Meet local first-time author, Eleanor Deckert, at the ‘Book Signing’ Saturday, Mar. 12, at Chapters, Kamloops, from 12 noon until 9 p.m. closing.
Readers report that her memoir is like a bridge across generations. Deckert has fans who are over 80 years old who were original Pioneers, as well as the ‘Back-to-the-Land’ folks of the 1970s, and the ‘green’ and ‘eco-conscious’ young adults of today.
“10 Days in December…where dreams meet reality…” journals the first 10 days she and her husband, Kevin, lived in their tiny, uninsulated one-room log cabin.
Homesteading! Practical Kevin and idealistic Eleanor were 21 years old when they left the abundance of southern Ontario and the shelter of their church community and headed west in their VW van. They had been married for two months when they arrived at Avola with $40. That first summer was all about building the cabin. When winter came they had no money saved, no firewood gathered and no food in the cupboard.
It was 1978 and the lure of the self-sufficient lifestyle was an irresistible pull for them to strip away non-essentials and seek the basics: a bucket of clean water, an armload of fire wood, building their own cabin, growing their own food. It was all a dream-come-true… until the temperature dropped to 40 below.
You can read excerpts, reviews, readers comments and enjoy photos illustrating each chapter on the author’s web page. www.eleanordeckert.com
Excerpt: Saturday, December 30, 1978
“Time stands still as the cashier counts the $20 bills out on the counter. For a moment I feel paralyzed. Here is more money than I have had since we left Ontario. Here is enough money to take me back to Ontario.
“Is this realization an inspiration?
“Or a temptation?
“They say your whole life flashes before you when you know you are going to die. I have seen my past. I am standing on the brink of my own future. Whichever choice I make right now; the other possibility will die.
“Here is a very real opportunity.
“A pivotal turning point.
“As the cashier smiles and courteously waits, just as my mother taught me, I calmly count back the $20 bills.
“It is the heaviest weight I have ever held in my hand.
“I could buy food and stay.
“I could buy a bus ticket and go.
Keith McNeill, Editor of the Clearwater-North Thompson Times review says, “…eloquent storytelling, humor, insight and hope – this book has it all…”
Dean Nicholson M.A. Counselling Psychology says, “It is a credit to Eleanor’s writing that she does not minimize the angst, anxiety and self-doubt she experienced about her decisions. Rather, she takes us through all of the emotional, physical and spiritual highs and lows that she experiences, before coming to a place where she is able to affirm her choice, her faith and her sense of belonging, despite the hardships endured. As a result 10 Days in December offers lessons for all who seek to live a more authentic life.”
Eleanor has been a correspondent for the North Thompson Star/Journal and the Clearwater-North Thompson Times. Her husband Kevin (now retired from the railroad) and Eleanor (a vetran homeschooler) have four children (now grown). Kevin volunteers with Search and Rescue. Eleanor volunteers in educational settings with young children and their parents. They continue to share a self-sufficient lifestyle in the picturesque North Thompson River valley in Avola.