People are always asking me, what do I mean by the “off-the-grid lifestyle?” What is it? What do you mean by “lifestyle?” For most people who do not live off the grid, they have no idea what that means. Yet I think, it intrigues them. Is living off the grid that much different than living on the grid or grid-tied? I had to think a minute on that one. YES! It is definitely different, much different. YES, it is definitely a lifestyle! The truth of the matter is that when we moved into this house on my birthday, June 24th, 1999, I had no idea what was in store for us. It was like camping. Or at least vacationing in a cabin in the forest. I’d say to myself, “this is the off-the-grid lifestyle.” It was a fresh new way of life. For me, it was totally different from my previous life. What was so different? At that time, we did not have a generator or our solar system. It was different! This house came with a propane refrigerator and it worked fine. It had a gas light on the wall, one that used a mantle. We had been preparing in advance of moving here so we had quite a nice collection of kerosene lamps. We preferred to use those. There was a small propane cooking stove. We brought our little antique propane cooking stove with us. It wasn’t long before we had that hooked up, and was cooking in style. So we were set! What about the water? Well, the water had to hand pumped by using a pitcher pump. It is right outside the front door, so not that far to get to. One of the first things my husband did was to install drains to the bathtub, (that we brought with us when we moved in) and the sink in the kitchen. That way, we could pour water in the bathtub and the sink, and let it go out through the drains. I appreciated that little fact so much over the years!
In the first years of living here, we took outside showers. Yes, nobody ever drove down our road. We were really alone out here back then. There was no bathroom here. The former owners were planning on making the room off the kitchen, that leads to the cellar, a bathroom. They just hadn’t gone any further than setting a toilet in there, but never hooked it up. We had bought a SunMar composting toilet before moving here, so we set that up in the tiny downstairs bedroom. That became our bathroom. My husband set our claw foot bathtub up in there and oh, boy, I could take baths! Living off-the-grid didn’t seem so hard once we were actually living it. Planning for it was essential!
Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.