In the fall of 2012, my father showed me a piece of property he purchased a few years earlier in Potter County, PA. It came complete with a main building, a shed, a wood shed, and a couple of outhouses! It started out as a hunting camp, then was purchased by the Amish where it became the area’s Amish schoolhouse for many years, and then my father bought it from the Amish. I fell in love with the place! On a dirt road, surrounded by farm land and wooded areas, in a small town… so I BOUGHT IT!
Being an Amish building, the schoolhouse came without plumbing or electricity. I wish I could say that I plan on living completely ‘off the grid’, relying on solar, wind, or hydro but the truth is I plan on a modified ‘off the grid’ situation. As of January 10th, I have electricity. I hired an electrician, Lyle, who installed a circuit box and a couple of outlets right underneath it to use for power tools and MUSIC! It was inspected, and the electric company installed a pole on the property and wired it to the house – so now I have power. The total cost: $1500.00 for the electrician and inspection, the electric company services were free. I like the local electric company because it’s a cooperative, and the rates seem to be a heck of a lot cheaper than being a slave to Unitil in Massachusetts. Lyle has agreed to work with me to re-wire the whole house and do it piecemeal as the need arises.
I have no clue what I’m doing, but I look forward to sharing my journey with others. Anything I can do myself, I will be doing. It’s good to have friends who are contractors (mostly in MA) who will be available by phone or Skype almost anytime I need them for advice. I will also be working with a local Amish hospital where patients come from all over the country. One issue at the hospital is there are Amish men who come to the hospital with their wives and can stay for up to a month or more waiting for loved ones to recover. I can hire these Amish men (most are accomplished carpenters) at reasonable rates who are grateful for the work — a win/win situation!
I am grateful to be in Florida for the winter this year, which was an excellent decision as the Northeast has been hit with storm after storm — and more storms are coming! I drove down here to the Tampa Bay area on New Year’s Day and will be leaving in Mid-March, then taking a detour to visit friends in Austin and Indianapolis before coming back to my new HOME in beautiful Potter County this spring.