Ain’t Life Wonderful?

Out at the El Rancho Grande it was a busy Saturday. I went out early with my comfy flannel shirt under a heavier khaki, and in about an hour the khaki was shed and left laying over an old iron sun dial beside the house that I never could figure out how to read.

I was studying about how to best protect the above ground swimming pool’s plumbing, figuring it might get cold enough to turn the whole thing into a small ice skate rink by morning.

 Of course I hadn’t cleaned it lately and the deep bucket-like filter thing was filled with leaves. I had to reach my hands down through all the leaves to reach the handle at the bottom, and along the way there was a large mushy object that felt sort of rough textured. OMG, is that a drowned toad?

Yuk! I yanked my hand back, but knowing it had to come out, whatever it was, I went back in, grabbing the nasty-feeling thing and pulling it out…Oh! – It was an old koozie.

It was that kind of day out at the El Rancho Notso, two steps forward and three steps back. The battery was dead on the tractor and I couldn’t find the drain plug on our old RV – when the wife came back from shopping she easily raised the hydraulic bed to reveal the @#$%^&* thing. And, of course, when I got the chain saw out to cut some wood, there wasn’t any gas or oil on the place. Still, I got thru it all. I jumped off the tractor with cables and took a hay bale to the edge of a cedar brake where the goats bed up when it’s cold, then found some wood I’d cut earlier and hauled to the house and generally got everything battened down – I thought.

Around 5pm there was a sudden gust of cool wind. That’s where the fun began. I went looking for the khaki cover-up I’d pulled off earlier as the temperature dropped an unbelievable 40° in an hour, then another 30° to bedtime and down to 15° by morning. All of that, behind 15-35 mph north winds all night long.

Needless to say, there wasn’t any water in most of our faucets by morning. Luckily the commodes worked-that’s always a biggie.

My Sunday night bath was fun. I had two big pans of water in the shower with me. The cold water in front and a big pan of cookstove-heated water in back of me…and a small sauce pan in my hand.

I’d fill the pan half-up with hot water, then dip and fill it the rest of the way with cold water. The mix would be just right when I poured it over my head. You can imagine the routine from there on…it worked pretty good.

Yeh, it was a tough weekend, but I told my wife when she was cooking supper last night, “I love it. It makes me feel alive you know – living with nature and this real world!”

 She rolled her eyes and kept stirring.

Here’s hoping that when your pipes thaw out, they don’t spray water in all the wrong places. We’re rootin’ for ya.      RW