Living Off the Grid - Trials and Tribulations
Copyright 2015 by Lori-Ann Willey
The other day, I approached Paul with the idea of co-authoring a book with me about living here off the grid. I was fully prepared to see an immediate less than enthusiastic expression come across his face, as I explained that I have a working brainstorm list of ideas for the book. I started that few weeks ago.
I stood. I waited. I watched for an Archie Bunker-like expression to creep across his face, but it did not come. He remained expressionless. Quiet. Though I could not see his brain "gears" churning, I knew that they were. See, what you all do not know is that he revealed to me a few months ago that he has thought about writing a book about a certain era in history. I have encouraged him to do just that, but unless he works on it when my head is turned, I do not think he has started anything of the sort. Knowing his interest in writing, though a different topic, I asked him to co-author a book with me ...a book about living off the grid in the Maine wilderness.
I waited a bit longer. I was about to say, "just think about it, and if nothing else, maybe you can write about the areas that I have little knowledge about instead", when, he almost sheepishly agreed to co-author. I admit, and I think he will, too, that he was not overly enthusiastic about the idea, but nonetheless, he agreed …and then, I grinned bigly. If he did not agree to co-author, then I know, and he did, too, that I would have to hound him with millions of questions about the topics I am not all too familiar. You know such topics as, how he hooked up the solar panels or windmill, the batteries, the inverters, or how he uses things like a single paper clip to act like a fuse somewhere. I mean, I understand the big picture, but I do not even come close to understanding the intricate details of such things. Honestly, I do not want to know the minute details of anything; however, I do believe I will be "educated" while writing this book.
The book will cover the trials and tribulations from the "get go". It will cover why we purchased our camp, early camp photos through to current photos and about our first trip into camp via a snowmobile with me hanging on for dear life while I stood balancing on the back of a dog sled toted by the realtor and his sled. Paul and his cane were on the sled with the realtor. I, not expecting to ride on a dog sled, wore slippery gloves, which meant I had a very poor grip and for several miles!
We will discuss more in-depth things like our water/well, composting toilet, solar, windmill, how that all works and how we work as a team, or not so well as a team at times and why. We will be straight up about our successes and failures along with our laughs, and cries, too.
It will cover how and why a strong relationship and a lot of determination is needed in here, and, oh, that courage thing, too. You will read how life here forces us to be inventive, outside the box thinkers, etc. Not to forget, recycle, repurpose, or reuse anything and everything possible, to boot.
Such things as the daily struggles of living how and where we do despite Paul having complicated health problems, and what is it like living with disabilities in a “world” (woods), where one needs not only be strong, but also able bodied, not just able minded. Neither of us deny that it IS scary to live like we do, especially during the winter months. How and why if I get hurt, we are up "shits creek" in a hurry. The book will explain more in-depth the all-common phrase, "Paul is the brain, Lori-Ann is the muscle", but not always.
I have written many, many, many stories and blog entries about our experiences here, all of which are in book form or will be by the end of 2015 (goal, not a promise), but this book will be different. It will not be so much a "how to", or a "don't do", but I guarantee you will see our struggles more than some of you have even known to date. It will cover our issues with the law, or all too common lack of the law. That is something we do not discuss here or anywhere except to a very few. We watched a show once where they defined Maine (aside from Alaska) as being the "Last Frontier". Little do a lot of you know just how true that is?
Lastly, this book will tell you, just how much each of us have changed over the years. Everyone changes per experiences, and our experiences here have certainly changed my outlook on life and of people, too. It will explain why some define us, “True Grit”, “Modern Day Pioneers”, and “Keeper of the Woods”. How we view the outside world and how the outside world, to include family, view us and our choice of lifestyle.
This is “premature”, because right now, we have a ton of things going on that make life possible in here. There are two other books in progress and those come first. However, the brainstorming for this co-authored book started weeks ago.