On Tuesday, at precisely 3:00 p.m., the kitchen faucet began to drip, then trickle, then pour. After more than two weeks of freezing, our water line thawed.
Not completely, to be perfectly honest. I imagine a section of the water line remains half clogged with ice, restricting our water pressure to just below the lighter summer flow, but hey, we’ll take it.
Those of you who are longtime readers of the blog, who know my fondness for the Celtic or “Natural” calendar, will no doubt appreciate the irony that our own personal break up came a day after this year’s “official” start of spring, but again, we’ll take it! (See The Circle Turns Toward Spring.) The return of running water set off a much-appreciated bout of spring cleaning.
It started with a major dish wash. Water had been sitting in our heater for more than two weeks, and I wanted to flush it out a bit before taking a shower. We’ve managed to not let the dishes pile up too much during the freeze up (see Dry Cabin) but in addition to the regular dishes, I cleaned up all the pots and pans in which we’d collected and melted snow, and a few cast iron pans that had been set aside till we had the resources to deal with them. All told, I washed dishes for about two hours.
After that, I took a nice hot shower. Michelle had bathed in town the day before, but I felt overdue for a scrub and shave, and gratefully made the most of it. I emerged a new man.
Now, life seems to be on much more of an even keel. The warmer temperatures have awakened the world around us as well. Buds swell in the forest. The daylight has lengthened to the point that I took down a string of battery powered fairy lights that had lit the way to the outhouse since Christmas. A small fish run has generated a lot of excitement among the birds and sea lions out front. The other day three or four eagles chose our dooryard spruce as a base from which to launch attacks on the fish, and occasional snatch-and-grab missions against the seagulls. Snow melting off the garden beds make us think of planting soon. We even removed the insulation on the bedroom window so we can sleep with it open again. And, a couple of days ago, I warmed up lunch in the solar oven (see Cooking With Solar).
This is Southeast Alaska, and it’s springtime. We could easily see more snow, (which the forecast calls for) and more cold (see When It’s Springtime in Alaska . . . ). We might even lose the water again for a bit. But, at the moment, we have hope. To a large extent, that’s the hope that comes after a good spring cleaning!