Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Natural Beauty, Yes. Creature Comforts, No.

About a week ago, there was an article called "Broadband, Yes. Toilet, No." in the New York Times that featured a young couple named Bretwood Higman and Erin McKittrick that have lived in a 450 square foot yurt in a remote part of Alaska for just over a year. Their story is amazing and my jaw actually dropped when I read they heat their abode with wood which they chop themselves and feed into their wood stove every 15-30 minutes. In the morning, after letting the wood stove die down overnight, they wake up to many mornings of zero degree temperatures INSIDE their home. And all this while living with their 11 month old son. Their story is amazing and worth taking the time to read at the link I included above.

I read Erin and Bretwood's story just after I convinced myself that it was OK to raise my thermostat from 55 to 60...a full 60 degrees higher than their early morning temperature and I don't even have a baby to keep warm. I really am left to wonder how they manage it. I found I had to wear a coat and scarf and sometimes even a hat to keep warm at 55. I just really got tired of the bulk and the constant moving around to keep warm. At 55, I always seemed to have a constant shivering feeling about me as well. I feel like such a wimp compared to them.

Now that I keep my temperature at a balmy 60, I still wear the layers but don't need the hat and don't have a cold feeling about me all the time. I also don't have to be constantly moving and can actually sit for a bit and type on the computer. I feel 60 is a perfect temperature and one I can live with for the remainder of the winter, even though I feel bad for not sticking with my original plan of 55 degrees.

I wonder what it must feel like to sleep in zero degree temperatures, especially with no indoor bathroom. No hot shower to warm cold bones with. I don't know if I could do what they are doing but I sure give them credit. They are not living this lifestyle to prove anything. They just are living their dream which makes it all so cool...

Would you be willing to sacrifice some creature comforts to live in a beautiful place and experience nature in a way unlike any other?

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Yes, I would, and after four years of encouraging (but probably more due to his dissatisfaction with his job than anything I've said), my husband is finally ready to consider such an idea.

In fact, if I could afford to buy a piece of land with some shelter, we'd be there now ;).