Tuesday, October 21, 2008

O Pioneer...I'm such a wimp!

Back in high school my friend Lyn and I used to joke that when they were selecting spirits to come to earth, someone stamped on our foreheads: "NOT PIONEER MATERIAL".

I've just received confirmation that, in all of our prophetic high school silliness, we were right.

Nine-year-old Mr. Cool and I spent the weekend at my sister's cabin, in (the middle of nowhere) Christmas Meadows. And we were totally delighting in the idea of getting away from it all. Literally.

The two-and-a-half-hour drive was lovely, and the cabin is a quaint chateau with antique furnishings and handmade quilts and even a 19th century coal-burning stove. There is no telephone and no cell reception (yay!) There is indoor plumbing, but there's also an outhouse. And scenery that takes your breath away at every turn. (I took 66 photos of stuff I want to paint!)

We unloaded the cars with our boxes and boxes of food and snacks from Costco, then took the kids on a walk down to the stream. Pure bliss! Flyfishermen, canoes, and endless color.

We walked back to the cabin, ate dinner, played Scrabble, and got all cozy as we watched the kids fall asleep one by one under the downy quilts.

The next day was more of the same...until...our water supply was cut off. Just like that. There's no water to wash the dishes with. The toilet won't flush. And the outhouse suddenly loses all of its turn-of-the-century charm. :)

I refused to be beaten down. Let's haul water from the stream. Better yet, there's a well up the lane. So off we go, in the dark, with our buckets, in search of well water. Our two buckets' worth after sloshing our way home only amounted to enough to ALMOST flush the toilet. Nothing left for the sink.

In the meantime, my nephew, in an effort to help with a very grown-up job, had put too much lighter fluid on the coal in the stove, and the house was filling up with an off-smelling smoky odor that was giving us headaches. Suddenly having no phone service didn't seem like such a blessing after all.

So we left.

It was that simple. Because he had a choice. We didn't actually HAVE to go trotting off to the outhouse when the toddlers needed to go potty in the middle of the night. Nor did we HAVE to figure out how to correct the fumes from the coal-burning stove. We left. Because we could.

By a little after midnight that night I was snuggled up in my own little bed at home, reading by my night-light, having just brushed my teeth with running water and flushed (almost without a thought) my own private toilet, talked to my sister on my cellphone (because we now had reception), checked my email, and sipped my microwaved cup of herbal tea. I didn't need to adjust the thermostat...it was already perfect. And for a few brief moments before I drifted off to sleep, I felt very grateful not to be a pioneer.


Heather of the EO said...

I totally would have left too. Not a pioneer either. I like warm, cozy and clean. And bear-less. That too.

Melanie J said...

I know for a hundred percent sure that my Heavenly Father loves me because he didn't make me a pioneer. He recognized my weaknesses and limitations and sent me to a time that has running water because he knew it would be sad for me in pioneer times without it because I would have gone crazy and had to live in somebody's attic after being hauled across the Plains, gibbering.

LisAway said...

Oh it sounded so lovely!! I was feeling all cozy and everything. I need me some cabin time! And I need the water not to shut off, too.

I love the stamp on the forehead. I'm sure it was something like that.

*MARY* said...

I kind of wish I was born in the 21st century, then I'd be a little kid right now.

Becky said...

My husband wants to do a mock disaster next summer, using just what we've got in our it. Yes, it's a good idea, but I am soooo not looking forward to it.

Becky said...

Hmmm... not sure what just happened there, but it's supposed to say in our 72-hour kit instead of in our it. :)

Kazzy said...

I love to be in the outdoors, I just don't love to BEEEEE in the outdoors. OK, I am a wuss.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Here-here! Still, I would have loved to have been there. Thank goodness your camera worked! On the other hand, we are pioneers in other ways if that's any kind of sop to your ego. :)

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I'm so glad I'm not a pioneer either. My idea of camping is a hotel suite :-) I'm so not the outdoorsy-bare-essentials kind of girl. But I'm sure I have pioneering spirit in other areas that don't involve surviving in the wilderness :-)

Beautiful pictures!

Anonymous said...

I could never have been a pioneer, either, much as I loved Little House as a kid. One trip to the outhouse and I'd be done.

Eowyn said...

I probably would have too. I like to think I could hack it, but really? Probably not. I'd much rather deal with the mess than go hiking up Rocky Ridge.