I do not feel as if my day (or any day out here) is the same or ever boring in the least. I am much more driven by interest for the most part and, if my interest wanes, I simply go off and do something else. There is always something else. I am always busy. Mind you, I am half as busy as Sal. She is literally the Energizer Bunny. The woman never stops until she sleeps and then she sleeps like the dead.
I say this as an opening because one reader wanted to know what a typical OTG day is like. And so I thought about it and surprisingly, the most honest answer is that there really is no typical day. Every day is different. Over the course of a few years, there are patterns and repetitions of course, there are repeat chores and some obligations, there are some habits and behaviours that emerge as ‘typical’ but even they are not bound to any schedule. I build crap, fix crap, invent and experiment with crap but that is totally sporadic and almost kinda whimsically spontaneous at times.
I just built a small mushroom barn, for instance. Just a 2 x 3 x 6 frame covered in plastic housing some mushroom spore-plug impregnated logs I put in. I am hoping for Shiitakes. No biggy but something different from my previous 18 years. And I can be doing something like that all the time…..
I also just received a new electric winch that I bought to replace the gas-powered one I have been using. That decision required a ‘refresh’ of the old Wacker Nueson genset brought over years ago for that very purpose. And I have to weld up some brackets. Etc., etc., etc. That’s a slow ongoing project but it will get done.
And Sal’s outboard is also in that slo-mo chore line-up but that one is 90% done. And then I will install a newer and better water/fuel filter system on both boats. The filters have already been ordered.
But, if I continued in this vein, the blog would go on and on and on……and still go on.
Plus…….I have some ‘old work’ that comes back now and again – always in weird ways. Old clients, new problems, new clients, old problems. It is my old history coming back to haunt me now and again.
Sal and I generally wake up around 8:00. That has been as early as 6:00, often 7:00 lately because of the pups. They live by the sun and so we are pleased for heavy cloud cover and pouring rain – we get to sleep later. Then it is an hour of puppy love in all it’s magnificent peein’, pooin’, feedin’ and playing glory. We get in a shower, daily ablutions and start the fire and put on some water for tea/coffee and, by then, the first hour or so has already passed.
From then until 11:00 or even twelve, it is email, news feeds and internet crap that takes up our time.
Then it is ‘the chore-for-the-day’ that gets our attention. Usually for no more than four hours. That can literally be anything from logs to gardening, from repairs and maintenance to guests and visitors. Those hours could also be put to building something, but it is dog training and exercising these days. There is always some boat chore that needs attention – at least once per week. The other day, we had a tree fall on a neighbours house and they were not there so we took it down, chopped it up and put it on their wood pile. Oddly, a fallen tree is not all that unusual. I would say that at least once, but usually twice a year we have an unexpected windfall and the subsequent chore of dealing with it.
And do not forget, over the course of the year we also have to collect and process 600 lineal feet of logs for our firewood.
By four, four-thirty, the dogs and I are thinking about dinner, Sal is still busy ‘doin’ one of her thangs’ (she occasionally works at the post office, organizes and manages the local home care team, participates in the Book Club, president of the quilting guild and is involved in the community food getting and distribution) but at 5:00 her wine alarm goes off and then all hell breaks loose for the next bit. I am pouring wine, fixing dog dinner, helping with the people dinner and generally we are all ‘involved’ in dinner-making for about two hours (wine, prep, wine, cooking, wine, serving, cleaning up, doing the dishes, poopin’ the dogs). By 7 o’clock we are basically done for the day. A blog may also have been squeezed in, a few phone calls, laundry sometimes, food-shed organizing, workshop tidying, maybe a nap, too, is squeezed in.
And there is more, of course. No point in listing it all. But that should paint a picture for ya, John.
Is it productive? Yeah, in a personal, hands-on kinda way. Having gas piped in for heat, having electricity from the grid, elevators to carry you up and down, frequent vehicle use and lots and lots of services to ease one’s burden in the city makes urban life seem easier but, for some reason, I do not recall it that way. NOT having to fix things, build things, grow things, gather things, carry things and deal with everything yourself SOUNDS like more ease but, generally speaking, it doesn’t feel that way. This lifestyle feels like being more alive.
Of course, that ‘alive’ feeling is largely just due to being outside, having puppies and gardens, riding in small boats on the ocean, living with Sal and taking life-as-it-comes. And Mother Nature makes for very good company, too. We do not miss commuting, traffic, TV, appointments, schedules, radio, line-ups, purchasing, accumulating, bureaucracy, too-many-rules and all the urban constraints one tiny bit.
And I do not miss many of the people, either.