Big Bend Chat

Big Bend Community => The Terlingua/Study Butte Board => Topic started by: DC6080 on October 07, 2009, 07:57:59 PM

Title: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: DC6080 on October 07, 2009, 07:57:59 PM
There was a portion of the "Ghost Town: 24 Hours in Terlingua" that recently attracted my attention. One of the residents sitting on the Starlight "porch" was talking about someone poorer being as happy as someone that is rich. He then mentions that he and his wife Sherry "live in the ruins over there" as he points to the north and the camera shows the restored ruins of La Posada Milagro, "...for $75 a month." I thought that these were for short-term and vacation stays only. Are there any "ruins" that are actually for sale in Terlingua???
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: rgibson on October 08, 2009, 07:24:17 AM
None for sale.  Bill Ivey, who owns the Ghostown, rents the buildings and folks who live there or have business fix them up.  If they move, all improvements remain.

Wife overheard this conservation in Ghostown from a Turon, "I do not think I have ever seen as many partially started homes in my life."
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Dinohunter on October 08, 2009, 02:16:35 PM
I swear, if I could get a decent job in Terlingua or BB, I'd move out there in a HEARTBEAT and never look  back.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Frogdown on October 08, 2009, 02:29:05 PM
The key is to not care if you have a "decent" job.  Just be happy and forget the money crap.  It takes so little to live.  We fall into what everyone else thinks is correct.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Casa Grande on October 08, 2009, 03:17:49 PM
The key is to not care if you have a "decent" job.  Just be happy and forget the money crap.  It takes so little to live.  We fall into what everyone else thinks is correct.

isn't that the truth?

However, "so little to live" is very relative.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Dinohunter on October 08, 2009, 03:48:46 PM
The key is to not care if you have a "decent" job.  Just be happy and forget the money crap.  It takes so little to live.  We fall into what everyone else thinks is correct.

A job that pays the bills is what I meant by decent. I'd be a very happy camper living in that area.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Frogdown on October 08, 2009, 04:40:04 PM
To be honest - I think taking a family there could be pretty rough.  A couple or a single person could make it far more easily.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Dinohunter on October 08, 2009, 05:13:44 PM
Very Very true. Thankfully it would just be me.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: BigBendHiker on October 08, 2009, 08:51:10 PM
The key is to not care if you have a "decent" job.  Just be happy and forget the money crap.  It takes so little to live.  We fall into what everyone else thinks is correct.

Indeed.  As the great philosopher Mick Jagger once said:

Quote
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: DC6080 on October 10, 2009, 12:01:49 PM
I agree with what everyone is saying, especially moving "out there in a heartbeat". I feel the same way, but I'm stuck in the "big city" for now. I have 5 acres, but can't build on it right now. The "ruins" got my attention because of the cheap price, but I don't see much sense in fixing something up that you can never own!
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 16, 2010, 02:03:53 AM

To be honest - I think taking a family there could be pretty rough.  A couple or a single person could make it far more easily.



I am responding to another old thread, but this really piqued my interest. 

Seeing how I am already thinking of making the move ... I need to know more of the realities before I take the leap.  I have weighed the pros and cons in my own mind, and I don't have rose-colored glasses on, but I am open to hear what others have to say.

I think in order for a person to make a good decision they need to be aware of all the alternatives and circumstances.

So in your opinion, what would be the downside of moving a family there? 





 
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Drifter on January 17, 2010, 09:29:51 PM
Before you do anything else you need to talk with Chisos Muse from this group. She and her fella Jon moved out there a few years back.  She is one tough cookie and independant  and her lesson is reality is the same where ever you are.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: RichardM on January 17, 2010, 09:48:56 PM
Some of the locals will have to weigh in, but areas of concern for families as I see them are education, health care, food availabilty, jobs, etc. The school system does the best they can with the limited resources they have. Except for a clinic in Lajitas run by a P.A. and a clinic where a doctor and nurse come down once or maybe twice a month, there is not much in the way of health care in the area. The closest hospital is in Alpine. Presidio may have a doctor or two, but that's about it. The local food stores have more food now than in the past, but they are still limited. Again, gotta drive up to Alpine or Fort Stockton for "big city" style grocery and department stores. There are not a lot of good paying jobs out there, so it helps if you already have a source of income lined up. If the kids (or parents) are not used to the geographic (and sometimes social) isolation out there, they could be in for a difficult transition.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: homerboy2u on January 18, 2010, 09:46:31 AM
If the kids (or parents) are not used to the geographic (and sometimes social) isolation out there, they could be in for a difficult transition.

 To say the least. If you are lined to do the move, what basic consideration would dicitate is to ponder your daughters interests, it will be very tough on them if they come from a very sociable,crowded,easy access to many amenities that you take for granted. Just let them know where you are heading,visit the area...thuroughly and make your call.

  Most of us here love the isolation, but i will be honest too, i for one still like to come back to some civilization of some sort. Chisos Muse can give you a hands on experience of the way of living in the area, and it's hardships.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 18, 2010, 09:00:52 PM
Mr. Frogdown ... I enjoyed our visit yesterday ... thank you.

 :icon_wink:
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 18, 2010, 09:03:19 PM
Before you do anything else you need to talk with Chisos Muse from this group. She and her fella Jon moved out there a few years back.  She is one tough cookie and independant and her lesson is reality is the same where ever you are.

I really, Really, REALLY like that lesson ... it speaks to me.

Thank you, and I'll be sure to take heed to Chisos Muse's input!

Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: chisos_muse on January 18, 2010, 09:41:48 PM
Well, Richard & Homero pretty much sum it up. Drifter too  :icon_wink:

Basically, no matter how much planning is involved or how adaptable one can be, keep in mind that there are always factors out of your control. Living in the Big Bend region succesfully & happily is a lifetime commitment, a marriage...

The right decision will of course be determined by you and your family. Good luck!  :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 18, 2010, 09:47:25 PM

Some of the locals will have to weigh in, but areas of concern for families as I see them are education, health care, food availabilty, jobs, etc.

I 'think' we are mentally prepared for these valid issues.

1) For education, I had already accepted the reality that I would homeschool the youngest if we stay in Abilene.  I hope I do not offend anyone by saying I am pretty much turned-off by the BS and/or politics involved with large school districts.  So a tiny school actually appeals to me, and as a parent I need to supplement my child's education (in all areas) anyway.  Besides, the smaller the school system is the less I'll might have to un-do.  If that makes sense?

2) As far as health care, we've already weaned ourselves off of conventional medicine.  We don't run to the doctor for every illness.  I am a student of homeopathy, and am able to treat most of our ailments at home with success.  Of course, in the situation of critical importance, I recognize life-saving measures as it relates to emergency trauma and swift intervention.  But, like you said, we'd all have to make a harrowing trip to Alpine for that anyway.

3) Food ... I want to make this move as a living lesson in self-sustainability.  So I will learn my lessons the hard way by trial and error.  In a perfect scenario, we'll be able to provide most of our food at home.  But I realize there is no such thing as perfect ... so the quick trips to Study Butte's grocery store won't bother me a bit.  Our philosophy here really needs to be "less is more" anyway.

4) Job!  This is the gristle I chew on the most.  Of course, I recognize without a mortgage looming over my head, and no utilities (as we will be off-grid), this removes the largest burden of my shoulders.  But, still, we must be able to have some kind of income.  So, I continue chewing the gristle.  Obviously, I am going to have to tap into the entrepreneurial blood coursing through my veins, and come up with something spectacular.  I'll get back with you on this one.  I'm tapping .... heehee.

Keep the comments flowing ... I need it and love it.

;)

  
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: oldfatman on January 18, 2010, 11:05:22 PM
Off grid is not no cost for utilities.  There are real maintenance costs for off grid utilities.  The cost just doesn't go to the local utility company.  For instance solar has batteries to maintain and replace. Panels can be damaged and need replacing.  Please plan this carefully because folks I know in the hill country did not consider the maintenance aspect closely enough and it bit them where it hurts most.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 19, 2010, 01:10:03 AM
I think I'm fixing to scare y'all with what I'm about to say next.  Dare I say it?

 :icon_redface:

When I say "off-grid" I mean off-off-grid ... like, no nothing ... like, camping in a house instead of a tent ... like, outdoor showers in hot weather and warm baths in a small trough in the middle of the floor in cold weather ... like, woodstoves for heat (which would mean I'd have to buy cords of wood each winter) and cooking most things outside on the grill and rocket stoves, and in dutch ovens, and in sunken hayboxes (instead of electrical crock pots) ... like, charging our cell phones in the car thingy, and the laptop, too (through an inverter) ... like, candles and kerosene lamps for soft light at night ... those sort of off-off-grid things.

*ducking for cover*

It all makes logical, perfect sense in my mind, and fits within my personal goals of self-sufficiency ... but when I type it out, it forces me to realize more than ever just how much it doesn't fit the status quo standard of living today.  But, then again, getting away from the status quo is what it is all about for me anyway.

I hope Terlingua embraces insane women.

:eusa_pray:

 





Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Al on January 19, 2010, 01:30:49 AM
As long as you recognize that the environment in Terligua is self-sustaining in some ways and not in others, depending on how much you want to invest in accumulation systems for water and electricity, and carefully control the use thereof, it can be done.  Don't count on self-sustaining for food, unless you can afford several sections of land and are primarily a carnivore.  I doubt there will be enough water for a garden, particularly one that is sufficient to be self-sustaining. 
Al
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 19, 2010, 01:45:34 AM
Hello Al.

((hug))

You know, I've given this a lot of thought ... the garden.

Do you think it would be feasible to grow most of my veggies in compact clusters within containers?  That would reduce my need for irrigating large plots ... and scale down my need for space and water, wouldn't it?  Mulching heavily would help retain moisture ... and I could recycle my greywater to feed the plants.  Does this sound like a good way to start? 

I've even been researching how certain veggies grow within strawbales ... which are densely packed, and retain moisture once wet ... and I could make a strawbale bin (from what's leftover from building my little abode) into a possible, prolific gardening medium.

My mind is working overtime.

 :eusa_think:

Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: fartymarty on January 19, 2010, 03:05:59 AM
I hope Terlingua embraces insane women.

I think Lajitas had a goat that drank beer. They made it mayor. It died. They stuffed it. Lajitas is sorta upscale to Terlingua (opinions vary).
People that have a drunk goat (also dead) for a mayor most likely don't care how you cook or bathe or even if you bathe.
Now I'm not sayin' you're insane, and I'm not sayin' that you'll be embraced, I am sayin' that I think you'll fit in just fine.
It's a very eclectic little community, your presence will help maintain that eclecticnicity.

If later on you decide that some solar panels and an electric crock pot causes a lot less pollution than daily smoldering wood fires,(maybe cheaper too)
...well I think they might overlook it and let you stay.  :icon_smile:

I do have my doubts about how much produce you will have to put in your crock pot/sunken haybox from your garden. The gray water used by 4 in Abilene might be enough
for a garden in Terlingua. However you'll not be bathing as well with the water you'll have on hand from rain in Terlingua.
My calculations may be off, but I come up with 20 gallons per day MAX and that is based on a 1200 sq. foot roof and an annual rainfall of 9.8 inches and no losses. I think that
you may only get 3/4s of that after evaporation and collection loss.
Will you have goats (for milk and cheese) and chickens (eggs) that need water?
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on January 19, 2010, 03:30:05 AM




If the kids (or parents) are not used to the geographic (and sometimes social) isolation out there, they could be in for a difficult transition.



To say the least. If you are lined to do the move, what basic consideration would dicitate is to ponder your daughters interests, it will be very tough on them if they come from a very sociable,crowded,easy access to many amenities that you take for granted. Just let them know where you are heading,visit the area...thuroughly and make your call. 

 Most of us here love the isolation, but i will be honest too, i for one still like to come back to some civilization of some sort. Chisos Muse can give you a hands on experience of the way of living in the area, and it's hardships.


This post, Homer, above all others touched me most deeply. This post forced me to switch gears from logical, strategical thinking ... back to doing what women do best: feeling.

As a mother ... everything I do, I do for my children. Always wondering what is best for them: the right choices ... the right examples ... the right friends ... the right influences ... the right opportunities ... the right, well, everything.

When I say all these things, I'm not talking about outside choices, examples, influences, opportunities, etc ... I'm talking about inside (ME!)

What are my personal choices, examples, and influences portraying to them? Am I showing them how to be an independent, yet feminine, woman? A loving mother? A loyal wife? A carefree spirit within those personal boundaries?

I realize my decisions affect them ... sometimes even, on the surface, negatively ... but I weigh each of those decisions carefully, keeping in mind at all times what I feel/think will be the best for them at a deeper level.

I can handle a little resentment from them if I firmly believe my decision is best. I am their mother after all, and they are my children. But one day they will be in my shoes with their own ... and I hope they can subconsciously recall the loving backbone that is in their genes.

My oldest daughter will, for the most part, be unaffected by this move. She begins her life on a college campus of her choosing. The time is fast approaching where she will have the freedom to chase after her own dreams and goals. She will always know where to find me when life knocks her down. I am the anchor that won't weigh her down.

My youngest daughter will only have memories of Big Bend if we are able to make the move within the next year. She just turned four. She already loves adventure, and the outdoors, and all things related. She will adapt with ease, and the lifestyle will be all she knows. She will flourish "within what comes natural to her already" at such a young age. I have no doubt whatsoever she will simply glow, and bring many more smiles to what is already there within that tight-knit community.

It is my middle daughter that gives me pause. She is fourteen ... a very well-known awkward, difficult, insecure age where peers rule the world, and mom is dumb.

:icon_rolleyes: You know the look. :icon_rolleyes:

Truth be known, she'd pout over moving to a LARGER city ... she'd pout at the thought of moving ANYWHERE.

The thought of leaving her current line-up of friends (which changes weekly; sometimes daily) will devastate her ... already does devastate her. But, then again, these beloved so-called friends devastates her daily anyway ... it's such a tough age.

I have faith a move such as this will benefit her greatly, in the long run, for she is also my most sensitive and spiritual child. I'm willing to let her hate me for a little while ... and, as long as there is Facebook and her musical device, she'll cope .. as I watch her slowly grow into acceptance and love of our new home and lifestyle.

As far as civilization and isolation and what not, we are all lovers of fine art and music and theatre. I think she will be pleasantly surprised to find that the area there embraces all three. We'll also go back "home" regularly to visit family ... both in Abilene and DFW and Austin/San Antonio ... so the girls will always have snippets of so-called "civilization" to recharge their modern-day batteries.

It will be interesting to see where she goes after she attends college ... will she choose the larger lifestyle or the smaller lifestyle? Will she go to civilized chaos or idyllic isolation?

I suppose we'll all wait and see.

:icon_wink:

I should mention that my older daughters are very familiar with the area. They've been there many times, and love it. They are in awe of the beauty. Of course, I know to live there is another deal entirely ... but at least the area is not foreign to them.

I've been talking about a drastic lifestyle change for four years now, and we've been scaling down to prepare ourselves for the axe, so it is no shock to anybody. There is a "For Sale" sign in the yard as I type. Everyone knows as soon as it is sold, we are gone.

The "WHERE" is the only thing left to decide with absolution ... Oklahoma or Terlingua?

:eusa_pray:

Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Frogdown on January 19, 2010, 01:51:05 PM
Life in the desert is full of compromises.   Raising a 14 year old daughter is a monumental challenge.  But living in the desert and raising a 14 year old daughter without electricity could be a disaster.  I think I would consider that very thoroughly.  Young children are very flexible, teenagers are not.  Bending is fine but breaking is not.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: RichardM on January 19, 2010, 01:58:52 PM
I won't even begin to try to get inside the mind of a fourteen year old girl, but I can say that my 5 1/2 year old daughter would probably think living out in the desert without electricity would be fun.... for about a week. Then she'd want to know who else she could play with other than Mommie. Kind of hard to hop down to the neighborhood park to play with other kids her age when there isn't one anywhere nearby.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: dkerr24 on January 19, 2010, 02:32:01 PM
I look at places like Terlingua as a place I like to visit, but not really to live there full-time.  I can do short stints of a week or so without the comforts of being 'on the grid', but that's about it for me.

My hats off to folks who can pull that off full time... like John at The Field Lab.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: bjbriggs on January 19, 2010, 07:01:34 PM
Mama Crow, Have you spent anytime in Terlingua  during the Summer, Do you know how hot it get? 
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: homerboy2u on January 19, 2010, 07:28:13 PM
Almost 10 responses say "NO", think twice about this move. Not 1 saying go for it. I see a trend here. Common sense? :eusa_think:
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: RichardM on January 19, 2010, 07:32:28 PM
Speaking of heat,what do you plan on doing for refrigeration of food? I assume even a vegan diet would benefit from being able to store foods for extended periods.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: CactusFlower on January 19, 2010, 08:34:50 PM
I actually think moving is a great idea but the timing might not be best for your family.  14 is a hard age.  She might come to appreciate Terlinqua but she also may resent you for years to come.  What does she say when you talk to her about it?  You have given this quite a bit of thought.  What about renting one of those places for 3 months this summer with the whole family?  You'll learn a lot from talking to locals about your self-sustainable ideas and also see how your family does during what could be considered the hardest (hottest!) months.  That might help to inform your decision.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: jeffblaylock on January 19, 2010, 10:55:03 PM
Mother Crow, perhaps you'll find some inspiration in another Crow (if you haven't found her already). She is a serious thru-hiker during the temperate months and a hermit off the grid in the Northwest during the winter. Of course, she has abundant water -- something a hermit pad in Terlingua does not. But, there's plenty of advice in her blog:

As the Crow Flies (http://asthecrowflies.org/)
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Quatro on January 19, 2010, 10:59:26 PM
I admire your willingness to think (and maybe live) outside the box.  

"Food ... I want to make this move as a living lesson in self-sustainability.  So I will learn my lessons the hard way by trial and error.  In a perfect scenario, we'll be able to provide most of our food at home."

I couldn't help thinking of the book Into the Wild when I read this statement. I doubt the creeks will rise for long enough in Terlinqua to cause any problems.  But if you find any abandoned buses, you might want to avoid them.  

It sounds as if your story might make a good blog.  I wouldn't call it "The Oasis of my Soul".  But if you can make it even half as good as that blog, you've got a winner. Regardless, please keep us posted.


Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: ogt on January 30, 2010, 09:37:38 PM
I personally believe an individual or 2 people can make it on very little if they are interested in living primatively. Most of us dont know how to do that.  It would take lots of research and preperation but these kinds of people can be the leaders in showing us how it can be done and getting back to the way we were made to live. In my opinion of course.
Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: Mama Crow on February 15, 2010, 10:37:04 PM
Thank y'all for the positive comments, and small votes of confidence.

I have to keep reminding myself that I do not need anyone's permission, per se, and also to not take negative opinions personally.

But, alas, I am a girl.

I asked for feedback, and that is exactly what I got ... so it's really all good!

 :eusa_dance:


Title: Re: LIVING IN TERLINGUA
Post by: xanadurealm on April 16, 2010, 06:05:34 AM

 What I see, as to living in Terlingua, is the harsh weather.  The winter doesn't bother me but the summer temps without a/c is really harsh.  Try turning off your a/c for about a week.  In fact why not try it during the hottest week of the year.  Most folks get their chores done in the morning then take refuge somewhere during the hottest part of the day.  That is what I would be preparing to learn how to do.

It appears lots of folks are able to learn to handle it somehow.  It also appears to me that men are able to tolerate it better than women because many of them have jobs like construction where they work without the benefit of a/c.  With the limited water supply, you just can't take a shower anytime you want.

I have heard from visitors that some drive into town for the benefit of the a/c at the local businesses.

The second thing that I see is the wear and tear on vehicle and tires, not to mention the cost of gasoline to get from point a to point b.  You can't afford to run out of gas, have a flat without a spare tire, you must be able to do your own car repairs or have your car towed somewhere to get it fixed if you can't start it.

Just some food for thought.  Xana