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A life without convenience

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:04 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:09 a.m. CST

Editor’s note: This column originally published Aug. 13, 2015

The last thing anyone wants is for the power to go out when it’s hot. How did people ever handle the heat “back in the day?”

A few weeks ago during one of the storms, our electricity went out — not such a rare event where I live but always annoying.

In the summer, although we don’t have the luxury of central air conditioning in our home, we do have several window units and a plethora of pedestal and ceiling fans to keep the house comfortable.

But as I sat there in the darkness, after merely two or three minutes, I could feel the sultry air creeping in through the walls. I thought I might have to go sit in my car for the rest of the evening with the A/C blasting. I couldn’t help but wonder how past generations had the stamina to withstand the oppressive heat and humidity with such grace. In other words, didn’t Grandma Walton ever sweat?

I used to be made of tougher stuff but as each year passes, not so much.

So anyway...

Hubby, college-kid and I were talking one evening about living off the grid … existing without the conveniences of utilities, without the modern day comforts of our “wants” and providing for ourselves our “needs.” You know … a real pioneering lifestyle. The conversation didn’t go far before I owned up to the fact I couldn’t do it — nor would I even want to. Heck, I get a little owly when I run out of Cinnabon coffee creamer!

I admit to being drawn to the idea of a life with complete freedom, our own utopia. But someone is going to have to do a lot of manual labor in “Kingsville,” and I guarantee it won’t be me.

However, in my younger day, I think I could have given it a real go. Seriously, I think I could have.

Remember the PBS series, “Frontier House” that aired about 14 years ago? It took three families and plopped them in a remote valley in Montana to live as settlers did in the 1880s. Each family was to run their own 160-acre homestead, from building their home and raising their own food, to finding a way to purchase supplies at the general store and bartering with neighbors for other items.

While watching those programs, I was confident at that time my family could have pulled it off. And to this day I still believe we would have succeeded ... 14 years ago.

Let’s face it, I’m not the only one enjoying a more mellowed lifestyle as the years have passed.

Contact Dana King at

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