Friday, August 10, 2007

A Low-Tech Week

I am frantically making lists and starting to pack for our yearly trip to BC. We rent a cabin at a dude ranch on a lake "up in the Cariboo." It seems like we need to bring a million things (food, kitchen supplies, sleeping bags, hot dog forks), but I am glad of what we are not bringing. No computers, no cell phones, no videos....

The cabin has electricity and a fridge, but no running water - you have to bring it in buckets from a well. There is no tv, no phone, no radio. There is an old-fashioned wood cookstove, which I absolutely love, and it makes the cabin very cozy in the morning.

Early in the morning (I'm usually up by 6:30) I get up and light the pile of paper and kindling that I've laid out in the woodstove the night before. I make a quick dash to the outhouse (45 steps away) in the just-barely-over-freezing temperatures. By the time I'm back, the stove is crackling away. I fill a HUGE kettle with water, and set it on the stove, and add more wood. I wash my face in the 45-50 degree water - if that doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will - and get dressed. I then open up the curtains to the large picture window that looks at the lake, watch the mist rise and listen to the loons call. By now the water is warm enough for a cup of tea, and the cabin is getting warm. When I'm done with my tea, I'll start breakfast, if I'm planning on cooking it on the stove. Bacon and eggs, or pancakes are the family favorites. And one day I even make corn bread in the oven.

After that, it's horseback riding for those that want to, or fishing, or just hanging out, reading a book, knitting. Mr. E will go golfing once with his dad (the in-laws are coming, too, and will be in their own cabin), I'll have an afternoon shopping in town, the boys will catch bugs and build forts in the woods. But mostly it's a time to totally relax, catch up on reading we've been meaning to do, spend some time with each other, and totally de-tech our lives.

We've developed other little traditions. We bring a book on tape to listen to in the car. This year it's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We won't finish the book, even if we listen to it all the way up and back. So when we come back, we all gather around in the living room with candles burning, and listen to it on the stereo. Hopefully our not-catching-any-fish tradition will end soon. There's a great pub nearby that serves - believe it or not- escargot. And it's really good, too. We'll eat one meal out there. We have to eat at an A&W as well (we call it an "A and W, eh?" but only to ourselves.)

I'm looking forward to it, even though it means a lot of stress now. I need to carry my lists in my pocket so when I remember something like spray oil, I can write it down. No, I don't really need it. Cross it off. Low tech....

See you in a week!

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