Preparing for Life Again Off the Grid

“Coming home” for us doesn’t mean driving up to an abode, opening the door, flipping on the light and unpacking our stuff before stepping into the shower to wash the travel off. It doesn’t mean peeking in the fridge before we make a list and head off to Safeway to get the ingredients for some spaghetti.

Nope. Because for starters, Safeway is 2 hours away.

Rather than more typical questions about what needs to be done around the house or last-minute details with work or school, the questions we ask are more like, “so are the solar panels hooked up and the wiring finished?” “What type of power is it?”, “Do we need to get a fridge that runs on propane?” “Is the satellite service for the phone happening?” “How bad are the mice? Are the beds wrecked?”

It’s just so different.

It’s life on the raw, life off the grid

Mikey’s been busy on the farm for the past week, helping my brother get the solar panels installed and running. I’m sure they also have gotten some farming started, but for the most part, I am hoping that Mikey’s been able to unpack some of our stuff that he brought back with him and have the power set up.

I have no idea at all as to the state of the outdoor shower or outhouse.

Or the washing machine, and how that will work with this new power system.

Or the lights.

Or the fridge, which ran off of another solar grid which isn’t going to be used anymore.

I’m Nervous

I’m so nervous you guys. Scared, is more like it. Or just total chicken shit. I’m facing the hill and solo parenting again for the next 6 or 7 months. The bears (and snakes and mountain lions) on the property seem pretty feasible compared to how hard those endless summer days were for me last year. Washing clothes by hand. The searing loneliness I felt and how crazy-making that can get. The half hour drive to school, each way, 4 times a day.

I’m trying to take those deep breaths and remember that the hard parts this time will NOT be like last year.

I know what I’m doing this time (sorta), I know what to stock up on from Costco (kinda). I know where the laundry mat in Eureka is and I can get there if our own machine won’t work because of the new power system. Right?

I can do this!


Yes, yes, yes. I can. I can bring the kids up the hill and we’ll settle in and make the yurt comfortable. The kids will go to school next week – SCHOOL! They’ll be so happy!!

I’ll have the outdoor shower cleaned out and the whole meadow cleaned and in great shape in a couple of weeks. The fact that my foot is still broken won’t matter AT ALL. In fact! The gorgeousness of the hill will take my mind off of the pain and help me strengthen it and it will be the absolute best thing that could happen.

When the hard parts hit, I’ll take the kids and travel, just the 4 of us. We are happy on the road.

It’s a plan I can love. I just need to remember to take lots of deep breaths now and remember that it’s all going to work out. I can do this. It’s going to be more than just ‘okay’; it’s going to be ‘awesome’.


is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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  • Yes! Come visit us! Bryan will babysit and we’ll go out for something exotic and appropriately East Coasty. We’ll take the kids on lots of ferries and visit with friends.

    • It’s not technically single parenting – Mikey’s here. But he works 12-14 hour days, so it’s single parenting for most intents and purposes!

  • Meriah, it sounds very challenging. I don’t know enough about your lifestyle to fully understand your feelings about living this way. You are a very brave woman if you choose to live like this because I only have 2 children and I have a washer and dryer and a day in my life is not easy at all either, but yours I thought you chose to live in those conditions… Do you mind elaborating a little more to understand why you are so scared?

    • It’s complicated…yes, I absolutely choose this. But at the same time, it can really hard, like when the days grow longer and Mikey is gone longer and I still don’t have many friends in the area. It takes a long time to make friends, maybe especially here. I think it’s more of a long-term investment – it’s hard right now but I also see it paying off down the line when I have friends.
      In the meantime, it’s scary to be so isolated – and I’m only talking about the scariness of loneliness.

  • Sometimes when you already have enough experience to know that it can be difficult and you are now going in with your eyes opened a bit…that can be the most terrifying aspect of it. If I knew what I would have to go thru when we temporarily lived in a small RV (till the mice took over) in BC while we built our log house off the land….I think I would have chickened out. But at the time I didn’t know so it was all exciting! But I wouldn’t choose to go back and do that all over again, I don’t think. YOU ARE BRAVE! And YOU can do it, Meriah. You’ll set your goals and achieve them, I know. Go For it!!

    PS Where will Mikey be??

    • I think that’s it… eyes open, walking in 🙂
      Mikey’s here, but he tends to be gone for 12 hours a day – and it gets longer in summer with more light. I don’t do anything with the farming at all; he’s onsite, managing everything and has to give it 110%.
      So I just see him when he staggers in, to eat, shower and sleep. Then in the morning, before dawn, when we drink coffee together and he builds a fire before heading off again.

      • Hugs! It’s all a trade-off I suppose. You have all winter long to be together 100% of the time and drive each other nuts 🙂 In that way, summer is a reprieve!!

        I know, not helpful, but a good attitude will take you far. But of course, you already know that.

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