Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

neurosis at a time


 One Saturday afternoon back in the eighties, we were in the car running errands. We heard a contest on the CBC radio for the best clean joke. I remember one from that afternoon….

Guy goes skydiving for his fiftieth birthday.

Jumps out of the plane, only to discover his rip cord not working.. He is dropping straight to the ground at a surprisingly high speed only to look across and see a man shooting up in the air. Coming from the opposite direction at a speed just as fast as  his own.

The birthday boy calls across to the newcomer..

“Do you know anything about parachutes?”

The newcomer responded “No, do you know anything about gas bar b ques?” 

The joke represents my comfort around propane gas tanks… Not a fan… I am a cliché standing helpless while hubbie deals with the propane and lights the barbeque. Now I live on an island and depend on propane much more than I ever wanted. I have had to get used to two hundred pounds of the gas sitting under my bed. A necessary evil living off grid, to run the fridge, stove and on demand hot water.. For the first 16 months I allowed myself to avoid anything to do with the changing or carrying of the propane tanks.

The propane is delivered to SoHo in 100 pound tanks by a guy who comes to the island on a barge every couple of months. The system comes at a premium and when we moved here it seemed simplest to add our name to the customer list.

But now we are settled in and had time to re-evaluate. First and foremost.. the 100 pound tanks weigh about 165 pounds and that is too much for E to comfortably carry down the hill. Then of course another 100 pounds back up the hill in what may not be ideal weather.. too heavy… Secondly, the price. We pay $200.00 per 100 pound tank. Almost double the cost of bringing our own over. We use one tank every five weeks.. so figure over a year $2080.00 per year in propane.

So today we sold our 100 pound tanks back to the delivery guy and went to see the Propane Warehouse on the island.. Propane tanks as far as you can see in every different size and shape.. We bought 6 used 40 pound tanks. Each tank costs 38.00 to fill so that comes to $988.00 per year… Quite the savings, with a little bit more work. Once E refits the propane set up to handle 40 pounders instead of the 100’s my lessons on propane hookup and maintenance will continue (begin).

I drove the boat today.. Our plan is for me to do all the driving this winter. I need to learn…Today was my third trip in a row… Normally I don’t sleep the night before I am going to drive.. I lay in bed rehearsing the trip in my mind to relieve my stress. But I slept last night and the trip went very smoothly.. It was sunny and flat calm.. no one else around.. perfect conditions for my learning curve….

I am facing my fears one

oct 22 065neurosis at a time

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

6 thoughts on “neurosis at a time

  1. Yayyy you ! 40 pounders are still pretty heavy but at least you can use a dolly to move them. Good luck with the boating thing…the driving is a cinch, its the docking thingy that sometimes doesn’t go well for me LOL

  2. Consider yourself amazing!

  3. I would add that while in the marina, if you go really slowly you can’t hurt much.

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