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.