PB and I have lived off-grid for nearly 10 years now, by Christmas this year it will be 10 years. Have you ever done something for so long that you grow tired of it? I will admit, I have hit the off-grid fatigue wall… I don’t mind living off-grid, I love having few monthly bills, I love being more independent, and I know that I am able to go longer than most at living this way. I hear the comments, usually second hand, wondering how I can stand to live like I do, I suppose they mean living in a more primitive manner, dealing with our own waste (human and otherwise), LOL if they only knew :)
Actually, when I think about it, I’m pretty satisfied with how I live, I couldn’t imagine living any other way, in spite of the fact that I occasionally hit that wall, it just makes me stop and think about just how fortunate I truly am, I am living my dream, even if that dream wakes me up from time to time to review and revise what is going on.
I know that one thing that is bothering me right now, we are in the beginnings of our rainy season. We go most of the year with minimal rain, until about mid July, then we get rain, a lot of rain, often on a daily basis. The SkyCastle is pretty well built, it’s sturdy, but since we used quite a bit of recycled (read:used) materials, some parts of it aren’t as “comfortable” as it could be, the roof is one of those things.
We leak, when we get hard rains, sideways rains, hail and the such, we have a few areas that leak inside the house. The roof is made from lots of other people’s castoff metal sheets, a neighbor would be tearing down a shed or other building, or maybe they were re-roofing their home, we would end up with the used materials, it was good for everyone involved, they didn’t have to take the scrap material to a landfill that is FAR away from here, and we got free material to build with. So there are lots of mismatched pieces of metal, different sorts of panels and all of them came with holes from previous use.
It has been something we have lived with and dealt with for many years, since we don’t get a lot of rain for most of the year, it’s pretty easy to ignore it and deal with it when we do get our rains. This year, it’s starting to bother me more. This evening, PB and I sat on the 3rd floor deck, watching the sun go down and swatting mosquitoes. I asked him to work up a plan along with cost estimates for material to re-roof the main part of the SkyCastle, that consists of the living room/kitchen, bedroom and shower area. We also want to build a deck space up there that covers most of the roof, that would give us more outdoor space for us to enjoy and to entertain our friends & family. It would also give some extra thermal protection during the hot part of the summer, which is already over with BTW, can’t complain much about that, except that it lasts about 1-2 months and does get hot, just not humid, it’s bearable, but the extra shade created by another layer (the deck) on the roof would make it even better.
There are a few other things that are causing me to feel like I’m hitting a wall, I will even admit that I briefly considered getting a power pole planted on our property (gasp!!!). Only as a backup, for when the batteries don’t get enough of a charge, for when PB wants/needs to use tools and equipment that require more power than we can generate, but that thought was brief and is fading away. For the cost of getting power on our property, I could easily buy and install a bigger solar system, it was honestly just one of those poor pitiful me moments, we all have those right? Well, I’m getting over that, not to worry, I am not actually going to do it. I only write this to you to be honest, it’s not all roses and unicorns living off-grid. We have lasted this long and will continue to push ahead.
I’ll let you know what PB comes up with about the roof, hopefully before next summer (and then rainy season) we will have a spiffy new roof and a party deck for entertaining.