The Book: 10 Days in December
By: Eleanor Deckert
In 1978, during the golden age of middle-class prosperity, practical Kevin and idealistic Eleanor, like many young people at the time, felt the irresistible pull of the back-to-the-land movement and left behind everything they knew to live off the grid. As they searched for a place to settle in western Canada, abandoned homesteads warned that their dream would be hard won.
10 Days in December journals Kevin and Eleanor’s adventures living for the first ten days in their wilderness cabin facing the demands of winter where harsh reality and self-denial test their love and commitment. Along the way Kevin and Eleanor will learn if they have what it takes to live in the mountains and with each other.
This book began when Eleanor Deckert was 8 years old. Words from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s memories from the 1860's-70's, preserved in Little House in the Big Woods, spoke to her. "This is now. It can never be long ago." Eleanor realized, even as a child, that some day her 1960's-70's memories would also be "long ago." She was determined to carefully remember her own experiences, thoughts, beliefs and decisions so that she could one day write about people, places and the times she was living in.
Take a look inside for more photos paralleling each chapter.
"...eloquent storytelling, humor, insight and hope this book has it all..."
Keith McNeill, Editor, Clearwater North Thompson Times
"It is a credit to Eleanor’s writing that she does not minimize the angst, anxiety and selfdoubt she experienced about her choices in the first 10 days. Rather, she takes us through all 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."
Dean Nicholson, M.A. in Counseling Psychology, Cranbrook, BC
"Why in heaven’s name had she turned her back on people, places, customs and a lifestyle she loved so much to start life over again in just about the remotest possible place in one of the most thinly populated countries on the planet? Once the readers are engaged and interested in the story, they come to know Eleanor, to trust her, to sense that she has something meaningful to relate. Who can remember the powerful, almost irresistible pull of this idyllic 'BacktotheLand' way of life in the 1970s? It called for hard, honest, manual work, but meaningful, in the sense that every day you could see what you had done, and every week you had contributed something tangible to the task of building a home for yourself and your family. The recollection of all of this is astonishing. Eleanor's account is full of small details which are made meaningful by being observed from the perspective of her past, present, plans for the future, beliefs and values. The meaningfulness of what she does is not based so much on what she is doing as how and why she is doing it. This theme of acute selfconsciousness is a special element of this narration."
Professor Howard, Oxford, UK
"Basically, Eleanor lived in a log cabin in the woods with no heat or electricity during brutal Canadian winters and has a positively enlightened perspective on life. She is a brilliant artist, teacher, mother and dogooder, and I'm delighted to share her new book with you."
Jon Samson, CoCreative Music, Brooklyn, NY
"I have just begun reading your book before bedtime and during my subway rides. It is very touching to hear your voice and your story told with so many revealing details from so long ago, and with more distant past artfully woven into the story of these ten days.
Your perspective on familiar details is much more sharply etched that I have ever seen or appreciated. It amazes me how significant each moment is to you as you move into the cabin, every item you unwrap from home, every milestone of achievement in realizing your dream of a place in the wild, your dreams of a family and the way you had prepared everything for them, your idealism, Kevin's incredible quiet sturdiness, resourcefulness, patience, resolve.
The fact that you two really did this; found a piece of land in such a remote place, built a cabin in a few months with one man, an ax and a saw, moved in on the winter solstice..... It's very touching, Eleanor.
Thank you for writing this to share the reality of it all with the rest of us.....as we stand on a subway car crowded with such a multitude of strangers under the streets of Manhattan..... I am eager to read-on. Can't wait to find out way happens next!"
David, Architect, Brooklyn New York