Town day yesterday. Big shop. Heavy schlep. Got home at 7:00 pm. We got packed away and had eaten our purchased-at-3:00 pm take-out (cold) by nine. Tired. No doubt about it – town day is getting to be the biggest challenge we face. It’s an age thing.
We still have plenty of rigorous challenges out here, of course. My new-ish, junk-pile-sourced, scrap-built solar panel frames, designed, welded, bolted and assembled by me and Sal, all to be relocated to a high rock is still the current project and, given the skill set and energy expenditure required, a not-so-insignificant challenge. But, to be fair, we can pretty much address the developmental steps of that task at our own pace. And we do. In fact, Sal has left me to address all the issues so far. I’m the ‘fabricator’. She will be the high-wire act when required. She gets the glamour job.
It’s a big job but it’s a slow job. As it should be.
But shopping is as much about spoilage as it is about schlepping and so the pace is dictated by that (we never buy ice cream, for instance). The ferries, the stores we have to hit and any appointments we might foolishly have made basically dictate the schedule. Town day is a challenge logistically. We tallied 24 stops-and-shops on our last trip! It’s a big job, too. But it is a very fast-paced one.
This trip was less stops but two 45-minute-apart towns had to be visited. Yesterday we missed a store closing by five minutes but, thankfully, they were accommodating and let us in so that our chore got done anyway. Had we missed them, Fid would have had only kibble for a month instead of his usual gourmet blend of raw guts, noses, ears and fat packaged especially for dogs on a raw food diet. Not so important a stop, I suppose, but he does like his noses and guts.
Throw in a dozen other purchases, two ferries and a bloody painful visit to the dentist and you have a pretty full day.
So, I have been thinking about how to make it simpler. Firstly, there is no way to making dental appointments or doctor visits simple (although remote doctors are experimenting with video conferencing). And blended packages of noses and guts are a staple at our house. So some things simply have to be dealt with the hard way. I figure at least half the logistical challenge will remain for awhile. But food shopping should be an easy ‘cut’. I think. Phone the list into the store, have them deliver the boxes to the water taxi and meet the taxi as it goes up channel. Simple. With a little coordination, auto parts can be added to the dock delivery list – they deliver anyway. Home Depot and Costco will do it too. Our local doctor will carry prescriptions. A neighbour will pick up a small package now and again.
It is time to delegate.
Remote camps get stuff flown in or water-taxied in but that is too expensive as a rule. Our local mail plane will transport at a reasonable rate if we pick up at the post office. And the water taxi is almost as accommodating if they don’t have to ‘go off-route. As long as the package is not heavy, that can be a fantastic deal. Weight-wise, a pizza air-delivered (cold, mind you) is $1.50 or $2.00! OK, maybe a slice missing. So, it can be done! The water taxi will ‘drop’ as much as 200 pounds for $50.00 so long as the packaging is good, easily handled and we meet ’em mid channel. It’s worth it.
Funny thing about living remote, it is a conundrum. The appeal is being isolated, the challenge is being connected. The appeal is hard work and being outdoors but the work is all about building indoor places and making systems work to ease the burdens. It is almost as if we are working against what attracted us here in the first place.
Now I am planning pizza delivery!
Yin and Yang of life, I guess.