Bare necessities. Some people have a life story that reminds me about living with the bare necessities of life. The singer Jewel and her inspirational story reminds me about the bare necessities of life.
Jewel’s story really starts with her grandparents. Jewel’s grandmother left pre-war Germany and an aspiring career as an opera singer to come to Alaska and marry a man she barely knew. Her grandfather was given 600 acres of land in Alaska, before Alaska became a state, to homestead. This was the beginning of a large, loving family that grew up in a dirt-floored log cabin without indoor plumbing, but with music. Her grandmother taught her father and his seven brothers and sisters to sing and play musical instruments.
Her father, Atz Kilcher, after his marriage, Jewel’s birth, and his divorce ended up raising Jewel on the homestead. They had a coal stove and an outhouse. They had a barn and gardens. They lived off what they could kill or can. It was over a ten mile walk and/or horseback ride to get to town. Her dad taught her to sing and perform for crowds which they did as a duo. They sang at different places around town until Jewel applied to and was accepted at a fine arts school in Michigan.
She went to Interlochen in Michigan on partial scholarship and with $11,000 raised in Homer, Alaska to help support her. She had to leave school during Spring Breaks and she couldn’t go home. She traveled and sang for money or food and wrote music. She went to California and Mexico. She often stayed in youth hostels. Following her travels and after graduating from school she wound up back in California. A job answering telephones while still singing led to a bootleg piece being broadcast on local radio. This led to a bidding war with labels wanting to sign her.
Success continues for Jewel. She has won awards, been nominated for Grammy Awards, and her albums have sold millions of copies. She is known as a singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and author/poet. She has worked and raised money for many causes including the Children’s Defense Fund, Help the Homeless Walk, and Stop Breast Cancer foe Life. Her charities Project Clean Water and Higher Ground for Humanity have had events and direct donations by Jewel as well.
Jewel’s life continues, like her grandmother’s was, to be filled with family. She is a mother. She founded her charity with her mother and a brother. She has a cousin who is an actress. Her father is on Alaska: The last Frontier and she has three brothers that live there. If you ever listen to her speak you can tell that she has loved and appreciated her experiences throughout her life.
Enjoy your family and the bare necessities of life! Have a bright day!