Surviving Winter

Originally, i had planned to live in the apartment until i got the new property set up. Life would go on, business as usual, and in my spare time i would just keep putting the pieces together one by one until my project was complete and we were ready to move in. However, i had a lot of visitors for being located in the middle of nowhere. One night i heard voices on the property. It sounded like they were right on the other side of the house wall. It was too dark to see so i went back to bed. The next morning the toilet wouldn’t flush. Water wouldn’t come out of the faucet. I took a sink bath with my bottled water and went to work. After work i came home to see if i couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong with the well pump. I couldn’t figure it out. I tried the reset button. I tried a few things i read on google. Then i called the repair man in the area. He turned out to be the man that had actually put the well in the ground when the sellers had owned the property. I shook his hand and thanked him for digging my well. He said that my problem wasn’t the pump. He walked over to the electric pole, opened the box, and flipped a switch. Power was restored to the well house. I looked at him, awe struck. “How did you do that?!” He laughed. Then he asked me if i had turned the power off to the well house. The answer was no. Duh. I wouldn’t be showering with a water bottle and paying some guy nearly 100 dollars to flip a switch if i had. He said, “Well someone had to stand there at that box and flip this switch last night because if it had flipped itself the marker would land in the middle here, but the marker was all the way over to this side.” I said, “What do you recommend?” He answered, “If i were you, i’d get you a lock and put it on there.” One by one i learned the hard way that i needed to padlock everything. I came home one day and found someone carrying a jug of water away from the side of my tiny house. The spigot was still dripping. I then discovered spigot locks. Now no-one can take my water. One day i drove up and found a man wandering the edge of my property. He climbed through a hole in the fence and disappeared. I began to realize that my presence was a must, furniture or no furniture, skirting or no skirting. I needed to have eyes on this property and be on top of whatever was going on there at any given moment. So Sili and i took a can opener, a stick of deodorant, and a daily change of clothes and moved in. How can i put this? Sili and i were unprepared for the intensity of temperature we experienced during the first months in our tiny home. Firstly, i didn’t know it at the time but, the ac/heating unit was broken and in need of a repair man. It was neither heating nor cooling air…mostly moving it around. Second, i had not yet hired anyone to help me put the skirting on the house. The tiny house sat propped on cement blocks and anchored to the ground with a chain. The air outside traveled underneath the house when the wind blew. The floor was always freezing but it wasn’t just the floor. For three or four inches above the floor i could place my hand there and feel the cooler air. I kept the bathroom door shut which meant the bathroom, against the outside walls, was always freezing. The hot water heater provided a limited amount of hot water. The colder the temperature outside the fewer minutes of hot water there were. We didn’t yet have the space heater my mother would later gift us with (thank the Lord). So, i put on several pairs of pants, several shirts, 2 light jackets, a house coat, and a winter coat. Sometimes i left my shoes on. Then i gathered all of our blankets and the bath towel, made a nest, and curled up underneath them against the dog. The dog was my heater, and i hers. Sili and i tried to huddle as close as we possibly could under those covers, desperate to keep whatever heat there was trapped underneath the blankets. Most nights i woke up when the temperature dropped to its lowest point. I remember it was bearable when drifting off to sleep but when i would awake it would be so uncomfortably cold i couldn’t get back to sleep. So Sili and i would chat and wait for the alarm clock. I really wanted that beautiful piece of land. Now that i had obtained it, nobody was going to hear complaint out of me. Eventually i would better prepare the house for next year’s winter with home improvement projects and an ac repair guy. However, during our first winter at the property, Sili did her best to keep me warm enough to achieve sleep.

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