RSS Feed



Most people look at non-fiction books as self-help, biography, or autobiography. That’s not the case for Coffee-Drunk Or Blind. I wrote this book after becoming obsessed with the letters and journal my mother wrote in the mid-twentieth century when we, as a six and later seven member family in 1959, began our travels across the United states to homestead in Alaska. This was the hare-brained idea my father came up with after reading ‘Go North Young Man’ by Gordon Stoddard.

Yes, I bought Stoddard’s book last year and read it because it caught my eye when Mother talked about it in her journal. Mr. Stoddard did not paint a pretty picture of life in Alaska’s wilderness, so why this impressed my father, I’ll never know. But, Daddy managed to convince Mother it was a good idea and six months later we were on the road. A two-ton truck with a Vernon-made camper on the bed, pulled an eight by forty-foot house trailer with two adults and four children under the age of seven, the youngest not completely potty-trained, making up the captain and crew.

The journal, written in my mother’s hand, accounts for our unforgettable time on the road as we traveled across many states from Louisiana to the state of Alaska in fifteen days, without any major catastrophes or major illnesses – unless that case of poison oak I broke out with could be listed as one.

The rest of Coffee-Drunk Or Blind, contains numerous letters written from my mother to various family members and remembrances from myself and my siblings, aunt and cousins. Also included are a few letters from relatives in Louisiana. The pictures we had from this time in our lives are mostly poor quality and few and far between, though many were included in the book. Film was expensive and developing was also. Most of our pictures are memories in our minds.

My parents went through hardships on the homestead that most young families tried to steer away from.  They were strong and resourceful in all the right areas. The 1960’s was the decade of change with many conflicting social, political, intellectual, and artistic forces and  many thought we were missing out as children in social interaction and education.

Hare-brained idea or not, this adventure shaped our family into what we became.  It was a positive in our lives and thinking about it now, we were probably far better off where we were. But families have a way of pulling you in different directions  as you try to keep your feet on the ground and your head clear. ‘The grass is always greener’, as they say, and ‘you never know until you try’.

Coffee-Drunk Or Blind is listed under diaries and journals, and letters and correspondence – not under self-help. I doubt you would get any help from this non-fiction book unless you wanted to be talked out of homesteading in the wilderness, or wanted to learn how to have a loving family relationship while teaching your children that perseverance and hard work usually pays off.

So why  did I choose the name Coffee-Drunk Or Blind?

I guess you’ll have to read to find  out the answer to that question!

Coffee-Drunk Or Blind in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

6 responses »

  1. You’ve certainly piqued my curiosity. I guess I will just have to read it as you said. Oh, I too live in my husband’s family home. We too deal with remnants of his parents and depression hoarding behavior. Fortunately, this is a long rambling ranch that started off as a hunting cabin they added on to. But I can attest to the fact that no matter how many feet of space you have, you can fill it up. We are at capacity and work on it daily, trying to move things on out the door.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I move things out while H balks! I try to persuade him that his parents memory won’t fade if we get rid of a few items! He’s having none of it so I sneak out what I can on the sly. The bigger furniture items are a problem. Hope you enjoy Coffee-Drunk Or Blind! ~Elle

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ordered my copy this morning. After adventures in credit card(s) account management. Simplified from three down to one on Amazon. My wallet should be so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m getting there .. for sure! Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person


I only have one rule - Leave me your thoughts! ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: