Page 25 - WCM 2021 Winter
P. 25

ing was there for some time, but it took forever and
a day for things to get to the breaking point. For me, the moment of truth was this blue computer screen staring back at me, the overwhelming sense of a lost connection to the outdoors, and limited quality time spent with my family in nature.
I was done. I was walking away from the security
of a good paying job, sound health insurance, and a very comfortable home, to a place where we had to start from scratch. It was a briefly terrifying moment, followed by the realization that I knew we could do this. Things moved quickly from there, and we sold our home and most of our possessions. We liquidated many of the trappings that at one time we thought brought us happiness, packed up a few things, and headed north. Our destination was a piece of land we bought years earlier in Mason Township, population: 59 residents. We built a little cabin (12’ x 16’) with a loft that would have made Charles Ingalls proud, and it was from this point that we started over.
Our youngest son, Orion, was 3 years old, and he slept in a wooden crib below, while the older kids slept in the loft above. We had a woodstove for heat and cooking, and a traditional “one-holer” nearby. Kerosene lanterns lit the cabin at night, and we drew water from the stream that trickled down Tyler Mountain. We washed up in the brook, and in the colder months we had to
shower outside using a 3-sided wooden enclosure with gravity fed water that we’d warm on the woodstove. The showers were quick to say the least! The kids would strip down and put on a bathrobe, and I’d carry them over to the shower, and then quickly back to the cabin. One frigid evening, my daughter Skye took her shower, and quickly threw her bathrobe back on. As I car-
ried her back to the cabin over my shoulder, I slipped on some ice, and in an instant, she was airborne and landed face down, scantily clad, in the freshly fallen snow. It was moments such as this that helped to build character, grit, and a sense of adventure. Hardships provide obstacles that you have to work to overcome, and we were not about to take an easy path.
Each day the kids would scramble through the forest barefoot, climbing trees, catching frogs and all sorts of critters. They were always busy exploring. One
day while I was busy working on the cabin, I could hear the kids cheering and getting all excited about something. I came down off the ladder to find them huddled over a piece of cardboard with lines drawn on it. They were having a slug race! When you have noth- ing but time on your hands, and a sense of adventure, I guess you can make the time to have a slug race!
As a family unit, we began the crusade of building our home: a modest and rustic abode that had everything we needed, and little that we didn’t. We still did not

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