Saturday, July 12, 2008

A purpose-driven life

Nearly 18 months ago, my creative and earthy sister and her talented husband bought a cabin on ten acres in the woods. They gutted the cabin and have spent the last year refurbishing it. New flooring, doors, trim, and painted walls. They don't have luxuries; but even with no phone, indoor plumbing, or running sister couldn't be happier!

They have a three year old son named Eli and wanted to raise him away from the big city. They want him to know values and a strong work ethic.

They moved out of their 2200 square foot home (they stay there on occasional weekends) in the city for a home less than half its size with a goal to self-subsist and live debt free.

They still have a lot of work to do and aren't wasting any time. This summer there will be a well for water and a 3000 square foot garage. Later they will build a greenhouse and dig a root cellar - they have a goal to grow and store most of their own food. Future plans include solar panels and a septic tank.

My parents, Connor, and I drove up there last week to see them and we were amazed at what they have accomplished. I keep bugging my sister that she needs to blog about her amazing life. She reminds me that she doesn't have internet connection. (Just a detail!).

I just can't believe how smart they live!

She met us at the main road and we had to follow her up to her cabin.

Her husband, Dean, met us along the way. He was having too much fun!

First she showed us her kitchen and homemade cupboards and curtains. She can do anything.

This is their propane-powered fridge.

And their propane-powered stove.

Their clothes washing machine.

And clothes dryer.

The bathroom facilities! She says it gets pretty cold in January.

This wood stove heats their home in the winter.

Their wind generator was a gift from their adult son, Ben. It provides basic electricity.

Eli and his cousin, Kaydence.

Barb is sitting with her granddaugher Lynzi.

Oh, did I forget to mention that my sister was in her forties when she had Eli? She and Dean already have 4 grown children.

They have chickens and a dog and there is talk of getting a cow!

This fire pit gets put to good use.

Barb has a hard time growing food in her garden because of the short growing season they have at 7000 feet.

She catches rain water for the garden.

And this is how they burn their garbage.

Eli's fenced-in play area. They are amazing parents!

This is Dean's self-described "man cave"! They are siding it with lumber.

Connor just had to try out Dean's toys.

My sister had reservations at first about selling their city home to live in the mountains. She wondered if it would be a good life for Eli. I can say, unequivocally, that my nephew is one happy camper! My sister is homeschooling him now until he's ready for kindergarten. At that time, he will be put into a public school where he will make friends.

Barb wrote an article about their homestead that was printed in the "Countryside" magazine this month. Very cool, indeed.

I'm proud of the purpose-driven life they are leading. They are extraordinary.


Mechelle said...

Wow. This is a dream of mine, but we have not done it as of yet. I love to see that someone has. But I do want indoor outhouse! Thanks for sharing this. Amazing. M

Frumpy Luv said...

I admire this so much - I can see the value in raising a child in this environment - very very awesome! (though I have to say I don't think I could do it w/o the net, but I suppose that would defeat the purpose!!!!!)

Tammy said...

It's amazing to see how they live. my only internet connection. If you get that one solved count me in!!!!!

Jan said...

That is a very courageous thing to have done. Seriously brave. I love how they have just ran with what they wanted to do. The kids will never forget this either. They have learned some real good lessons in life about being simple.

We have a cabin in the woods that we built ourselves. I homeschooled the kids for 2 years and we would go up there for weeks sometimes. Ed had a very different schedule then too, that allowed us to accomplish this. I wanted to live up there at one point, but unlike your willing and capable sister, I was not ready to give up the conviences. I admire her greatly.

Thanks for sharing this great sister of yours and her story.

Anonymous said...

wow! i ♥ this!!!! one day i will be Debt Free and Self Sufficient!

i gotta go look at those pictures again! :)

Michelle said...

What an awesome idea! She is definitely an inspiration to me. I had a professor at the U who does the same thing. He did it because of his wife's health issues with polution in the air. He found property high enough where lichen would grow (they won't grow where the polution is) and did the same thing as your sister. He even wired the house with solar panels so that he didn't have to pay anything to Utah Power.. Some months they even send HIM a check! I aspire to do that some day. :) Thanks for sharing.

"Q" Tips, "K"razy fun and daily "L"ife said...

This place truly is amazing and it is like a whole new world when you arrive there. It seems like some of the daily stresses disappear or at least do not seem as important.

da Bergs said...

Holy Cow, I am TOTALLY impressed!!!