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Fair winds!

Dave and Anke
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sacred Coffee: A Review

The View out Front

Living on a homestead in Alaska is definitely a slower lifestyle, not because it's any less busy or full than others, but because our time is marked not so much in hours, minutes and seconds, as it is by the tides, the sun and the seasons.

Sacred Coffee: A "Homesteader's" Paradigm

Quite while back, now, my Brother's family was looking for land where they might settle, leaving a suburban home and lifestyle behind them.

One day, while reading the kindling paper I came across a picture of a log cabin on 10.6 acres, directly on Lynn Canal (northern SE Alaska), at a steal of a price. Ripped it out and got it to Mark.

Time passed, and they made inquiries. Turns out a misprint had dropped a zero from the price, but an accord was reached. They took possession of their new "homestead" (I'll let him explain the quotes), and it took possession of them.

Several more years have gone by, and Mark - who has been blogging about his experiences here - has collected a number of essays in his new book, Sacred Coffee: A "Homesteader's" Paradigm, available in hard-copy, digital or audio-book form.

And I'm proud to review it.


I thoroughly enjoyed SACRED COFFEE: A Homesteader's Paradigm, and heartily recommend it to anyone who relates to home as more than a place to sleep. And all the more so to those who dream of crafting a way of life a little further afield.

Here are the capitals from the TABLE OF CONTENTS:

A Disclaimer
Living Simply
Living Naturally
Living Frugally
Resource Use
The Paradigm's Pay-Off
The Adventure Continues

From these alone, one learns a great deal of what homesteading is all about. It is these that guide us as we transition from dependent lifestyles to more self-reliant ones. Never mind the thousand skills involved... as seen in Mark's writing, those skills are acquired in due course, as naturally as we once learned to shop.

Mark's writing is entertaining and hopeful.

His 'how-to' isn't so much the nuts-and-bolts variety as how to shift one's paradigm for living, to open one's eyes and heart to new possibilities. In his paradigm, homesteading is a process that can begin today, in one's home of the moment. If we but look up and begin, we can leave the 'burbs as far behind us as we dream, one step at a time.

No need to be raised by wolves, no rule that says you have to wear buckskin, that you have to be some sort of mountaineer.

Mark writes of challenges, false leads and mistakes met with research, ingenuity and patience. And at the end of the day, the satisfaction of work with one's own two hands, of drawing upon one's own resources.

And why?

"...The essence of our decision to live the way we do", he writes, is "to live a better life."

"...Our main impetus is to live more fully, focusing on enjoying our brief time together as a family, and pursuing the adventure of a lifetime in the process."

Process. Adventure. Joy and togetherness.

Over the years, Anke and I have enjoyed their hospitality... seen their new(ish) life up-close and at-length. Mark isn't just talking the talk (which he does well, by the way), he's walking the walk.

His family has forged and continues to create this reality for themselves...

And that reality checks out!

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