Home Sweet Home

I tend to romanticize living OTG.  I know that.  If I forgot the truth of it, I was definitely reminded of it coming home this time.  It is now Monday as I write this blog.  We arrived Comox after a very long 3-legged flight that had us arrive at 11:00 pm on Wednesday night.  That’s right, it has taken me that long to have a chance at blogging.  OMG!

We were picked up by a friend at the airport who, surprisingly, wanted to drink scotch that night.  And so we did.  Very nice that night.  But (not-so-much) the next day….so, in the snow, we headed over to Costco for the thrice yearly $1,000.00 stock up, then up to Campbell River for the $200.00 top off (so that NOTHING except a couple of Higgs Boson particles could get into the old Pathfinder) and we beat our way over to the community dock.  Another friend was there to drive Sal to get our boat but he insisted on being the ferry (thank God) and we were over to Home Sweet Freezer and unloading in the frigid temperatures before dark.  Which is OK…..everyone in Canada is living in freezing temperatures.

But so was the house!  Sal started the stove at around 5:00 pm Thursday night and the house hit 68F virtually 24 hours later.  We cranked that wood-gobbling puppy up and it took a whole day to get the place warm!  The house was 39F when we arrived!

That, however is just colour…fun stuff….the real stuff is the water system.  Properly drained it should be fine.  I missed a spot.  The valve cracked.  The water fled the scene.  The scene was the large cistern.  When we got home, it was empty.  But, but, but, I am only partly stupid (or so I thought) and so we switched over the pipe to the emergency cistern.  It is smaller but it would serve – I thought.  So, we got the system working…kind of….seems something was wonky in the pump (even tho it pumps) and the switch will no longer switch off…….. and so….after a bit we noticed things were NOT so good…went out and found another leak and we had lost half the emergency cistern in the meantime…..not good.  Full-on stupid rating now.

Today..we are down to about 300 gallons.  That will get us ten days or maybe two weeks….no pump….except by hand….

Getting the water from the creek flowing is priority #1.  Kinda.  My boat has to get launched from being up on the hard.  Problem: the tide is not high enough except at 5:00 in the am.  Which is about -8C.  And dark.  I am not launching the boat standing on slippery rock surfaces in the dark and in the cold only to die in some new fangled way.  The weather has to warm up and I am happy to wait a week until high tide shifts to 7:30 am.

In the meantime, we have no boat save Sal’s little skateboard.  And I avoid that as much as I can.  Oh yeah…forgot…when you refill the pipes, you have to warm them with heat tape and so I got out the genset and pulled a few times.  Didn’t start.  So, I pulled a few more.  The rope-pull snapped off.  And so I took that apart and put on a new rope.

And, oh yeah…Sal’s boat wouldn’t start at first but we knew that coming home (and told a friend who knows more than we do who came over and fixed it all while we were away except for a couple of needed parts) and so we picked up the parts to fix it in town.  Used the serial numbers and everything.  The supply house screwed up and gave us the wrong parts.  A phone call and the right parts came by float plane on Friday.  In the meantime, Great Scott and I (mostly him. I just cracked jokes) re-used the old parts and tried and tried and tried to get it going and…..at the last moment before we admitted defeat, it started up!

Litany of woes?  Nah.  Just part of the adventure……mind you, it is very nice to be home, warm and writing about it rather than actually fussing with it.  Tomorrow, we start on other things…getting the water flowing would be a good start.

20 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. I was kinda wondering what was up…..
    Similar experience.

    I spent 12 hours flying to my cottage back East May1st.
    Arrived and had a cab take me to my cottage.
    Turned on the power and water pump.
    I had 8 broken pipes because “Mr Plumber” who winterized my cottage the previous Fall and charged me $200 …..didnt do a damn thing. Murder was on my mind.
    No water but heat.
    Had to go to the hardware store.
    Needed my wheels.
    Truck laid up in Garage all winter on a solar charger.
    Put the battery in my truck, rotar, plug wires, wheels back on, etc. I like to winterize so no one can easily steal it.
    Nothing, wont start.
    Spent half a day getting it going.
    Toyotas are reliable beasts.

    Woke up the next morning, 3 inches of snow. Power went out in the night. Freezing. No fireplace, No wood stove. Just freezing…
    Went to the hardware store and bought plumbing parts, torch, everything.
    Took 3 days to find, fix and repair the drywall openings cut out for access to leaky pipes.
    Patched drywall, painted, etc.
    Filled the hotwater tank for my 1st shower…..element was kaput.
    Drain tank, new element. Another day of delay….

    My 1st week of “holidays”.


    • All part of the fun, eh? But, well….I feel like a dickhead for letting the first valve freeze….after that….well, it’s just the way of things…it was that valve that bugs me….right now, Sal is out on the skateboard picking up a log…..


  2. welcome home, sounds like a lot of fun.
    whole Canada under a cold snap, Toronto is -17 tonight, but spring is coming.


  3. You beat us home. I got slowed down with a bit of surgery in Bellingham and have to recover a bit before I can fly. Hope to get back in about a week and a half. At least we won’t have any frozen pipes, the water in the hand pump recedes over time down the large PVC pipe. I’m sure the surrounding lake water also keeps it below freezing. I am a bit worried about my canning jars and potatoes though. – Margy


  4. Geeez, ML…..I hope you are OK? Surgery? Damn! Having surgery for anything usually means loss of something…..but having surgery in the state’s is usually a wallet-ectomy…..not that money matters in the least but the least is about 100k in the US. You lose an organ, a house and a future…..
    Seriously, Sal and I hope you are soon well and back home in Sweet Home Powell Lake.


    • Remember we retired from jobs in the States. We are covered for medical on both sides of the border. Yes, lost an organ but they didn’t have to take another one in payment. Hope to be home by next weekend but Wayne still has to all the heavy lifting. – Margy


      • John Robbins of the Baskin Robbins ice cream dynasty went all health nut in 80e ‘s. He said, “Modern medicine operates from the premise thhat you have too many organs or too few drugs in your system. Or so,!.. they give drugs or they may a TAKE ORGANS, ……..i say keep you’d orgañs, AND limit the drug imtake.


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