Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Dealing with living remotely can be full of numerous and varied challenges without a doubt. One of those is avoiding ‘cabin fever’ and how you use your time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day but how you use that 24 hours depends on the individual. So how do you occupy your time and what do you do for entertainment when you live a remote lifestyle? Beyond the regular necessary chores it largely depends pretty much on each individual and how they prioritize their time. In our case, with winter restricting our activities for 6 to 8 months of the year we use the snow others seem to dislike so much in order to enjoy some quality outdoor time. We have little in the way of humidity here in the mountains so when it gets cold outside that is the time for us to go outside and enjoy what nature has provided - snow. Because of that low humidity the cold is not felt like it is in some places, so even though it may be 15-20 degrees outside, it is still comfortable with a sweatshirt and wind breaker. The wind can certainly play a major factor as to how cold you feel but on those very windy days we mostly stay inside anyway. It is also important that normal precautions be taken because if it doesn’t feel cold outside that doesn’t necessarily mean you will not get sun burn or frost bite.
We enjoy snow shoeing and have miles of roads and mountain side which we can pursue our interest. Others may enjoy cross country skiing or other snow activities but we like to strap on a pair of snow shoes and head down the road. We enjoy using our bob sleds to sled down our driveway and some of the lakes that are frozen solid are ideal for ice skating. There are numerous fun activities to enjoy outside if you want to take the time. We looked for years for a good spot to sled and finally discovered our driveway was the very best place in the area. That can be an exhilarating activity, sledding down the driveway at 20 mph with the wind in your face. Or sometimes we will snow shoe down the road and take along picnic lunch. All using what nature provided, snow, fresh air and wholesome exercise. Snow shoeing can be strenuous exercise so layering your clothes keeps you from sweating and getting chilled.
We also occupy ourselves with volunteer work. What we discovered after years of searching for the right venue to volunteer was that finding that right match can be pretty tough when you live remote. We both volunteer for our favorite groups and are not even required to leave the comfort of our home. My passion is German Shepherd Dogs, and therefore I volunteer my time in interviewing applicants who submit an application to adopt a rescue dog. My civil/criminal investigative background makes this a very good match for doing this type volunteer work and assuring that the applicant is suitable for a rescue dog. Rescue dogs have not always had an ideal life and in fact many have been severely abused, mistreated and neglected and some just no longer wanted. Some have had a comfortable life but for various reasons the owner had to give them up and they suddenly find themselves removed confused having to leave that comfortable home. It is therefore important to match a rescue dog with an appropriate home so its life will be improved and not a repeat of neglect or insecurity. I approve the applicants if they are qualified and the lady who directs the rescue is highly experienced at matching the appropriate rescue dog to the approved applicant and their lifestyle. She also has final say on any potential applicant. It never ceases to amaze me that applicants sometimes have intentions that are not always appropriate for these dogs and their continued well being and safety. These are the ones we try hard to screen out which won’t be allowed to adopt a rescued dog through our organization.
While some criticize dog rescues for being overly cautious as to who can or can’t adopt one of these rescued dogs; German Shepherd Rescue of Central Colorado, is extremely careful about who can qualify for one of these magnificent dogs. We still believe that helping one dog at a time find an ideal home is better than running the risk of relaxed standards plus we don’t want a dog to end up in an unsuitable environment a second time. Dealing with rescue dogs has a tendency to sour you on the entire human race when we see first hand what some of these beautiful and intelligent dogs have actually gone through. Fortunately some States are now making animal abuse laws much stronger with harsher penalties and it is about time in my opinion.
Carol does volunteer work for Global Media Outreach which is a Christian outreach through various media resources. She also is able to do that volunteer work on the internet and telephone from home. She has been able to connect to other people who live almost anywhere on the planet and learn and expand her appreciation for people of different cultures. She also does volunteer work for the same German Shepherd Rescue I am involved with by maintaining their blog site and checking references.
So in addition to our love of reading and outdoor activities we gain tremendous satisfaction from our volunteer work. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the right place to volunteer but if you keep looking you will know when that right match comes along. There are so many needy organizations with limited funds that warmly welcome volunteers, if you look hard enough you will find the right place where you fit in. The beauty of doing volunteer work is you can generally do it within your own time frame. The rewards are gratifying and if you have spare time I recommend that you consider donating a little of your time to help someone else. Between our volunteer work, indoor and outdoor activities it keeps us busy and time seems to fly by. No getting cabin fever at our house, we are just to busy.
Even if you just take a pocket full of dog treats and go down to the local shelter to spend some time with the dogs and cats, it will make their lives a little better and the satisfaction and love you receive in return is beyond description. So if you choose to live remotely as we do and don’t want cabin fever, it could benefit you to consider on suitable days getting active outdoors and becoming involved in volunteer work.
For more on our lifestyle and remote living go to:http://www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com