Monday, January 17, 2011

19th Century Meets 21st Century

The past three days have involved a month's worth of emotions and exhaustion. But get this: We're tapping out this latest update from the kitchen table of our new homestead!! That's right: No water, no power, but we're wired!!

Thursday's drama of getting the U-Haul up Flat Top Mountain was nothing compared with Friday's climax of getting the empty U-Haul OFF the mountain. I credit Mason's undefeatable optimism for somehow defeating the ice, mud rocks and treacherous roadway. Soon as the truck was returned fairly unscathed, we both could breathe easier.

But then came the first night in our new home. Battling the bitter Southern cold, we fired up not one but three propane flame throwers (ok ok, heaters) as well as the wood stove, which appears to be Civil War-era. We were a raging candle in the middle of a forest, in a wood cabin loaded with petrol-based particle board. And we have no water, if a fire breaks out. And we had no phones to call 911. And even if we could call, we have no address to tell them where to come rescue us. ... It wasn't our best night of sleep.

Day 2: Mason discovers some plumbing transitions from small pipes to larger pipes are made using duct tape, instead of being properly plumbed. Nan discovers a small rodent, maybe a chipmunk, has been nesting in our broiler (sorry, Mason vacuumed it up before I could get a photo!). And Nick the Dog finds the tracks of a very large cat -- mountain lion, cougar? -- in our front yard. We finish the day with a kitchen area cleaned of all mouse poop, the sink scrubbed of cigarette ashes and the space at least functionable, if not yet pleasant.

Day 3: Main floor gets cleared out of the old owner's belongings, and we assemble what approximates a living room. It's almost cute, if you don't notice the mouse poop on the mantle that I've yet to clean up. It's still cold, and Nan can't sleep for fear of the wood stove's chimney setting fire to the whole place.

Day 4: A very productive day. We got an address -- 5928 Hixson Pike, Suite A-302, Hixson, TN 37343 -- and new cell phones, AND get this, one of the phones creates a Wi-Fi hotspot, so while we have no modern heat, no running water and no permanent electricity at our new house, we now have THE WEB!!!


  1. Come on, you know my dad is more resourceful than that. He doesn't need water to put out a fire. As long as he has blankets, or a tarp or baking soda he'll be fine.

  2. your adventure is enthralling.

  3. I have utter faith in you guys!