28 February 2011

Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds by Norma Cobb

Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan WildsFunny, funny book! Read it; you'll laugh. It is written as a memoir by the last American woman homesteader. Norma and her new husband Les had five children between the two of them and 
probably fewer items of material value. What's a young couple to do in order to get ahead...

They decided they were going to have to find a way to make it on their own. This began with a 
decision to leave everything behind, take their kids and their few belongings and head to Canada, 
with a hope of homesteading. 

After reaching Canada they found out there was no homesteading land left for anyone who wasn't a Canadian citizen. Soon Alaska made it into their minds as their next and final possibility. Before long, however, they were told that homesteading was also closed in Alaska but that they might be able to 
claim "squatter's rights".

Les was not the kind of man to be stopped by something as trivial as a detail. The Cobbs and their "Kernels" regrouped, packed their few belongings, grabbed their "trip sock" that must have had 
a hole in it and started their journey once again. The book chronicles their adventure from the moment 
the idea was first kindled until the culmination of their dream.

I enjoyed reading this so much when I first read it in February 2007, that I recently reread it. That's 
a big deal for me. The story is packed with the euphoria of dreaming as well as the anguish of dreams about to be dashed. There are adventure, peril, life-threatening circumstances, as well as hope; there is always hope in the way that Norma looks at life.

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