My Dad is much of the reason why I am getting to live my dream, he gave me a sense of adventure from a young age, as a family we would watch nature and science shows on PBS, we also watch Grizzly Adams, now THAT was how I wanted to live, in a small hand built cabin, on a mountain side, with few neighbors, a few good friends and independent.
My father and I even made plans to move to Alaska and have a horse farm, we wanted to live off the grid, even though I hadn’t heard that term before, it was how I wanted to live.
When I married PB and we began making plans on moving to far western Texas to buy some acreage on the side of a mountain and live completely off grid, my dad was getting older and knew he wouldn’t be able to live the off grid life he wanted, but he was able to live his dream (our dream) through us. He contributed in many ways, financially, materially, with ideas and suggestions.
When we first bought our property, it didn’t have anything on it, it was just raw land, rugged rough raw land. I drove the 8 hour trip out here with my dad to show him the property, he was so happy for us. We spent a few nights in a tent on the lower edge of the property, my dad toughed it out with us. Once we had a small structure built for us to live in, we moved out here permanently, then my dad began making annual trips out here, usually in August, he would spend a month with us.
A few weeks before coming out for a visit, he would call me and ask me what we needed, he would bring his truck packed full of goodies from Sam’s Club and other stores, things like toilet paper, paper towels, can goods and such, he supplied us with extra solar panels and even the occasional deep cycle battery.
We talked about him buying land nearby and setting up his own off grid home, but unfortunately his health insurance from the company he retired from was only good in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, if he left that area, he would have to give up his insurance, it was something he couldn’t do, especially with his health slowly going down hill.
I recently ran across a book I got when I was a young teen, it was all about alternative energy and such, my dad and I had planned on building a solar oven that was in the book, he even bought the materials, but unfortunately life happened and we were never able to put it together. That piece of metal he bought is sitting outside the sky castle, PB made it into a lid for an ash can, it’s a really big ash can :)
My father passed away in 2012, he had just celebrated his 84th birthday in the hospital, he so wanted to come back out to the property one more time, but it wasn’t to be. I was fortunate and honored to be by his side when he breathed his last breath.
This is the last year my dad came out for a visit, he had his dog Baby Girl, a very fat half chihuahua half pomeranian.
We have improved things here at the sky castle since his last visit, I know he is proud of what we have done, I am proud to be his daughter, I am glad I learned what I learned from him, I miss him very much. So with that, I want to wish every father a very happy Father’s Day.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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