Monday, November 21, 2005

my first camp shower - a humorous adventure

Had my first attempt at a camp shower at Owl Mountain. Here's what the scene looked like... Heat water on propane stove in big metal pot. Pour hot water into 5 gallon plastic container, and haul heavy water-filled container across room to place on top of wood pedestal near shower. Place pump in water. Dash outside, and attempt to light propane heating element. Not tall enough. Hmm. Grab a bench and move it under propane element, still trying to "hurry."

Slightly fearful of blowing self up, carefully turn on flame thrower (one of this candle-lighting dooma-hickies), turn on propane and try to light heating element. It does not light immediately. Hmm. Fearful even more of being blown to smithereens, turn off propane and let dissipate for a few moments. Try again. This time, success! I think. I can hear something different than before, though I can not see flame, so in faith I run inside, rip off my clothes throwing them all over the floor and push the button that turns the water on. Shower!

The water feels great, perfect temperature. I take the showerhead from its place and get myself wet all over. Then I can't get it back in its place, so I have to hold the hose in between my legs while I lather up my hair. I poke my hand into the bucket to see how I'm doing on water - more than halfway gone. Already. Yikes. Quickly start to rinse hair even before I've finished lathering. Get all of soap out of hair and use shampoo bubbles to try to wash as much of my body as I can before water runs out. Think lathering and rinsing very quickly, cartoon-comical like. Water starts to drip. Gone. Hang hose down and use "grey water" in tin bucket to rinse soap off my body. Hear strange bubbling noise and smell burning plastic. Hmm.

Quickly dash out of tin bucket I am standing in, dry off with a towel, throw on some clothes and run outside to turn off propane heating element. Hear water "boiling" inside the tubes that run the water to the water storage bucket. Decide I will have to figure out a better way to get the propane turned off promptly after the water runs out.

This is just like the showers I used to take at my dad's only I didn't have a propane element to turn on/off. We heated the water on the wood stoves, put it in a bucket that hung over a makeshift shower, and then when you dry off you run by the wood stove to heat yourself up. You had to turn the water on the spigot on and off when you lathered up to conserve it. I tried that here but the problem is the propane heats the water in the bucket and a few seconds and it gets too hot and can burn you... Yes that little red plastic container is all the water you get for the shower....(can you tell I'm a big fan of ellipses...?)

Before my shower I did some reading outside, and after my shower I went for a walk around the place and sat atop a cliff overlooking Owl Mountain for a while contemplating. What is my unique contribution? What can I say in my book that will reach the audience that needs to be reached without alienating them but while still finding a publisher that thinks it will sell? How can I be a spokesperson for evolution? Who am I and what do I have different to say? Is it that I am both every-woman and one of a kind? I can be both very normal, very real, a mom, with kids, with struggles, with hopes, who wants a good education for my kids, who wants myself and my kids to not be deceived by propaganda - and at the same time I am someone a little bit different than everybody else?

Here I am in the middle of nowhere, sitting atop a desert mountain in a way that maybe Jesus himself did, and asking my God, the Lord of Creation and the God of the Universe - the God of Love and Truth and Peace - what can I do to bring these things - love, truth, peace - more fully into the world through my life, through my writing? Its a tough calling, but I will put one word after another to paper (or to electrons as the case may be) and see what is born. (The photo is me making shadow images/ creatures as I sat atop the mountain and it turned out quite a bit more humorous than I intended it to...)

Walking through the land, bra-less and without makeup (I actually started to put some on and then thought, why? That is absurd, but shows my insecurity...) I felt free and alive and a sense of joy in my step I have not felt in a while. I love the way the little shrubs polka-dot the land, growing in little isolated clumps. They are these shades of yellow and sage green and some evergreen (the junipers). They just looked so cute and fuzzy. OK I know I'm weird. I jumped across these crevices made from the water and just felt very free to jump like a colt. I feel a renewed sense of committment to creating a place like this on my own, like my father did, and like I want to do so that I can offer writing retreats in Texas along the San Jacinto, and to have a beautiful environmentally-friendly "green building" where environmental groups can hold meetings and conferences and I can run a B&B. This is one of my dreams.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't help you, not one little bit. But MAN, you made my day with your breezy spunky sunlight.

I am, dare I say it,
a blog virgin.

Never read,
never posted.

You've got me more curious
than my cat with a bug on the
outside of the window.

It's 31 degrees.
I too, must write.

-Bloggedly Yours,