc. We listened closely to their conversations and manner of speaking. We fell in love! These are our type of people.
Until next week…
Vern Six is a freelance computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is a United States Army certified survival expert and former Christian missionary. Vern has been a hobby blogger for nearly five years and now has his “According to Vern” blog published in numerous newspapers around the world. You can learn more about Vern by visiting his website at http://AccordingToVern.com