Thirty-one years ago we lived in a very populated state 500 miles to the south. It is even more populated today!
We bought some land in Maine during the Carter years, and after vacationing on it the year after the purchase, we were headed south to go back to our apartment and jobs.
I turned to Sue and asked if we owed anybody "down there" any money. "No" was the reply. Then I asked if it seemed somehow backwards that we love where we vacationed for 2 weeks out of the year and disliked where we lived the other 50 weeks.
I got an affirmative to that.
Five minutes after getting onto the Interstate we decided that in 30 days we would be up in Maine to live.
When we moved we had no jobs, and no home.
We had land, a tent, a picnic table that I pre-fabbed, and a desire.
Everything fell into place like the parting of the waters, and the move worked out.
We are still here today on the southern slope of Bear Mountain (Brooks Ridge @ 300 feet of elevation), where we grow our own vegetables to feed ourselves and our dogs for the majority of the year, raise chickens for meat and eggs, have a mess of guinea fowl running around to eat insects and ticks. I am seriously considering getting some mammalian livestock for meat.
On the mountain there are deer, black bear, fox, coyote, fishers, and much more. Lots of wildlife. I cut and split wood from our land to heat our home (I tell folks we have solar heat. We do, we have 40+ acres of "solar collector"!), and have a PV electrical system that supplies our home with "juice" when our current draw is not too great (when the A/C isn't required!).
Where we live the air is pure and the water from our well is the best water you will taste anywhere!
I am a DIY'er.
I enjoy Photography, been known to do some amateur astronomy, dogs, gardening, BBQ (Have a Primo ceramic cooker!).
I enjoy cooking but I am far from a chef!
I am an ex US Army paratrooper (Co A 12th Engrs, 8th Inf Div) and I still have the can do attitude today!
Love the out of doors, heck I even like the change of seasons and winter for the first few months of it anyway. I absolutely love our week of summer every year!
I am not too fond of blackflies numerous enough to carry away small animals if they work together, and I detest mosquitos and deerflies that can carry small animals away without any help!
I believe we are here to use the land, but not abuse it. We are here as stewards of the land. We try to walk as softly on it as possible, but again, it is here for our use.
We are Mainers ("Maynah" to anyone not from here) and as Mainers, we are pretty darn frugal, but do not confuse that with meaning cheap. I use everything until it cannot be used anymore. Then I use it some more!
If I make or build something you better be sure it is the best I can make it, because anything less will not work and it will just be a waste.
It is not necessarily inexpensive, but it will work for a very long time.
That is frugal, getting the most out of something, not being cheap.
I like to think we are as rugged as the Maine coastline, but we are probably not. However, lots of folks would not have a clue how to "get by" where we live and could not survive.
It is nothing to get snowed in and not be able to get out for days at a time. Or to be without utility supplied power for days or a week. Or have it reach -30 and hover there for days with the wind chill factor making it feel like -80.
Just throw more wood on the fire and hunker down!
That is a good time to bake bread!
We are retired now, so I can do the things I like to do every day and not do anything I do not enjoy doing.
Life is really good!
- Brian Krampert