Hi, I’m Libby. For a little under 12 years, I lived 80 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska on 5 acres of land, in a mobile home with my husband, two kids, 3 cats and a dog. I hated the mobile and loved the rest.
Our property was also home to 4 goats, a herd of rabbits, chickens, weasels, bears and other assorted creatures. I grew a large garden, fished through river ice, foraged for herbs and berries, wild-crafted, and made just about everything, including my kids’ clothes. Having grown up in a small town in Upper Michigan, I was no stranger to rural life.
Alaska was adventurous and hard. Very hard. Long, manic summer days (trying to get everything done in a scanty 12-16 weeks) and critically cold (-50 degrees) winters with 16 hour dark nights were just a few of the challenges. When we got divorced, I knew I’d have a hell of a time raising two kids by myself in what I, by then, considered a hostile environment. (I mean really, bears in my garden, frozen/broken pipes, floods, malfunctioning furnace and miles away from anything). So I moved to the Pacific Northwest, where the environment is beautiful, benign, and relatively predictable.
I love it here. The land is friendly and nurturing. And although I’m now living in a small city near the Canadian border, I’m still a rural gal at heart. I will always miss my Alaskan friends and the raw wild of the far north. I learned a lot surviving there (which I intend to pass along to you) and it helped me grow in many ways. All challenges invite us to expand our capacity, don’t they? For that, I’m thankful.