Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2- Gathering Supplies

"Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... 'How to Build a Boat.' "
Steven Wright

   When you idealistically start a new venture, like moving to an island, there are countless things you don't and can't know. Here are some things of which we didn't have a full grasp.

1. You can leave for free but everyone in the car and the car itself must pay to get back on the island, every time. I mean we knew this but, we didn't know this, if you grasp my meaning.

2. When you live in a house with a wood stove and old, electric base heaters the only economic way to heat is with the wood stove.

3. A woodpile becomes a beautiful and lust-after resource. Four cords of wood, split, delivered and stacked is the same price as your first born child. I am just kidding, but it felt like wood was a major expense. We may have used driftwood from the beach now, and then.

4. Food and other staples are more expensive on the island. Going to the mainland to shop always includes a trip to Target and McDonald's. Added together, the Target run, McDonald's, and the ferry fare is more expensive than paying more, at home.

5. Having less options is a new mindset which resulted in freedom. Less can really become more. This concept was received in the dark, stillness of the night, when I secretly grieved for more options.

6. Amazon and the brown truck from UPS rocked my world. They solved the Christmas shopping dilemma all together. 

7. Leaving the island was optional. The less often I made that voyage the better.  

So, that first year on island was hard. Mark had a commission job. He wasn't really suited to be a salesman. He loved people but talked to them longer than he should. Money was so tight that at Christmas someone delivered a box of gifts to our doorstep which literally felt like a miracle. We all thanked God because he was the only one who could have known what each one of us truly wanted, not needed, but wanted. Every month sweat beads formed when the rent was due. One month, the dear friend who first introduced us to island living, slipped me a check for the rent. I was embarrassed but eternally grateful. Each morning I would gaze over the water at the rising sun, spreading metallic, gold, joy over my porch and feel revived to go on fighting for this life I wanted. Then in May, Mark got a job on the island. I had a husband home by 5:00. My children had a Dad who was home to talk with them instead of getting a ride from the dock at 9:00pm. Hooray! 
Until, ........later that month our landlord announced he was selling the house. Now came the ordeal of finding another home with five children in tow. 

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.


  1. It must have been a big adjustment to get used to some of the restrictions of living on an island- and what a difference Amazon must have made! I think it's true though that having lots of options can become overwhelming at times and there can be a freedom in having less options, though we don't always see it that way.

  2. You learned a lot during these hard times. It is wonderful that miracles and love saw you through tough times.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! It is always such fun to find other writers to connect with during the 31 day challenge. Your blog is so fascinating. And aren't there just so many things in life that we know but we don't KNOW them? That's a great line.

  4. Such wisdom about less options actually bringing freedom. I think of that every time I run to the neighborhood grocery store near my house (it's more a grocery store than a convenience store). I can run there for, say, pasta, and instead of being faced with the choice between angel hair, linguine, fettucini, spaghetti, penne, ziti, mostacelli, I have one choice---spaghetti. It makes things much simpler to not have a dozen choices all the time.

    I look forward to tomorrow's installment of this saga.


  5. You're gonna have a fabulous little book at the end of this:) I never thought about the cost of living on an island, but it makes sense it would. Love your #1.


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