The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Into The Woods

Posted · 4 Comments


Winter has finally succumbed to spring here in south central Alaska, though that is debatable since we are forecasted to get snow on Friday.  But most of the snow has given away to mucky mud and for some reason we are all excited to see it.  

I’ve emerged from hibernation ten pounds heavier, lethargic from the long winter and eager to find dirt under my fingernails and sweat on my back once again. The kids are battling the cabin fever and I’m battling the children. It’s time.

Yesterday I began our much anticipated ‘list’ of things to do this summer.  The list is not as long or as expensive as it was in the past two years when we put thousands into gravel, building supplies, a well, septic, sawmill, generator and inverter, and excavating.  We’re down to the details of the cabin, the intimate things that make it decidedly unique, that make it ‘ours’.  And I’m ready.  It’s labor intensive, which is fine, and it requires more imagination than I possess. Thank God for Pinterest.

Cabin Plans

The current battle is when to move back up to the property. If you’ve followed OUR CABIN STORY, you know we came back from the cabin last fall after not getting it quite to the point of livable before the harsh realities of an Alaska winter chased us back to the big house.  We miss the woods and the conveniences of modern civilization are spoiling the children, what with running water and electricity and all.  Time to plunge back into the simple life.

Life in a tent while we finish the cabin somehow just feels right and far be it from me to question why my teenage daughters are anxious to get back to the trees. Something magic about that life, I suppose, that beats out hair straighteners and electric heat…even for teen girls. Go figure.

In March 1845, Ellery Channing told Thoreau, “Go out upon that, build yourself a hut, & there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive. I see no other alternative, no other hope for you.”

And so we plan our summer of finishing our off-grid project, intent on losing ourselves in the woods and our work, to gear down and reacquaint ourselves with…well…ourselves.  

4 Responses to "Into The Woods"
  1. Kristy K. James says:

    Wow. Reading your list I see myself as I really am…a wimp. Just a thought… When my aunt and uncle bought their house, they had a ‘house painting party.’ They fed us burgers and hot dogs…and we all thought it was great fun – even the adults. Way back when, people had barn raising parties…including pot luck suppers. And everyone had a good time. I’m guessing you have truckloads of friends and family who would be glad to help. I hope you’re asking. 🙂

  2. Rita Porter says:

    Your list looks a lot like mine, except I’m in Ky. Good luck!

  3. Nancy says:

    I was just talking to my friend about you.. I was wondering if you were able to go back to the house yet. Yay you are.. Isn’t it funny with FB now.. I’m telling my friend a

  4. Lynn Falconer says:

    I am so GLAD to read this. The list is long on effort and imagination and will likely never actually be completed because you are going to tick one off and add another! Go to it folks and keep the cameras handy!!

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