ViewYou’d be right to say at this point that the project “Life in an old house’ failed miserably, yet I would object to classify it as such. Nothing is failing when learning happens and learning happens all the time. So what is failure then? A debate for a next post.

For now, back to the house. We’ve learned a few things, and we’ve learned the value of a bucketful of water, inside and outside the pipes. Speaking of water, it’s been pouring in Kamloops lately, courtesy of global warming.

I’ve always loved rain, so I never thought I’d say this, but here it goes: in this case, rain makes it worse, much worse. Not that I do not like hills enveloped in mysterious fog, or the sound of raindrops. I do. But old houses on hills turn mucky when it’s wet outside. And they turn muckier when the toilet is located out of doors. We’ve come a long way since the days of using outhouses exclusively. Without making use of any visual aids (you’re welcome) I can attest to having gained some perspective on the unseen side of human waste. The thought of seven billion of us leaving our mark that way makes me nauseous. Ignorance is bliss, indeed. Sigh. Repeat.

Laundry is done off-site (thank you to all those who have allowed us to trail through their houses hugging laundry baskets) and because it’s off-site we are discovering the reality of well used everything. Socks rations anyone?

Washing dishes has become the epitome of fast and furious. The fast part is supplied by whoever washes the dishes, while ‘furious’ comes from the pipes around the house that gurgle menacingly as water runs down the kitchen drain. As if to threaten us with a gurgled ‘Don’t make me’. The toilet especially. It’s like an army of angry creatures drumming a threat from deep in the basement. It can make grown people shudder, that much I know. And it can make them hurry with the dishes.

As an added bonus, it makes cooking slightly more challenging (what’s one more when we have so many already) as I am now calculating what is the minimum number of plates, bowls and cutlery that can be used without adding too much pressure on the pipes. Literally. No more mindless usage. Innocence lost or found  awareness? The latter of course.

Shower-wise, we’ve gotten closer to home. Our neighbour next door who is building two impressive futuristic homes, has graciously handed over the key to one of the apartments so we can have full use of the washroom. He noticed the outside plastic contraption and wondered whether we had water. We do, we told him, we just don’t dare to use it much.

As for the impending move… yes, we are getting ready to move a second time in three months, boys, Lego boxes, rocks, plants and all. We are sifting through boxes and wondering (again) what can we let go of (rocks and seashells come with). When on a hill, you better mind the steps. More so when they are glazed in muck, a simple fact of life I learned when moving in when a muddy step turned me feet up while holding a box. The box made it without a dent, and the bruise on my back cleared in a few days. So there, lesson learned.

So you see, no failure issues whatsoever. We’ll put these three months in the ‘remember when’ category and we’ll laugh about it down the road. We are doing it already.

And the view is nice indeed. You see all the way to Rayleigh and past it as you get in and out of the outhouse. All you have to do is keep away from the awning that drips liquid stalactites down your back. And if it happens, take it as a reminder: this is real, all of it and; shitty or not, today comes only once so make the best of it.