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When I was young , up to 17 years old roughly, we lived off the grid. Now a days thats cool or something to strive for and some think its a brand new idea. There was a time where for most people there was no grid. We didnt live that way because we wanted to but because it was all we could afford.It was cheap to live that way. There was no running water, no electricity, no phone. We burned wood and coal for heat and cooking. We carried water in pails from the barn to drink. The toilet was 100 feet or so from the house. It was not heated. We didnt use toilet paper, it cost money. We repurposed other kinds of paper. Kids were still lazy in those days. Often at 30 below I’d jump out of bed, and not put any warm clothes on, run to the outhouse in bare (really) feet, do my thing and run back and dive under the covers before my feet started to burn.
Before we had a bath in the winter we would collect and melt snow on the stove. It took a lot of snow to make a tub of water. In the summer wed put a barrel in the pickup and bring water from a ditch. After we started burning coal for heat we had to colllect snow from a farther distance from the house or the water would have a coal skum. We all bathed in the same water ,oldest first. In the morning,in the winter there was a layer of ice on the water pail. Dad would buy a really big bag of porridge. The mice started from the bottom and we at from the top. Mouse poop swelled up when boiled with the oats . Some of the cousins would close their eyes when they ate our porridge. We had a mixed farm , cattle, pigs.chickens and grain. Dad trapped and I did to for extra cash. We did our own butchering . Wood peckers woke us in the mornings pecking on the logs of the house. Birds comeing north in the spring made nests on the logs of the house corners. Bears would show up at the front door on occasion..After mom died in 1965 dad was trying to get a woman because social service wanted to take us kids away . They felt he couldnt farm and look after us at the same time.Dad brought a few woman from here and there. He was pretty light on his feet so they didnt mind him at all. Some of them were pretty prissy and couldnt believe people lived like this except in books. After a number of ladies traipsed through our lives he got a mail order bride from Eastern Europe. She was hard core and after being raised under communism in the USSR she was ready for our situation. She was a little hard on dad as time went on. We didnt want to be of the grid and looked forward to the days when we had all the amenities of the grid which finally happened. It makes thinking about going of the grid,to disconnect and disassociate from the genius that runs our system all the more interesting.

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