A Study In Patience, Persistence, And Perspiration

Last Update: Jun 23, 2022


In this blog, I am plagiarizing from myself. This story in part came from a script from one of my "Alaska Success Stories" videos. I did a series of them for my MMO website, and they now live on my "Alaska Mystique" website.

The picture, by the way, is random. I searched out a couple pictures of my cabin and took photos of them. They turned out terrible! Therefore, couldn't use them.

When I moved to Spruce Island and built a cabin on my beach, I started with an undeveloped piece of land. As you will see in this story, mundane chores could become major challenges until I figured out a way to deal with them.

I proved the truth of this Napoleon Hill quote: "Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success." Keep that quote in mind as I tell you about my system for gathering water.

For the first 15 years I lived on my homestead, my water hauling system involved up to six five-gallon plastic buckets. These I filled, two at a time, and propelled them up from the creek by my two legs and two arms. At the creek, I used a generous bowl-shaped container with a spout to fill the buckets.

My cabin stood on a little rise, falling away to lower ground on either side. An ample stream wound its way to the ocean on one side of the rise. A wide bend in the stream before it reached the beach lay far enough from the ocean so salt water never came up that far.

Here, from a deep hole behind that last long loop toward the ocean, I scooped clear, salt-free water for my buckets. Sometimes in winter we'd have to chop a hole in the ice, but the water was always there.

I'd fill my buckets, but then hauling them up that little rise was a challenge. I'd muscle them to the top, and then would have to stop for a rest.

I often joked that I thought my arms must be getting longer from carrying those buckets. Now I could be considered a "two-bucket woman," an Alaskan status symbol.

Once up the hill, I'd exert another push of energy to get them to the back porch and in my kitchen door.

Success! Once inside, I carried them, one at a time, to the open maw of a very large plastic garbage can, and poured them inside.

When people later asked me if I had running water at my homestead, I replied, "Oh, yes. It runs by in the creek and I run down and get it."

This quote from Anthony Robbins sums up the situation well: "There is a powerful, driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality."

I've proved the truth of Mr. Robbins' quote by my Spruce Island life. I suggest we use that same driving force to build our business to the success we seek.

Recent Comments


Well quoted Fran, but I can say your living surrounding sound scary and challenging. I can see that you are an adventurous person.

I shared your life-living need of carrying water, mine was on my head with a thing called a cotter to keep the bucket steady in place.

Thanks for sharing a great blog, for sure this is the driving force to achieve success.

Stay blessed.


I bet that water was the best ever. I never owned anything in Alaska, so I was not put to the test, but I can’t imagine doing what you just described in the winter in the ice and snow. You have amazing strength. And you must be in pretty good shape.

Well, I was in great shape then. Came to town in 2000 and sat down. Not in as good a shape now. I'll tell you what, though, I think the 20 years there helped strengthen my body enough so that I'm aging pretty well.

That is exactly the way it works. Though in other ways that is what happened for me.

Becoming a 2 Bucket Woman is an accomplishment!
The "running water" for your cabin is also fun.
It has been a long time since I have camped where we could have our own "running water."

I can't imagine doing it now, I was a lot younger then!
Congratulations on the grit to continue to make your own way.
Thanks for sharing,

Those were grand life lessons, and I'm really glad I experienced them. Glad things are different now, though.

A great story here Fran! It goes to show that we all must do what we all must do in order to survive and thrive!

Ain't it the truth? That's why we are here and working on our future.

It most definitely is Fran... Keep on thriving my friend! :-)

A very powerful article and so important for newbies like me who may have had a few bumps in the road at the start.

You’ve got to keep pushing forward!


You are so right, Mike. You can't let the obstacles stop you. Just be like the settler in the Alaskan bush who has no choice but to figure out how to do it themselves. You'll get there!

I like that analogy...it is very fitting.

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