None of the following should be read as complaints. I don’t have any. But I am trying to convey what living off the grid is like and, of course, some it is chores and routine. To tell the story as it truly is means including some stuff that may suggest complaint. Honestly, it is not. We live in paradise. And I live with an angel. Bottom line: it does not get any better than this.
Opened the water system, serviced the genset, turned on the propane and lit the appliances. Everything was working again and tickety-boo (although it is amazing how inneffective a pilot light is when the appliance is ice cold – it seems that pilot lights help keep the gas warm and working better, too, as well as being a convenience for lighting).
Lit the fire in the stove. Stoked it up and made it rage. Stove thermometer soon read 600 degrees (a hot stove helps heat the house of course but it also ‘blows out’ any creosote in the chimney so it is a useful thing to do every now and then).
“Pretty chilly. But we should be warm and toasty in a few hours”.
Batteries were good at 49.6. Always a good sign.
Temperature inside was 4 degrees C. It took over six hours to get the temperature up to 15C!! The cold N’wester was just sucking the heat out. Didn’t hit 20 til the next day.
And the next day was spent getting the boat back in the water, putting things away and finishing a few undone chores from before we left. I’d estimate about three to fours work that, somehow, took all day. Mind you, all wood (decks and docks) surfaces were pretty slippery from frost and slime and so we took our time doing everything that needed doing. Plus we stopped for a few hot chocolates and that is a surprisingly time-consuming respite.
Getting home is a two-to-three day affair for us. It is the traveling and shopping, of course, but it is also the re-establishment of systems, relaunching of boats and the putting-away of stuff. I am still amazed at all this, this grand logistical exercise whenever we go anywhere.
We used to do this sort of travel-visit-thing in the city in minutes and hours. Last minute preparing, racing for the car, tearing down the road and just making the event by seconds was the norm. Now, of course, the logistics are huge and that last minute ‘scheduling-brinksmanship’ is just way too edgy, way too much of gamble, way too likely to fail. Can’t do it. We just need more time to do anything. Extra days as opposed to extra minutes.
Being in our 60’s must be part of it, I guess. That must be slowing us down some. But it doesn’t seem that way. It just seems like we are doing more, being more careful and detailed when we do it and, to be fair, stretching the chore sometimes to fill the time allocated (Or sometimes accelerating it because the ferry influences everything. Race and just make it or take your time and get the next one?). I might call it being sensible if I didn’t know the two of us better. I think I will have to stick with just getting older.
Neighbour needed a ride over from end-of-the-road this morning. Sal went. We have guests arriving this afternoon. I’ll go. We don’t often get sleep-over-guests in mid winter. Or New Years Eve guests. My plan is to re-set the clocks four hours in advance. We’ll celebrate the passing of 2012 at 8:00 pm and be in bed before ten. No one will be the wiser, I am sure.
See? You just have to plan and take your time and even New Years Eve can be handled!