Not everyone can handle the rigors of a remote mountain lifestyle, but my cousin Shirley Cameron has mastered them quite well. For most of her adult life she has lived off the grid…long before off the grid was cool. Shirley has been asked a number of times, why she still lives up there, often snowed in during the winter. Her answer is always the same, “I love my mountain.” I must admit that the top of the mountain, where Shirley lives with her grandson, Tyrel Cameron, is a beautiful place, with stunning views, but I don’t know if I could stand to live up there, so far away from civilization. Oh, I admit it is peaceful, and Shirley has made the yard quite beautiful. Her home is simple, not elaborate, but it works for her. The animals, who roam freely through her property, might be interesting, except for the occasional bear, which I would not like…no, not one little bit. Shirley even takes the bears in stride. I suppose that when you live around them, you know when to be outside and when not to. No matter how much work living off the grid, high on a mountain is, Shirley and her grandson, Tyrel have made it seem easy.
You might be wondering what they do during those long winter months. Shirley had a huge library of books and she does a lot of reading. Her favorites are westerns like Zane Gray and Louis L’amour. She loves getting on Facebook to connect with her many friends there. It’s so nice that internet can be anywhere now, or she would not be able to get online. That could make for a long winter, if she is snowed in. Even having her grandson with her, Shirley would need to be comfortable in her own skin, because there is time she spends doing her own things, while Tyrel does his own things. You must be ok with alone time to be comfortable with that.
Shirley loves to cook, can, and make jelly…a large variety of jellies. When we last visited her, she sent us home with jellies, and man…were they good. The meals we ate there were delicious. I suppose Shirley has had a lot of time to perfect her cooking skills. She knows what tastes good, and what will go with what. She and Tyrel even mix their own spices, and they are wonderful. They sent some home with us, so I know that for sure. Yes, Shirley has made living off the grid look easy, even though it is usually a lot of work. Today is Shirley’s birthday. Happy birthday Shirley. Have a great day!! We love you!!