Let's get one thing straight here. I AM crazy. And not just because I went outside this morning to wield a pick axe wearing flip flops. No, it's true, I really am crazy. But you have to be to stray from what is the norm in society. Homesteaders and pioneers are crazy. Have you read Little House on the Prairie? How many people pack their wife and small children into a wagon and leave all that is familiar, cross raging rivers and then try to live off of flat grassland full of pissed off natives? Crazy people. The Donner party? Crazy people. To be a homesteader or pioneer, you have to believe that you can do something that everyone is telling you will be too difficult. You have to believe in yourself enough to keep the kids going when they are sure you have lost your mind.
But I love living off the grid. I don't have to worry about gas pipes exploding like the recent incident in San Bruno. If my gas line explodes, it will do damage but on a much smaller scale. I will most likely still have a house afterward. And when my power goes out, I don't have to sit in the dark wondering what happened and when it will be back on. I don't have my own solar panels yet but it is pretty hard for me to overuse the solar power I get from the guest house's system. But if I do, I know I just have to wait till the sun comes out the next day. And my fridge and stove run off a propane tank. When that runs out, I feel stupid. I am totally responsible for it and know I should have more than one tank. Thankfully, though, I can borrow some. In the evening we use candles, lanterns and headlamps. We are extremely self-sufficient here and have absolutely no PG&E bill. I also own my home (though not the land it sits on) and have no water or garbage bill. I do have to haul my own recycling and garbage into town, but we make so little that dumping the garbage usually means dropping a plastic shopping bag full into the trash can at a gas station.
So, yeah, I am crazy. But I am also very wise. Here I can take care of myself and my children. My children have plenty of space to play and be children a little bit longer. I can start a real savings and plan a real future. I'm building the skills I will need and laying the path towards owning my own land someday soon. I am taking care of myself and creating a future that does not have me running around in circles playing society's games and getting nowhere. And that keeps me getting up each day to wield shovels, pick axes, power drills and whatever else ends up becoming necessary.