Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book Review - A Widow's Walk Off-Grid

A Widow's Walk Off-Grid: An inspiring true story of courage and self-determination is a story that resonated with me at this point in my life.  The author, Annie Dodds, responded to her husband's long terminal illness, death, and resulting financial poverty by finding life on a remote dirt road in an off-grid, rickety house. Anyone interested in a true story about transitioning into off-grid living will likely find it hard to put this book down. 




The Annie Dodds Off-Grid Story


Annie survives the long illness and death of her husband. Then has to decide what is next for her. While most people "plan to go off-grid" she tells us in a radio interview, "I think I was in an emotional coma, I didn't plan. I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't have a plan".  

With very little money and few belongings, she moved many miles away from civilization into a rundown old farmhouse. She moved to the little house, with few neighbors and no corner stores, out of emotional and financial necessity; in order to live a dream.

"I would live a relaxed country life, the kind of life I once wanted, but had put on hold, because our dreams are not always the dreams of those we love"

Not a How-To Off-Grid Guide


If you are looking for a detailed DIY guide, there are better books to turn to. But if you would enjoy a woman's tale of finding riches in friendships and of finding life in an 80 year old rundown house on 50 acres, you are in the right place. 

Annie moves into a little house just off ten miles of caliche dirt road between two highways. Miles to the nearest decent neighbor and 30 miles to the closest real store. With no electricity, running water, or girls' room facilities, Annie and her dog Tippy make a home. Annie continues to live through some circumstances that would have overcome many people. 

"Live your dream, life is not chapters"

A Widow's Walk Off-grid is written like a journal, rather than chapters, because the past "keeps jumping up" and impacts her story. The story doesn't move in exacting linear fashion and seems to backtrack at times. But I found that this style echoes what it feels like when I spend time in my off-grid, dry cabin.  Life doesn't move in a nice, tidy line from point A to point B. 

Living and Living Your Dream

Annie is an example of jumping in and living the dream she had begun to imagine while reading Backwoods Magazine during her husband's illness.  She is also an example of how we can create family from friends and help each other live. 

While off-grid living is far from glamorous - in fact, it consists of daily hard physical work and moments of intense sadness and fear - there is something liberating about being able to fend for yourself.  The small joys of life become easier to see without the constant ambient glow of commercial life in our eyes. 


Recommended Reading by Annie Dodds:
Backwoods Home Magazine

Interview:
Lil Suburban Homestead interviews Annie Dodds

Similar Reading:
If you enjoy reading Widow's Walk Off-Grid; An inspiring true story of courage and self-determination I believe you will also enjoy reading Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World. 



5 comments:

  1. Wow, what a very well-written and compelling review. I admire women, even men and families, who have the fortitude or whatever it is that it takes to make the break and live off-grid, fending for themselves. I barely have enough courage to read the book! Perhaps it's a calling, one I simply don't have. In any case, you really piqued my interest. Thanks! I'll be sharing this link.

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    1. Thank you for the visit and the share! I think for me... it seems more like a natural thing since I spent some of my childhood hanging out with Amish children. Off-grid seems a little familiar to me.

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  3. The resilience and determination to survive that we see evidenced in the lives of some is often astonishing. As I read your review, I could only imagine the devastation she must have felt. Probably desperation even. Bravo for this woman of courage who turned a set aside dream into a reality at a time that she likely couldn't even think straight. It sounds like a great book!

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  4. Sounds like a book of courage and determination on the part of the author and encouragement for anyone who wishes they could find the motivation needed to 'follow a dream'.

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