Recently I was asked what it takes to live out here, especially with children. It got me to thinking; I've been asked before in one form or another. Other related comments mostly reflect astonishment that I live this kind of life and that I raised my kids out here.
What did I come out here with? My husband was already out here; he'd been working out here for two summers already, but he wasn't making enough along with my job in town, to pay the rent, utilities and buy food. I came out here with two dogs, two cats, two boys and a whole plane (bush plane - little) full of bags of clothes. That's it. I left behind so much. Everything else was stuffed in a storage compartment, and eventually nearly all of that was donated to the local charity.
When we first moved out here, my kids were six and nine. My biggest worry was school. Gad!!! Sure, I graduated from high school, I even had four years of college under my belt, though no degree, but what did I know about teaching? Especially my youngest. I didn't have a clue on how to teach him how to read and yet I was/am an avid reader. I was so lucky the school system had it all figured out for me.
Outside of schooling, I really didn't give the move much thought. I mean our ancestors moved their families hundreds of thousands of miles (by horse-drawn wagon) from civilization. What I did was not nearly so dangerous. They had to worry about Indians and starvation or freezing. All I had to worry about was possibly a bear.
We were caretakers our first winter out here. Part of our arrangement was groceries once a month. Our worst trouble was hauling in firewood. We didn't have a snowmachine until later in the winter when we could borrow one.
During the summers way back then my husband was the bread-winner. He worked as a fishing guide, and he was very good at it. Somehow, (I have yet to figure out how) he had all the different fish's habits down pat and could take you to whatever you wanted every day. I was the one to stay at home and raise the kids (and keep them alive so-to-speak).
Nowadays, my life is different and yet very much the same. Now, with a little creative trading, we own the property we live on. Now we live in a house the four of us built ourselves - part of the lumber came from a cabin we tore down for a friend who wanted it gone, part came from lumber we milled ourselves with a chainsaw, the rest, like the plywood and insulation, we had to buy and freight out here.
Now it's my paycheck that brings home the bread so-to-speak. I work summers at a fishing lodge where I have worked for over ten years now. When our government decided to require us to have insurance to cover our guests, we could no longer be self employed so my husband no longer guides. Our boys have grown up and now they are both married. I even have a grandson now; he's eight now. My how time flies.
Now, oddly enough, we have a satellite dish hanging on the side of our little house. Boy, it took me a while to get used to that, but because of that, now I am a published author, I have three blogs, and I'm well known on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Let me tell you, I certainly did NOT see THAT in my future way back when. hahahaha But it will be a long time before it pays for itself.
Here in this neck of the woods, there are several lodges. To the best of my knowledge, they all hire every summer. If you want to make a living year around, that's a little harder, but there's always someone who maybe needs some firewood cut or their roof shoveled when the snow gets deep. If you happen to be mechanically inclined, there's boat motors to work on or snowmachines. However, a good-paying summer job, with a little modest smart shopping, it's possible to be comfortable for the rest of the year.
Finding a home might not be so easy, but you could find somewhere out here to live. I'm trying to buy a small Bed and Breakfast see here, but I'm way short on funds, and because of my seasonal job, banks won't lend me a dime. You'd have to check local listings, but I'm sure there's plots of land with and without cabins all across the state. What remains to be seen is if they are within reach of work. Then again, there is always live-in work and take your summer loot to town, stock up on winter supplies and then go home.