Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Living Without Water and Other Life Lessons

(This is what I look like today.)

As I mentioned in my last post, we don’t have running water at the trailer. I hadn’t said anything before because I guess I was a little angry or perhaps felt a little slighted by the universe about this. Oh and it’s a little awkward to explain some things about living without running water. 
I can only guess the first thing on your mind, how/where to we go to the bathroom? Outside. We have all plotted out our spot, dug a hole and use that place always. That is unless we are in town. The boys don’t mind pooping in public restrooms, but I do. Lesson One, I would rather squat in a bush in -20 degree cold than poo in a public restroom. I hate it. I have to give myself a pep talk and usually have to call Tris for one as well, when I just can’t hold it long enough to get back to the land. “Laugh it up, ladies.” (An often used quote from Number 2.)
The second question, and shoot, maybe the first for some people, how do we shower? We don’t. Simple as that. Every couple of days I baby wipe myself, and reapply my essential oil smells, but that’s about it. Now, it has not been sweat season, so my habit may change. Perhaps the worst part about this is that my hair starts feeling yucky to me after two weeks or so. (Oh, and the longest I have gone without a shower is 21 days.) I like clean hair as much as the next girl, so this part has been a challenge and something that I have felt bad about at times. I’m also growing out my hair so I can wear it in dreads, so there’s been more than a few ponytails and I hate pulling my hair back into a pony. It takes me back to my married days when I was so miserable that all I did was pull my hair back and go. I did have my friend, Michelle, in Kingman, cut some bangs to I add some style, then I dyed them pink. That helped. 
Holy, hairy tangent, sorry. Back to the shower. We have a shower stall in the bathroom. I once heated up a kettle of water, not enough, by the way, and dumped it on me in the shower. The water was hot, the air water frigid and then the shower wouldn’t drain! Miserable experience. I was standing in dirty water and I got the willy’s! Mind you, I will bathe in a lake any day of the week, but standing in my own warm used shower water was just gross. I don’t know, don’t ask. I have showered some 10 times since I moved here. Lesson Two, if someone offers me a shower I take it, unless they are offering to take it with me, then I respectfully decline. (Hasn’t happened yet, just a good thing to remember.) The kids shower at their dad’s house more often than I would like, so them not showering here is fine by me. 
Question three, how do we wash the dishes? No, of course I don’t use disposable dishes. EVER. If you will recall, when we moved, we packed exactly five of everything, as far as dishes and silverware. My friend Carrie had some extra cast iron posts that she traded us for some other things, so when I use those, I just wipe them out with water and sometimes re-oil. The rest of the dishes, I wash and rinse in the sink. I heat up water on the stove in the kettle, very hot, add that to a little cold water and lavender castile soap and wash away. Lesson Three, a whole load, I’m talking a few days worth, (I don’t like doing dishes) can be done using less than a gallon of water. It’s true. Try it someday. 
Drinking water was purchased in gallon jugs from the Safeway until last week when my awesome sister, Kimmy, brought me a few items from our yellow house in Phoenix, including our water crock and two five gallon jugs to refill. Oh happy day! The other gallon jugs, after the drinking water is drunk, are used for our potable water collection. I have collected 16 jugs that take about two weeks to use, but I usually never let them get so low. The Texaco up the street, well 4 miles up the street, sells potable water for $.10 a gallon. They have taken a liking to us, or feel sorry for us, because sometimes we get it for free. Lesson Four, conserving water is easier when accessibility to water is harder. Welcome to the future people. I would start saving that water now, or twenty years from now, you will think back on this post and say, “Now what was it the Queer Hippies did for a shower?”
That’s probably enough about the water. Here are some other things that I have learned. *Slipping on ice sucks. Falling from 5’7” is much more painful than falling from 4’. At least it must be because when I fell, Number 1 laughed and Number 2 asked if it was fun. *I am strong and brave and quite capable of handling anything that comes my way. *Voice notes on my phone are handy when I need to jot something down while I am driving and since I drive a minimum of an hour and a half and a maximum of five hours a day. This is a tool I have used the crap out of. *The whole cast iron pan gets hot, the dish part that holds the food and the handle! I don’t know how many burns it will take me to really get this one, but maybe the last time with actually be the last time. *I can start and finish a novel in less than six hours when I have nothing else to do. *Cooking over burning pinon and juniper makes food taste so much better. *And finally being alone is sometimes the hardest, best thing that can happen to a girl. 
**Somehow I forgot laundry. I am fortunate enough to have been offered a washer and dryer at one of my employers homes. I wash a load every week, but it’s about time to do the sheets, so maybe two next week. 

1 comment:

  1. Tabra has been warning of water shortages for years, but most people won't listen. Fortunately, we live off of a cistern, but for how long once everyone else is out of water!