Our Off-Grid Thanksgivings

Reader Contribution by Tamara Wilm
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A few years ago, my husband and I started a new tradition for Thanksgiving: going to an off-grid cabin on the side of a mountain in the southern Adirondacks. After years of spending the holiday the old-fashioned way, we decided that we wanted to do our own thing. We already had the spot—a cabin we frequented the rest of the year.

Our off-grid “home”

This cabin is an old Sears Home. With a faded blue paint job on the outside, and six cozy rooms inside, all kept warm by a cast iron wood burning stove, the cabin is the place we consider our real home. The kitchen, where we cook our Thanksgiving meal if there’s snow on the ground, has a small apartment-sized stove, refrigerator, microwave, and a wooden table.

While the cabin has power, and baseboard heat if we really need it, there is no phone, TV, radio, or other modern amenities. Hence, we are off-grid, in the woods, in the middle of our own Adirondack dream. What more could we possibly need?

Well, food.

Locally purchased groceries

What we’ve eaten on Thanksgivings at the cabin has varied from the traditional—turkey, cranberries, vegetables, potatoes, and even a turkey-shaped butter, all the regulars—to rib-eye steaks on the grill. This year, facing both snow on the ground (so no grill), and the requirement we’ve given ourselves to buy everything we eat locally, we have no idea what we’ll have for dinner. And frankly, we don’t care.

My man grilling dinner!

Last year’s Rib-eyes

What’s important is that we’re together in this beautiful place, and grateful to be there. We also enjoy some early season treats, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, when the elements allow. It’s one of those rare places where you can literally ski right out the front door. And when you are inside, you can watch the other skiers go by on the trails that wrap around the cabin.

So, this year, we’ll sit down to eat whatever is on our plates, we’ll share what we’re grateful for, and we’ll quietly while away the dark hours reading next to the wood stove, until our eyelids are too heavy to remain open any longer. Then we’ll trek the short commute across the cabin to bed, and be up the next day at first light, perfectly content to remain where we are.

Dinner on the table

Locally made apple pie

If Thanksgivings, and other holidays are this way for the rest of my life, I’ll consider myself a very fortunate woman.

Thankful for each other

Photos Property of Tamara Wilm

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