Tags: shower

Nov19

A bathroom and a hot shower

Posted by admin on 11/19/11  ~  Posted in: Loeb State Park

A bathroom and a hot shower.  They go a long way.  Individually yes, but in tandem even better.  Really, the joy a clean bathroom and a hot shower can bring is a sadly forgotten gem of western civilization.  We take it for granted here in the good ol? U.S. of A.  It?s all part of the American dream.  In fact, it?s a central tenet: a huge house, 13 bathrooms, tennis courts?  13 bathrooms!  Clearly these people understand what?s important in life - $1,000 handbags and lots, and lots of clean bathrooms and hot showers!  I?ll tell you though, the joy a bathroom and hot shower can bring to someone who doesn?t have one every day is not to be underestimated.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that if both were provided to everyone on the planet, we would literally go through a modern day global revolution.  Seriously, when a huge percentage of the Earth?s population doesn?t see clean water on a daily basis, if we could get everyone a nice shiny porcelain throne and a truly hot, I?m not talking ?pretty warm?, I?m saying ?hot?, a truly hot shower, the happiness factor of the planet would double overnight.  If I can feel euphoric after just three minutes under a modestly hot, industrially simple shower head, just imagine how all the people who live in dumps across the world would feel after 10 minutes under a high pressure rainshower head blasting 20 gallons per minute of piping hot water over their bodies!  Maybe someday the folks with 13 bathrooms might give up one or two for the folks who don?t have one.

Anyway, we?re here at Loeb State Park in Oregon just outside of?heck?um?Brookings.  It?s been pissing rain for?well, as long as I can really remember.  Except for the brief 10 minutes this morning when it turned to hail for a little added excitement.  We?ve been on the road now for almost a month and despite the bad weather, things have been going pretty well.  We?ve had some minor difficulties but all things said, things are pretty good.  As I was taking my nice hot shower earlier I decided that as long as I?m rubbing organic conditioner into my hair and using handmade soap from a farmer?s market, things are probably going well enough.  A lot has happened since we?ve left ? life continues to be a whirlwind of activity.  Everything in the van seems to take a bit longer and require a little more work than it would in our old granite and stainless kitchen.  In our van the plates don?t fit into the sink.  When it?s 34 degrees out, so is our water.  Stuff like that.  Shan and I have been working diligently to get the blog up and running, but it too has been a monumental process.  We?ve had no data coverage whatsoever for weeks now so the internet hasn?t seen me for as long as it?s been for probably a decade.  Our auxiliary battery system in the van wasn?t working properly until a few days ago so we weren?t able to use our laptops as much as hoped.  No sun to charge from.

Hurdles.  It?s all about hurdles.  One after another, just gotta keep jumpin?.  Push on, learn, live, enjoy, exist.

Oct12

Goodbyes and Three Minute Showers

Posted by admin on 10/12/11  ~  Posted in: Ethan's Thoughts

It?s been a tough few days.  We?ve finally left my parents? driveway ? our home for the last three months.  Yes, three months we lived in my parents? driveway.  Our original hope was to be done with all our van projects in two weeks.  Didn?t quite happen.  So here we are, three months later, on the road.  After several ?shakedown trips? to weed out any last unforeseen issues, we decided it was time to get out of dodge.  This comes after many, many weeks of ?we thought we were going to leave this week? false starts.  Goodbyes to friends, then frustration as we don?t leave, then goodbyes again.  Finally though, we said our goodbyes to the family, the most difficult of all for me.  After living within a few miles of my immediate family for 30 years, saying goodbye was not something I was accustomed to.  It was very, very difficult for me.  First my dad, which was actually him leaving us, to go off on another one of his adventures ? a brief ?until next time? departure in the driveway.  Then my great aunt Greta, a short visit to floor three of The Leopold for some conversation and wine.  Next, my grandma ? a glorious meal at the Little Cheerful Café followed up by a trip through the vibrant Bellingham public market.  Then my mom, a tough, teary-eyed celebration of our time spent at her house, the wonderful, if difficult, three months spent with her and my dad making way-too-big feasts, tackling projects, sharing stories, becoming better friends.  We had said goodbye to my brother?s wife a few days back and today, it was time to say goodbye to him too.  This would be the hardest for me.  He drove out into the rainy dark night 30 miles up the Mt. Baker Highway last night to spend one last evening with Shan and I camping in the woods.  A very wet time indeed ? rain almost nonstop.  He spent the night in the lower bunk and Shan and I slept ?upstairs?.  This morning his departure came suddenly and hit me like a ton of bricks.  His words; ?so I guess this is goodbye?.  It wasn?t really until he said this that I realized I would be leaving my best friend of some 26 years for a long time, I struggle not to say ?for good?.  I know we?ll be seeing each other again, and that time will come sooner than if feels today, but for now, all I can think is that I?ve spent the last two and a half decades with Chuck by my side, if not across town.  Now it would be different.  Now I can?t call him up and invite him over for some Rock n? Roll Racing playing.  Our Final Fantasy 3 game will be on hold, indefinitely.  Of all the things and people I?ll miss in Bellingham, I?ll miss my brother Chuck the most.  As his car slowly drove away, in the rainy dreary woods along the Nooksack river, I stood and watched? until it was silent? and my brother was gone.  I?ll miss you buddy.

 

So now I sit in our van, trying to dry out at Larrabee State Park, a somewhat comical notion considering it?s the middle of October, typing what I expect to be the first entry on our blog.  I?ve just had a not-quite-hot-enough three minute shower and I?m feeling pretty comfortable, the wine working it?s magic, Shan watching Ann of Green Gables on the ?big screen?.  It?s been a long day.  It?s been a long few months.  It?s been a long?  Well, here we are anyway, finally.  No more house.  No more mortgage.  No more yard work.  No more gutters to clean.  No more hot tub.  No more instant hot showers, or microwave popcorn.  No more barking neighborhood dogs.  No more Sunday morning pancake feeds with our friends down the street.  No more Hardware Sales or ReStore.  No more Il Rinconcito or Casa Que Pasa potato burritos.  No more 401k or health insurance, no more debt.  Just what we can hold in this 1984 Vanagon.  Shan, me, one dog and one cat.  A solar panel and our backpacks, our bikes and a Frisbee.  Our cameras and laptops, our fruit basket and percolating coffee maker.  The adventure begins.  Finally, the adventure begins.  Today; goodbye?s and three minute showers, tomorrow; the road.