“Worry does not mean fear, but readiness for the confrontation.”
Off-Grid Part 2
By Bev Sandlin
As I walked up the hill along the stone path to this homeowner built homestead, it felt like I was coming home. In the crisp fall air, the scent of herbs and flowers from the planters in front of the home drifted on the breezes to welcome me.
The ever present stump and axes heralded the sustainably harvested wood for heat and cooking I was to encounter inside.
I entered the front door to be greeted by the masonry heater and wood cook stove. The antique oil lamp hanging above the wood box would be lit in the evenings to greet the residents’ home.
To the left was the living room with an antique—working–player piano that would fill the long winter evenings with music.
As I turned right into the kitchen I remember my great-grandparents’ kitchen, with the hand pump connected to the rainwater-fill cistern (the ram pump had long quit working by then), the aroma of baking bread coming from the wood cook stove, the careful tending of the fire, and the cheery glow from the mantels of the oil lamps flickering in the evening as grandpa would tell us stories of times past.
The wife had just finished baking squash bread and the aroma was heavenly.
The interior of this rustic home has the patina of recycled barn boards. The windows too are recycled and conformed to allow the breezes to flow through the home and cool it in the summer.
Note the owner-built kitchen island with locking wheels, drawers on the side and curtained storage beneath, the blue hand pitcher pump next to the sink, antique hutch to hold glassware, and the every present cast iron cookware hanging from the wall near the stove.
The wood cook stove is a true antique, refurbished by a professional restorer. All the food preparation and preservation on this homestead takes place on this stove.
This picture shows the tiled counter tops, pitcher pump and the ever present oil lamp. After a sip of hot apple cider and a bit of that delicious squash bread, I entered the combination prep room, bathing and storage area off the kitchen.
The gleam of blue hued Mason canning jars filled with pantry items and spices was only rivaled by the wheat grinder firmly attached to the wood countertop.
I was invited down to the unheated basement. The conversation had gone to how the warm winter had provided no ice for the ice house and a propane refrigerator had been purchased to off-set this inconvenience.
More Mason jars filled with the gardens’ produce lined the chill storage area.
It was obvious that this home had been carefully planned to be not only a sustainable retreat, but also of comfort to the family it housed. For me, it was a link to memories long forgotten.
Tomorrow we will proceed to a closer look at the masonry heater that this home is built around.
A smile for you…
The Love of Sharing Equally
A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them. Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap. The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.” The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth.”
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