Importance of Having a Home

I am a very, very lucky man. I have a warm home with two heaters, a few small leaks in the roof and fresh air that streams through the trim around north facing windows. The floor is cold but not frozen. Our bath tub is currently full of dirty water from doing the laundry, our pipes froze under the house again due to the 7 degree temperatures this morning and yesterday. No big deal, really. It’ll warm up next week and unthaw, and next season I will get back under the house and fix the problem. A clothes line hangs in the living room with drying clothes just above our heads. Our three dogs have clean beds, plenty of food and clean water. Our cat has dozens of beds. All of the animals received plenty of salmon scraps today, and on a regular. We have a toilet inside that is used by Savanna for Number One and an Outhouse outside for Number Two. A well is powered by a generator that brings water upstairs into a 65 gallon tank that gravity feeds for us to do dishes, fill water to heat on the stove, and bring the chickens water. We received 15 eggs today. Our baby has her own bed in our warm room, both of our beds are made of Wool and handmade by Home of Wool in Bulgaria. We have THREE vehicles that run, one has a flat tire and needs some work. Our bedroom has two walls with inlaid bookshelves that are filled from floor to ceiling with comics, books and movies. We have a dozen buckets full of dry food in our food cache, a freezer full of fish and fruit and dozens of jars of home canned products on the shelf. We paid off our home last year and live off grid, and since we are receiving more sunlight we are using far less gas to power our batteries. We have a loft with a hide a bed, a tiny closet we share, a cook stove with pots and pans, and a small tool shed with enough tools to handle business. But most importantly, we have each other.

Yet still, human nature takes over and my mind wanders and wanders to faraway lands. I read a book set in France and I start researching travel to France. I look at a map of USA and I begin thinking about moving the family to New Mexico. I watch a movie based in Mexico and I check out every movie in the library on Mexico while thinking about moving there. At least every single day for at least one minute I think about leaving our home for a warmer climate, where it isn’t 7 degrees almost three weeks into Spring. Where we can swim!!! And where our baby can be around other children, running barefoot and playing in the water. A place where we can grow food year round instead of for our short growing season. A bigger house that doesn’t feel so cramped and cluttered even though we barely have anything compared to the Modern American.

And then I remember how many damn people all around the world are starving to death. I see their faces from my travels, and I know there are millions more. I remember the millions of people who are refugees, the millions of others who are homeless and the millions of others who live in big homes near sunny beaches and who don’t have any time to enjoy them because they’re too busy to work.

Savanna demands that we never sell this property and that we keep it our home. And while I can agree to not sell the house and land and to always have a home here in Alaska, I don’t want to close the door on God granted opportunities for us to be of service in other parts of the world. And to enjoy the gifts of the Cosmos, such as warmth, water, and wellness.
I wrote this poem sometime this year when I was getting a little stir crazy and angry about the Covid scare, food shortages, gun hungry neighbors and life. It helped me through a tough time.

What do you do to get through tough times in a healthy way?

Importance of Having a Home

Forty-four t-posts to keep out moose
From eating the fruit trees and killing our roots,
Seiner net fence cost two bucks in gas
Smells of old herring with plenty of gaps,
Pulled from the dump bin at the Gear Shed
Strung up eight feet above my head.
Bees collect pollen, I collect eggs
Wife collects pictures, dog has old legs,
Dandelions blossom, nettles sure sting
Life is too short—Just like the spring,
Life is too short—Just like our spring.

Masks on the shifter, disinfectant in nook
People with gloves on pass us weird looks,
Shifty hands—fingertips 
Repulsive eyes—hidden lips
No more teeth—expensive beef 
Aisles too small—carts stacked tall
Riots erupt—virus spreads
Over 300,000 dead!!!

Yarrow dries inside our home
Wife and I share a phone
Watch the dogs chew a bone
It sure is peaceful in our home.
Eat and watch bees collect
Baby moose stops at net
Our baby drops—Not just yet!
Savanna’s hips are almost set.
In a dream, the natural world
Berries, sunsets, family curled
Up together in our bed
Today’s memories in our heads.

It’s nothing fun to kill a pig
Pluck a chicken, wear a wig
Cancer kills—don’t forget
To watch the moon rise and set.

Sometimes I want to move away
To a warmer place, to swim all day
With board shorts on and toes in sand
Wifey smiling, white teeth on tan.
Speak Español on the reg
Beads of sweat drip down my head
Mangoes, piña, avocado, bread
Raise our child…
Away from the cold, gun heavy hearts of incessantly shooting neighbors!!!

But right now… 

Our home is here;
In the woods with water near
Safe and happy, a little cold
Love that warms from the soul.

A buddy of mine sent this to me the other day and I had to share. I am DREAMING of summer!

Thanks for reading, I hope everybody reading this has a place they call home.

Published by secretgardenalaska

Family of four living off-grid in Happy Valley, Alaska. We grow food, write stories, make jewelry, and live a sober life.

3 thoughts on “Importance of Having a Home

  1. Bob,

    I feel exactly what you are saying, That is how I feel when I watch a video about Alaska.

    My wife and I will be visiting Anchorage as soon as we both have our covid vaccines, she has hers. We are finishing up the home renovations. My wife keeps mentioning Idaho but we visited North Idaho last Summer, which is nice but did not speak to my soul.

    You have a very beautiful home and land. I am hoping my wife likes Anchorage when we visit so we can sell our place and move to Anchorage 🙂

    If that does happen I would definitely save up to buy some land outside the city with a small cabin where we can go to get away from it all and enjoy nature. I could never convince my wife to live remote but I am sure she would go for a cabin for family get aways and weekend relaxing. Maybe she will fall in love with it and want to live there 🙂

    I think that where the mountains meet the ocean is a place that speaks to. my soul. I have always lived in cities for the most part of my life and it is no longer for me, especially after last year.

    I agree man, we have to appreciate what we have and be grateful.

    I will definitely let ya know when we come up to Anchorage 🙂

    Take care,

    1. Hi Andres,
      Two months ago I was ready to cash in my chips and move away from Alaska, but then spring arrived. The weather today was perfect! 45 degrees feels like 95 after 4 months of 10 degree weather.
      Yes, I hope your wife loves Anchorage and that you guys find a perfect place to pursue both of your dreams.
      What is it about living remote that your wife doesn’t want? My wife absolutely loves it!
      And how is Northern Idaho? I’ve only heard wonderful things, but never been.
      Okay, my friend, I’ve got to run for now.


      1. Hi Bob,

        Great to hear from ya my friend. We are coming to visit and check out Anchorage in June, I will be booking the trip this coming week, so excited. I hope we can meet up and you guys can share your Alaska knowledge with us 🙂

        Northern Idaho is nice but there are not a lot of homes available and no bigger type of city there either, which my wife did not like that about it.

        I read about your VA claim getting denied, sorry to hear that. Are you going to appeal it? I can understand about how most Soldiers don’t have documentation because it is stigmatized to go to “sick call” in the Army, I remember having to fall out of formation and into a separate formation where everyone would have to explain why they need to go to the doctor although healthcare was a benefit of being a Soldier.

        I used buddy statements in support of my claims with the VA, basically former Army colleagues who submitted written statements on stuff I was claiming. I also went through the DAV.

        Stay safe my friend and talk soon.

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