Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
When I was first asked last April to blog for Mother Earth News, I was surprised that I was invited to participate in such a prestigious group of bloggers. Most have books (some many books) to their credit or they are experts in their field and when they talk, people like myself take notice. I had none of these accomplishments, and I’m not an expert in any area. Matter of fact I’m not even a good writer, and have no books or other areas of distinction to my credit. Mother told me they could not pay me but I probably would gain some fame.
After thinking it over, I decided it would be a fun experience and accepted the offer to be able to connect to other like-minded people who might like to homestead like we do. Certainly not for the suggested fame - and I might say that the pay is exactly as it was reported to me. Since then, I have described our life here in the mountains, and the problems and joys associated with it. I have written about those pesky carpenter ants, firewood, high altitude living, canine first aid, mountain fun, our seasons, heating with a wood stove and assorted other things that we experience on a regular basis. I have not had one regret doing this and look forward to future blog topics.
Having done dozens of blogs now, I am seeing the fame they promised as our personal blog is getting around two hundred visits a week from all over the USA and some countries I haven’t heard of but have to look up on the internet. That site is www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com. Writing this blog has been a totally humbling experience for me, and also highly rewarding. I sometimes struggle with what does not come naturally for me - putting two sentences together that will make sense. I am also somewhat technologically challenged. I never imagined that living a simple life, surviving from season to season in a pretty harsh environment would attract as many people as it has. I have made online friends from every corner of the country and world. For those who have written me words of encouragement, I humbly thank you as I need all the encouragement and help I can get.
What I have come to realize is that you don’t have to be a professional writer, expert or noted authority in any particular field in order to contribute in some small way. My contribution is tiny compared to some other bloggers but what I hope I can contribute is a small spark of an idea to reach for the brass ring, too. We have lived here for 14-plus years and have done what we set out to do. There is nothing special about us, just ordinary people with a dream we've been willing to work for. If our lifestyle and experience (regardless of how well or poorly written) will serve to lift another person up in spirits or inspire them to go for their dream in life, then my blog topics have been a success beyond my wildest imagination.
So to all those who take the time to follow someone like myself, I hope you are inspired to do great things for yourself and others, and perhaps something I wrote played a very small part in the process. If coping, living and existing here in the mountains like we do benefits you either in reality or vicariously I can’t think of a greater compliment. Much of how and why we live as we do was inspired by other Mother Earth News contributors dating back to our very first issue in 1972. When you succeed don’t stop there, pass it on to future generations so they can dream and reach for the brass ring, too. To all those who read my blogs and take time to write me words of encouragement, I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart. And a very special thank you to Mother Earth News for this opportunity.