Today is Father’s Day, a bittersweet day for me. My Dad was instrumental in my interest in living off grid, as well as actually getting to live off grid.
I grew up in a very tight knit family, we had a few close friends, but mostly we depended on ourselves, the family, to get through life. We would gather around the TV and watch Nature, Jacques Cousteau, NOVA, we also enjoyed watching Grizzly Adams. Those shows molded my love for nature. We walked an odd line though, one of loving nature and one of being conservative, we were definitely not tree huggers (not that there is anything wrong with that, said in my best Seinfeld voice).
I have wonderfully fond memories of sitting with the family and watching these shows, then heading straight out to emulate what I had watched, building tent forts, digging holes in the dirt to see what lived there, saving the baby sparrows that always fell out of the nest built over the porch… neither of my parents made much of a fuss when I brought home a grass snake, toad or horned lizard, and believe me, I brought home everything I could find.
We lived in the suburbs, though we all dreamed of moving to the country, plans were always being made that would end in us buying some acreage out in the middle of nowhere. I remember when my dad and I discovered the Monolithic Dome Homes located in Italy Texas. We took a day and visited the site, they are very friendly folk who don’t mind people wandering around. We spent years after that drawing out plans for the dome home we were going to build, I can still see it in my mind. Life would be perfect.
Unfortunately our family never fulfilled those dreams, at least not until I had my family and they were grown up. Most of my family is familiar with how I live now, my mother was the only one who never got to see my current home, she passed away 15 years ago. My dad did get to be part of it though. He came out for his first visit before there was anything built on the property. We set up tents on the lower part and spent several hot days enjoying the peace and quiet, meeting the neighbors and getting the lay of the land.
After that, he would come out and spend a month in the summer with us, his first extended stay was the impetus to build a separate bedroom, I loved my dad but we needed some separate space (LOL). He enjoyed helping us, both financially as well as keeping us stocked up in goodies. About a month before his impending visit, he would call and ask me what we needed. Dad would buy up toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, can goods, dry goods, he would bring out an extra propane can to leave with us, filled of course. His truck bed would be filled with all the love he could pack into it.
It’s been over 5 years since his last visit, we just used the last of the toilet paper he brought out, believe me when I tell you, those were precious rolls.
My dad will be forever entwined in this property even though he never lived here, his heart was here and always will be.
Thanks Dad for my life, my loves, my stubbornness, my sense of adventure, my DIY streak and everything else I received from your DNA. I miss you.
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