The adventure continues

One of the most frequently asked questions by people who come to visit for the first time is: “What on earth do you find to do out here?” It’s a fair question–no TV, an hour’s drive to a movie or theater or even a video rental place, friends scattered up and down the valley or even further, rarely power except in the evenings, and so on and so on and so on.

But it takes so much involvement just to live that I never seem to run out of things to do. And for me, they’re mostly fun things, although they might not be for everyone. But I think what I’m enjoying most at the moment is a chance to live only in the moment–no or little multi-tasking–to be present, and to appreciate what’s around me and what I’m doing with/in it. That’s why I’ve been enjoying my cooking spree–handling the yeasty dough, feeling the texture change, rolling out the pastry and seeing the layers form, and of course, smelling garlic, onions, and olive oil.

Today, for a couple that lives pretty much off the grid, we had a rather amazing day of dealing mostly with utility companies and other service providers. It started at 8 this morning, when Ben’s logger friend called back and said he was on his way up river. Ben took some coffee and bailed out, and pretty soon I started hearing trees crashing. At 9, the phone company showed up to do Ralph and Brenda’s phone (they just left for a two-week holiday visit with family). At 10, our water went out. I was forced to leave the dishes in the sink. Darn. At 1, phone installed, Ben went up the hill and hooked in the backup spring (I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about water, but our place is peppered with artesian springs and we’ve developed a number of them). Then the power company arrived to see if they could get the valley back in power, and our place was crawling with hi-lifts, vans, trucks, and nice guys in winter wear. And although the spring was reconnected, the inflow was churning up the tank and putting out mostly silt through the pipes. It obviously needed to settle and clear.

At that point I gave up. I’ve been putting off going to town successfully for several days, but I loaded myself up, drove to Toledo and got my leaky tire fixed (at least I hope it’s fixed, I’ll probably know tomorrow), filled the one empty propane tank, and got a bunch of groceries. Tomorrow will be mostly calmer, except we have one utility left to go–tomorrow is garbage day. Yes, friends and observers, we actually signed up for garbage pickup once a week. It’s cheaper than going to the dump. We don’t generate that much garbage (although many, many recyclables) if the truth be told, but I can’t stand to have it sitting forever in the mudroom, and we can’t put it outside because it attracts animals. The once a week pickup is cheaper than driving it to town. So we’re trying it out.

Ben was complaining tonight that this was a mistake because it’s far too much work. But you should understand, he’s the one who hauls the cans down to the bridge, I’m the one who drives it to town. Work and effort are in the eye of the person doing them I think, and I’m finding the pickup service rather wonderful.

My good deed for the day: When I left to go to town, the power guys looked so cold and tired that I bought a couple of giant bags of chocolate chip cookies at the grocery store, thinking some sugar would at least provide a little pickmeup. By the time I got back, they had moved over to our cabin, but Ben said, “Go take them over, right now. Their lunches didn’t get delivered today. I gave them some tortilla chips, but I couldn’t figure out what else we had that could be eaten on the fly.” That was a bunch of grateful guys.

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2 Responses to “The adventure continues”

  1. Armin Says:

    Funny that, I don’t have a TV either and when I tell people I always get asked what I do in the evening/weekends. Which always completely baffles me, why would I not know what to do just because I don’t have a TV?

    There are so many things to do and enjoy, most of the time I can’t find enough time to do all the things I’d like to do…

  2. Marianne Says:

    Armin, I think the blessing in paying attention is that you see all of those other things worth exploring. I’ve very much enjoyed your tales of your hiking trips.

    The TV strikes me a bit like our big overstuffed recliners in the living room. We call them “productivity suckers.” Tilt one back for just a couple of minutes and stare at the fire, and you’re a goner. The most often heard phrase around here these days is, “Don’t touch the lever. Stay away from the lever. Keep your hands where I can see them.” ;^}

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