Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Goodbye, CabinDwelling

Goodbye, Outhouse

Running water. Pooping indoors. A toilet seat that is not blue foam. A counter top that is not a 30 year-old piece of plywood.

No more stringing Christmas tree lights from the dwelling to the outhouse so visitors can find the facilities in dark. (They're like runway lights for the intoxicated.)

It has taken almost a month to work on the older, strangely built house and accomplish the move, hence the near absence of updating this thing. A month and unanticipated truck loads of crap. How did I go from a 15 box limit of personal goods a few years ago to eleventy five truck loads?

But... here it is. My last post as an official CabinDwelling-type person. Flic and I have discussed this, and it is kind of prompting a blogger identity crisis on my part. Hot showers at home, laundry at home, indoor toilet ... I mean, how posh can a CabinDweller get?

Above right: No more bargaining over who has the chore of knocking down the inevitable poop cone.

No more hauling water from the water wagon in the five gallon blue jugs. We've given most of them to a friend who just moved in to a dry cabin nearby.

The old Goldstream Valley house we purchased has a well with pretty good water, so we're not going to be forced to haul water in one of those 300 gallon plastic tanks you see in the back of folk's pickup trucks. Speaking of hauling water ...

Goodbye Subaru
To amplify this whole identity crisis, my Soob up and died last week. Francesca the aged Loyale, rounding the 235,000 mile mark, went to the great lot in the sky. It's like she knew that we were moving to an actual house, even if it's an old outside-Fairbanks-city-limits-we-don't-need-no-stinking-building-codes house, and she said, "Nope. That's not a driveway I care to sit in."

Goodbye, Random Animal Parts Wired to Trees
Yes, this is a strange one. At the final cabin, we kept finding antlers (caribou, moose) wired to trees. Antlers as decor are one thing - in small doses - but on several occasions, I'd be out walking on the property quite a ways from any building or structure and there would be a set of antlers wired to a tree. And I'd think, "What the hell? Where's the context?"

So far, I haven't found a single set of antlers in the new yard.

Of course, who can forget the whole animal head in tree thing? Our site got more traffic over the animal head thing than from the recent boost from She Who I Am Mighty Tired of Talking About.

Goodbye, slop bucket. No more near misses on the over flow thing; and since this was a chore I agreed to take on as mine in order to convince the S.O. to live in a dry cabin, well, yay. No more lugging the thing out away from the house, trying very hard not to splash on myself.

Goodbye, carpenter ants. Have fun consuming that cabin from the ground up. I'm not going to miss the annual weeklong population explosion, hatching, or whatever the hell it was that manifested as an ant party inside the house.

So, what to do? What moniker, what nom de plume, shall I adopt? Ex-CabinDweller doesn't have a good ring to it.

Not that we've gone totally yuppie or anything. We're still down in the bottom of the Goldstream Valley, plumbing the depths of thermometer, or thermometers, (since they all read different anyway.) But I confess, there is a small part of me that is going to miss the dry cabin lifestyle; it was a good, cheap way to live. Although, the simple life is anything but simple. It's a whole lot more work.


KC said...

I bet all your new found McMansion digs like running water and indoor toiletry 'll go to your head. The rock and roll lifestyle always does.

How about GoldstreamGrump? Or something like that. I'm awful at these things. You're right; Ex-CabinDweller definitely won't do.

Cathy said...

For a couple years I lived "in camp" year round on the Noatak River...so I am familiar with the dry cabin life, minus the roads. The outhouse I didn't mind. The water hauling I didn't mind.....but the slop bucket??? That just did me in. I will do almost anything to avoid dealing with the slop bucket.

Congratulations on your posh new pad.

dogsled_stacie said...

Speaking as a current cabin-dweller (8 yrs and counting, what IS running water again??), does it really ever leave you??!! Keep the moniker, maybe you'll miss all this and come back to us! :)

(but I highly doubt it, I wouldn't...lol)

FYI - don't have a slop bucket, just chuck everything outside as it accumulates, that's what I do. Makes for more trips to the great outdoors, but no overflowing disgusting buckets of gunk to empty. Ever.

FlictheBic said...

As I have been saying to my blog-mate: cabin-dwelling is also a state of mind, so I havent seen any reason for the moniker change - after all - moving into a house that used to, well, house a grow operation, is indeed still well within the ethos of cabin-dwelling

Ishmael said...

Cabin-dwelling is a state of mind, so keep the nom de blog.


The Artist formerly known as Cabin-Dweller.

Either way.

CabinDweller said...

Hmmm. Laziness is definitely a factor here, but I am inclined by all your recommendations to keep the nom the way it is.

We'll see. If someone came up with something strikingly better, I still might hang it up.

And who ya calling grumpy? :)

KC said...

I said I was bad at it! ;)

Deirdre Helfferich said...

As a running-water-house-dweller, I would caution you not to get too cozy with the idea of all those posh things you describe now having, and don't think you are free of all those chores you just said goodbye to.

I have a house, with running water. In pipes. Which freeze from time to time. That means that we have a) slop buckets, which we haul out whenever the water freezes; b) an outhouse, for just such emergencies (I really don't like honeybuckets, but we've got those too) and for summertime when it's nicer to be outside in the sun and breeze looking at the view whilst doing my biz. I also have cats, which means poop scooping and dead animals (small). Sometimes live ones. (It also means regular barfing, mostly from the one cat with the nervous stomach.)

And carpenter ants find porches just as tasty as cabins. They've been working on the house for a long time, but the paint and regular upkeep has helped keep them at bay.

We heat with wood for much of the fall and spring (the Toyo does duty during the really cold season and whenever GVEA conks out, which is regularly), so there's lots of chopping involved.

I have to say, though, that antlers and animal heads in trees have been nonexistent at our house. Still, I'd say your CabinDweller moniker, given all that it implies, is still valid. Houses can turn into cabins at the drop of a hat. And cars conk out or burn up at the most inconvenient times, house or no.

No need to get all nostalgic about leaving the cabin life. It'll come back to haunt you soon enough, never fear.