Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Many years ago when I was a Boy Scout I remember being taught “Always be prepared.” Strangely enough that is a lesson that tends to serve you well throughout life should you follow it. Therefore we try to plan ahead and have a plan B, in case our operative plan ceases to work or circumstances change. There is no way we can always be prepared for every drastic change of circumstances but then it is more about remaining flexible than having alternatives already in place. We have come to realize that sometime in the future we will no longer be able to cope with the demanding conditions that we currently exist in. Perhaps it is time now to start planning for that contingency so we are not surprised when it suddenly sneaks up on us.
Selection of a future homestead is a daunting consideration. We recognize that we will not be able to cope with our present paradise here on the mountain forever. Mountain living is difficult on a slowly aging body that has already seen its share of abuse and injury over the years. Living in the mountains can be physically demanding and as each year rolls around we have noticed it slightly increasing in our joints and flexibility. Finding what we are looking for could take months or years. We are presently in no hurry but feel that we should do some exploration now so we don’t end up later with a situation where we would have to make a hasty decision. Currently we are able to meet the challenges of remote mountain life but we are aware that won’t last for ever. If it takes us a few months or a few years we are going to start exploration now so we will be prepared when the time actually comes. If it is sooner than later we will have made our exploration and will be ready.
Living on the side of a mountain with the gorgeous views, clean pure air, wildlife, and pure water that doesn’t require treatment or filtering are benefits that are priceless. Perhaps that is why it is one of the most sought after places to live in the country. By the very nature of mountain living it is probably the most healthy living anywhere. We would not consider leaving this paradise under normal circumstances but it is time to start planning ahead depending on what the future holds for us. The true value of our lives and lifestyle are not in our home, possessions or material things. They are the wild animals that have grown to trust us, the constant companionship of our dogs, and the smells of earth, pine/fir trees, change of seasons, the birds, the whispering of the wind through the tree tops, the remoteness and views. These are only a few of the benefits of living where we do. Our home is a very nice home, it protects us comfortably from the elements and provides a comfortable place to reside. Another up side is that mountain property does not lose its value and may well be higher in value than in most other locales. When the time comes for us to find a more suitable area to live our home will have escalated in value even more, therefore giving us even more options.
We have done all the hard work to make our home easy to live in; kept the maintenance and improvements current, and the hard work has already been done which enables us to enjoy life more now by having that all behind us. Reading our past blog topics is a clear indicator of how life has become comfortable here at 9,750’ elevation. To sit in the swing and watch our two year round springs run and gurgle freely with the birds coming in to drink from them or the deer enjoy the fresh pure water is relaxing and makes us part of the environment. It is also a quiet place to reflect or just unwind. We don’t look forward to leaving this beautiful and fulfilling place but we also can’t turn back the clock. When the time comes whoever buys our homestead will be buying one of the best lifestyles possible anywhere. The house and out buildings are simply icing on the cake compared to the true value of what we have here. So perhaps now is the time to look to the future and start to explore and make sure we are “prepared” when that eventuality does come.
For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and their mountain homestead go to: http://www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com.