Thursday, September 13, 2012

skunk, water, toothache: a thursday comparative

Oi! Toofache!
Or is it a jawbreaker?
It's been an odd week. While visiting family in California, the left side of my jaw swelled up from an abscessed tooth, and even though I was in an area bursting with people and stores and traffic and everything, the only dentist I could reach was more than 2,000 miles away in the remote area I fondly call home. Yes, luckily, that was my dentist. Actually one of the office workers handled it all for me - office workers do make it happen - and soon I was popping the prescribed antibiotics and ibuprofen and slowly feeling better. But, once back home, said dentist said I needed a root canal and now here I sit, post procedure, with a completely numb left side of my head.

Ta da! Pepe Le Pew
Also, the cat got skunked. Lightly. But. Nonetheless.

And the water heater's on strike.

But I remember when I didn't have any water at all. Except in buckets. From the rain. Or in gallon jugs filled at the artesian well behind the post office. Hot water came from a black, heavy plastic bag I placed in the sun, so only on sunny days, and on cloudy days from a pot on the borrowed propane camp burner I kept on the stove, the stove itself not yet working. (To get it working required weeks, months even, of soaking things in vinegar.) This was just last year, last September, when my home, my cabin, was yet a few months shy of hitting water. I was waiting on the money I would get at the closing on the house I was moving from, but that was delayed due to a flood plain issue that involved a land survey and FEMA and 637 people with 637 stories on what exactly it was all about and what exactly I had to do to fix it. (The only certainty was that even though the house was unlikely to ever experience flooding it was in an Official Flood Plain and resolving the issue would delay the closing for months and even longer if I dared to call FEMA to get the straight goods and that, the part about calling FEMA, eventually proved to be untrue.)

My old stove. Nothing a little vinegar couldn't cure.
I slept on an increasingly hard and lumpy futon sofabed in the cabin's main room, a room that was filled with flies and wasps during the day and mice and bats at night. (OK, there was only one bat. But he sure got around.) Most of my stuff, or what remained of it after various sales and give-aways, went into the garage until I could find storage space inside. Until I could finally construct at least one closet. It was kind of chaotic, moving piecemeal in the van, finding a place to shower, not knowing when or if the house I had sold would actually sell and give me the money I needed for so many things, like a well, for water. But then it was also quite peaceful, bathing in the river, washing my hair in the rain, dreaming of a bathtub filled with bubbles and hot, hot water. And I had chosen it, the cabin, over all other options, and if mice, flies, wasps, a lumpy bed, a FEMA hassle, showering on the fly, and one bat flying around inside on a full moon night while coyotes howled outside came with it, well, so be it.

Not that I was really so nonchalant about it all at the time.

A year ago I didn't have a skunky cat. Or an abscessed tooth. I did, though, have an old water heater sitting dusty and unused in a corner of what would become my bathroom in a far-fetched, far-flung cabin. Maybe the water heater would work. Maybe it wouldn't. Or maybe, as it turned out, it would work for a little while and then, once again, I'd try something new.

New on Etsy!
I seem to be getting into sets ...

Set of four beeswax pine cones.

{Thanks for visiting! I've been keeping a blog since 2008 - it only took me four years to get regular! Sunday posts are about my beeswax business and life in a log cabin in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Thursdays are for lists of sorts. Usually. Not all the time. Anyway, come back soon!}