Home! No place like it! I am very happy to be back.
We left on the 6th. Got most of the stuff up the hill to the deck today, the 9th. We have five more heavy loads (gensets, heavy tools, scaffolding, steel) and a few not-so-heavy others before we are really done with the schlep but we have broken the back of it. We are mostly done. Everything is out of the car and on our island. A few long yards more to go. And our backs are nearly broken from the effort. I guess it is true – we are getting old.
Still, not so old that we couldn’t get it done and that is the most encouraging part. Very encouraging. I admit that I don’t like lifting anything any more and my limit is now about 100 pounds where before it was at least 150. I don’t want to do more than 50, actually, but anything less than that doesn’t really count as heavy. Under 50 is a pillow. Pshaw! Sal, too. She throws 50 pounds around like it was basket of flowers. We don’t count under 50. So much so that when we lift 50 and do it easily, some people are surprised.
I am surprised they are surprised.
Before we left I bought more solar panels. They are 240 watts each and about 40″ by 72″. Each panel weighs 45 pounds. They were in the shop when I went to get them and the guy took the lid off the box. I reached in and started to pull one out. “Whoah! Dude! Those are heavy. Let’s get another couple of guys.”
“They are 45 pounds. Fuggedbout it.” And I lifted out my six.
I bought a genset, too. It weighs about 225 pounds. The guy wheeled it out to my car. “Just a sec. I’ll get some young muscle.” He was under 40.
“Don’t be a pussy! Just lift it with me.” And he did. And we put it in the truck.
Now the truth of it is this: It is no longer easy to do that. We feel the weight now. Sal and I are stiff after a day of that. We are tried. We ache all over and we sleep like logs. No question – we talk big and we are still able to do it but the talk is remaining strong while the ability is waning. We are getting old.
Had we stayed in town that ability would have lessened even more quickly. Being away 4.5 months, I know. It has already eroded somewhat. We are 70% as able as we were when we left. And, with a few months more of physical work, we may get back to 90+% of that. So we are pretty good but out of off-the-grid-condition.
We will never be 100% again (say; last year as being 100% which is 40% of what we could do when we 30) . And getting back to 90+% of even that will become harder and harder as time passes. And slower. The key is to keep it up there as long as you can. Give it up grudgingly. Do not resign your abilities too quickly. And stock up on Ibuprofen.
Because we have no choice. Mind you, we chose to have no choice. If I had a choice, I would take the elevator and have some ‘young muscle’ carry my luggage. I’d watch TV. I’d go to restaurants. And I’d sit in traffic. I wouldn’t even count the martinis! How do I know this about myself? Because that is what I did before we left the grid and that is what I did for the last 4.5 months in the city. It was fun but we need the grind. I do, anyway. And now we have it back!
It is really, really, good to be home again. Phew!