Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Monday, September 28, 2009

A blog entry from my mum

A little different this week - this one is written by my mum about their trip to come and see us...

We got up early on September 11th and were driven to Orlando. A good journey saw us arrive on time at our destination. As before, the easiest airport in the world had us reunited with Abe, Josie and a sleeping Leo in 10 minutes from walking down the stairs onto the tarmac.

We went straight to the dentist – Bob decided to have the work done that they suggested he needed, 4 visits, 4 fillings, 2 root canals and 2 crowns……. I decided not to bother!!! We then drove the 2 hours back to their place. Unfortunately, we had rain and rain and then a little bit more, and by the time we arrived at the turn off to their village, the river was raging and we couldn’t cross. So drove to the next town where there was a motel with rooms for $10 each. We ate the chicken we had bought enroute and went straight to sleep.

Early the next day, with the river back down again, we had our first look at the work Josie and Abe have done since we were there last May. My goodness! They have a beautiful house. The views from the large windows are spectacular and they have designed the house with that in mind. Using Abe’s genius, there is heating and cooling underground with ac and dc power in all the rooms. Josie has her kitchen and it is wonderful. Rustic and practical, with everything one needs. Josie is an excellent cook and we had wonderful meals including apple pies (made with fresh, free apples from the village), fresh bread, pancakes, cookies and much more. The dining room furniture is bright and they have painted all the rooms bright and cheerful. We had the sitting room and a very comfy futon as our bed.

The bathroom is not yet done, but there was a compost toilet and we had outside showers which we both enjoyed – they have a wonderful system of collecting water and all their tanks were full.

The dentist took up 3 days, but 2 of them Josie, Leo and I stayed behind and caught up, which was wonderful. Bob and Abe took some walks over the mountains and neither of them stopped chatting about future projects. The evenings saw the 4 of us with a glass of wine, playing cards and having a laugh. I slept wonderfully even with the coyotes, mouse and dogs.

Leo – my goodness he captured our hearts totally and completely. He is a wonderful little boy. Doesn’t say much at the moment, but points, nods and shakes his head and seems to get exactly what he wants across – doesn’t always get it but……… if he wants anything, he takes you by the hand, or pushes you up off your seat and takes you to it. We had so much fun just watching his antics. He decided that Bob was his best buddy. Would give him one end of a slinky and lead him around all over the place for ages….. if Bob put it down or got a bit tired…. He was reprimanded and given the end again. Off they would go. We just killed ourselves laughing. He also has many different walks and faces that he entertains you with. I could go on and on, but am sure everyone has stories about their own children/grandchildren that are equally as sweet.

Given the problems of crossing the river after heavy rains to get to a ‘proper’ highway road in case of an emergency, Bob and Abe took themselves off one day to scout out a little used route across the hills that could be used to get to a roadway avoiding the river or any creeks. The going was so good that Abe’s low clearance small pickup truck managed the entire route with very few problems. There was just one section, where the three of them, (they had got Leo there as well of course, with it being a mans’ outing!) took over an hour to sort out a path over some rocky terrain to join up the paths on either side of the hill top’s crown. But the good news is that they can now (if they want to) get from their house all of the way to a paved highway without any risk of being carried away in a flood.

One other rather memorable event occurred (for Bob mainly). While Josie was outside watching Leo in his small inflatable splash pool, she called for Bob to take his camera outside as there was something there he might be interested in photographing. Turned out to be a monster tarantula! Now, it’s well known in family circles that Bobby is afraid of spiders, (well, some anyway) and yet, seeing how Leo wanted to play with this one, and how Abe just let it walk all over his hands and arms, our Brave Bob decided it was time to put away his fears and get better acquainted with that form of nature. Anyway, we now have pictorial evidence that there is at least one very large member of the arachnid family who was kind enough to let Bob host him for a while without so much as a nibble!

I guess that having the snake in the house was also a bit of a test for Bobby, who for years had avoided going anywhere that he was likely to encounter such a slithery creature. Once more, the proof of the pudding was that all snakes won’t just take it into their minds to attack without cause and the brave old soul is rethinking his irrational fears and hopefully will learn, even at his age, to live more in harmony with those who share this space.

Walking around their homestead and knowing what they have both planned to do eventually by way of development there, it’s easy to see the attraction of the place that they have chosen to live in and to bring Leo up in. He’s certainly one very lucky young boy. He’ll grow up with both of his parents available to him, to teach and explain all there is around as well as to open his mind to the type of questions that present themselves daily when growing up in any natural environment. OK, so he won’t get to experience the city stress, or the type of peer pressures to do wrong that other kids might face as they grow up; but he will still have access to other young people of his own age, will see respect being given to those around him, will share a great work ethic with his parents and their friends and will get to know life at its best. Like I said, one very lucky little boy!

To say the very least, the trip was wonderful, and we both look forward to our next visit and to seeing what additional progress they have made. Next time too Leo will be able to vocalize his needs and perhaps Bob can come off his leash and simply respond as asked whenever his number one fan has a request!

Thank you very much Josie and Abe xxxxx

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