I started this blog because everything about living off the grid was so new at the time. We were learning and we were learning stuff not commonly or easily learned or taught except by doing; how to build your own house, live (partially, anyway) off the land, make your own electricity and all that comes with the new lifestyle we chose. We were OTG newbies and keeners and leapt at the adventure that was our new life with energy and enthusiasm. It was great!
Still is. In fact, we are still learning and facing mini-challenges all the time. But it dawned on me the other day- “Hey, Sal! In three more years we will have lived as long off the grid as we did in the cul-de-sac house where the children grew up! In a month or so we will have been here 11 years”.
“Holy! It doesn’t seem that long! Feels like we just got here. Are you sure?” I see her doing the math in her head and then saying, “Ohmygawd! You are right! We aren’t newbies anymore, are we?”
“Skill-wise, I’d say we are still pretty wet-behind-the-ears (with blood, usually) and that is because this lifestyle is so much more independent and complicated than our previous choices and because we are older, stupider and don’t have the same energy. But, basically, we are progressing like we have before only slower. We aren’t newbies anymore but we are barely achieving sophomore status. We won’t be any good at this way of life for another twenty years at the rate we are going.”
“I’m OK with that!” For Sally, attitude is everything.
Sal and I have lived different ‘styles’ several times in the past. We lived on our various boats for 11 years. We traveled for a combined three or so years not counting Hong Kong. We lived in a mansion in Shaughnessy for three more and a few apartments as well. We only really went mainstream for 19 years – 5 years in a Richmond suburb and almost 14 in the cul-de-sac neighbourhood of Tsawwassen. Child-rearing years. Those two stints in the normal lane felt twice as long, this one feels like we arrived last year.
I think we are good here for at least another 15 years. Sal would be good for another 30 if it weren’t for me but I will try to drag her wherever I go (except to an old-folks home). By the time I am 80 or so, I may opt for something a bit easier. “So, where would we go and what would we do if we left here?”
“Not ever leavin’ here!” Attitude, eh?
After much discussion, she relented to leaving ‘here’ for four months or so in the winter and living in a nice motor home so long as she can spend the rest of the time here. Sorta like what we did this year and last, actually, except this time with wheels.
“Dave, why are you even thinking this way?”
One of our neighbours whose OTG expertise has been learned and earned over forty years of living minimally, independently and competently pointed out that few up here stayed on past 75. He opined that the new generation (his and ours) might be good for an extra five. “By 80, dude, you will be looking for more ease. Well, not Sal, of course, but you will. Me, too. By 80, we are done.”
“Well, by 80, I hope to be done all my projects and still have enough energy to enjoy them working for me. Anyway, I live with the Energizer Bunny. I can ride that electric scooter for awhile.”
“OK. Fine. Be like that. Where you going when you are 90?”
“I understand Bhutan is nice to old people………….?”