Sunday, September 14, 2014

Return of the Weekend Warrior

A weekend off.

I haven't had weekends off on a regular basis since about 1998. Its taken a little time getting used to this 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday normal life schedule. I kind of dreaded returning to working full time after working only part time for the last six years. 40 hours a week seems like a lot of time to do any one task. And it is. Actually, this new job is turning into the work-from-8 am-until-10 pm sort of job. I like the independence and the ability to set my own schedule. I don't like the hours and the low pay. Home Health, especially Home Health Psych., is more of a calling than a job. Be prepared to tarry long hours for little pay.

But at this point of my career, I don't really care. The job is fun and I don't have to worry about being bludgeoned to death by a patient--although I guess it is possible that I could be shot, mistaken for being a burglar by some paranoid with a rifle. There's always something to worry about.  I do miss the ability to spend lots of hours just reading what I want to read. Taking long hikes with my dogs and spouse. Spending lots of  time just plunking on this laptop while I read articles suggested by all my brilliant friends on Facebook. Facebook is fun for people who like to read and have friends who are intellectually curious. I miss the unstructured time.

Back to weekends. I haven't had them off for decades. For the past couple years I've shied away from doing any household projects. Last year I was recovering from a severe work injury that laid me up for the better part of 11 months. I still have problems, the chronic pain hasn't gone away, but I've just kind of gotten sick of babying myself so I med up and do stuff. Norco is my friend.

For the first few years we worked so hard to build this place that when we got it semi-inhabitable, we just sort of bonked. We were so sick of building this homemade mud and strawbale Hobbit Home that we just took a break. The break lasted a few years.

The break has ended.

This weekend I had help from a young buck. Kylie has a 16 year old boyfriend, a good redneck kid who loves guns, pickup trucks and constantly wears a baseball cap---he is eager to please us--- so he has been my helper. He worked hard. I've been meaning to rebuild a back wall on the cabin. Got it done. We hung rain gutters that I've been meaning to get around to for half a decade. Got some of them hung. I cut up a winter's worth of kindling while the young buck painted some trim that badly needed some paint before it rots away. Progress has been made. I purged and cleaned  up the yard---creating a large junk pile of unused, broken and outdated implements of housholdness that needs to be hauled to the dump.

We bought this homestead to be able to do things like this. It is intended to be a retirement cabin with enough space to putter and tinker and garden and build the off-grid life. Scott and Helen Nearing were our inspiration. It is hard work. And like many cerebral nerds, I'm more of an idea person than a person that actually completes non-cerebral building projects. Besides that, my handyman skills aren't particularly handy. That's part of the fun.

It probably isn't the sort of life Joni should be living with her disabilities. The bumpy road to get to our place is torture for her to endure. Just getting in and out of here pretty much consumes her energies for a day. When other people who have disabilities like her live in adaptive apartments and have caregivers show up to do the household chores, Joni wrestles with starting a generator and struggles with raising a teenager off-grid, far from civilization.

And yet, I think living like this is important for both of us. It keeps us connected to earth. Nature. The important stuff. I don't mind aging off-grid where a short walk out my door leads me down to my own private canyon. I look forward to the next 20 years of plunking around on this endless project. Maybe we will actually finish it. Doubtful.

My memory card for my camera malfunctioned so I couldn't load any photos of our work.

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