Senior Homesteading: The Reality


Photo by Pixabay/alluregraphicdesign

There are some jobs that seniors probably should not do on a remote homestead. The reality, however, is that getting someone else to do them is not always possible. We heat our small cabin with a wood stove and burn approximately 9 to 12 cords of firewood throughout each fall, winter, and spring seasons.

Our home is an A-Frame construction, and hence the wind cap is over 30-plus feet from the ground. Any sensible person my age would have someone else go up and swap out the wind cap, but this senior homesteader still does it himself.

I can clean the chimney from inside the house but the windcap has to be done from the exterior. For many years, I would climb up to the top of the house, remove the wind cap, and climb down with it in one hand while holding onto the ladder with the other. Then, I would wire-brush the cap clean and climb back up to replace it.

My wife suggested that we purchase a second wind cap, so I would only have to make that trip once and I could swap them out each year. The process of replacing that wind cap is scary, even for this 75-year-old guy who has done it for many years.

I strap myself into a climbing harness and go up the ladder and tie off on the top rung of the ladder. Then, I have to turn and face out to be able to reach the wind cap (see photo). There is nothing in front of me but thin air, and it looks much higher from up there than the 30-plus feet it really is.

3/31/2021 5:43:31 PM

Excellent article. Being 68 years young myself, I can totally relate to the setbacks that the infirmities of an aging body can present. As a very independent, self-reliant old coot, that has always been pretty competent at being able to do just about anything that needed doing, I have had to readjust my opinions of just what I am able to do safely, and what needs to be done by a younger, more physically able person. Several years ago I had a revelation and a moment of clarity where I remembered lovingly chastising my father regarding his reluctance to do what seemed to be "easy peasy" to me. Several years later I called him and sincerely apologized for my arrogance.

3/30/2021 6:53:31 PM

At 74 I have had tough lessons taught in the last three years. I am not able, safely to do most of the projects I've done since childhood. My mind sees work everywhere I look but I have to concede to reality and hire someone. I do much like bicycle and motorcycle riding fly fishing is one too. My thought is risk but not like you're 50 again.

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