There aren’t too many people alive today who remember the days when you could claim a parcel of land, build a cabin, and start living off the land. As a matter of fact, I’m not aware of anyplace in the United States that will still allow you to do that.
In the day and age that we live in now, homesteading has an entirely new meaning. When you hear people use the term today, they’re really talking about getting back to a simpler way of life. This often includes living off the grid, raising livestock, growing their own food, and being as self-sufficient as they possibly can.
Many of you know that I started this website shortly after my family moved away from the suburbs of Utah to start this type of lifestyle in the mountains of Southern Oregon. We lived that way day in and day out for over eight years and it truly was a wonderful experience.
A few years ago, we moved into a bigger home that is actually on the grid but we kept our little cabin in the woods for some reason. Recently, we’ve realize that everything in life happens for a reason and the fact that we didn’t sell our land and cabin is no exception to that rule.
I’m very excited to announce that last week, we helped my son and his wife move into our little cabin and we couldn’t be happier for them. I can’t tell you how much it warms our hearts to see them making an effort to live a lifestyle that we love.
Of course, our son grew up in that lifestyle but as he became a teenager, he couldn’t wait to leave and move into town. After getting married, he and his new wife talked about their dreams of living in a rural cabin off the grid someday. About a year into their marriage, our son realized that what they so desperately wanted, he actually already had.
He and his wife have spent the last several months working on our old “Homestead” on Bly Mountain and putting their own special stamp on it. Our son Colton knows that winters can be awfully difficult on that mountain but our daughter-in-law Christina will truly be put to the test this coming winter.
During the years that we lived there, we saw people come and go because they didn’t have what it took to make it through the winters. I sincerely hope that they’ll be able to endure and make a life up there like we did. Everyone told us that we wouldn’t be able to but we surely did prove them wrong!
As my husband and I have watched them work towards being able to live up on the mountain full-time, we’ve talked about how we are seeing a generation of young people who truly want a more simple lifestyle. A life that is like our forefathers from long ago lived.
My husband and I have done all we can to help them in this transition and will continue to help them through the difficult times to come. A lot of young people have a romantic notion about what homesteading is really like but few of them have actually experienced it firsthand. If they think that it will be like an extended camping trip, they’re in for a rude awakening.
If I were to give advice to any young people who are considering living this type of lifestyle it would be to expect to have challenges that they’ll need to overcome. When these challenges arise, they’ll need to think differently than when they lived five minutes from the nearest home-improvement store. If they run out of milk and eggs, they can’t just jump in the car and be back in 15 minutes like they did when they lived in the city.
Living the life of a homesteader is more than just changing the location of your home. It truly is about reprogramming your mind to look at life in an entirely different way. Striving towards living the life of self-sufficiency means that your meat may come from the forest instead of the store. It means that you may have to use a log to make a repair to your porch instead of a perfectly milled 4 x 4 that you might have bought at the hardware store during your old life.
I’m excited to see our kids making an effort to breathe new life into a lifestyle that I had figured would someday only be read about in history books. Who knows, maybe they’ll decide to start their own website and document their experiences and challenges as they embark on this new an exciting journey. If they do, I’ll be sure to let you all know what it is!
Good luck Colton and Christina!