There’s No Place Like Home…..

…..until you can’t LEAVE, that is.

It’s Day Six of our captivity, going into Day Three without water. We’re getting Hulk muscles from lugging 5-gallon buckets full of water around, we’re rationing our drinking water so we don’t have to use the bathrooms as often, and we’re beginning to smell funky. On top of that, the weather forecasters are expecting an ice storm before it finally warms up, so we’ll be fortunate to keep the electricity on in that event.

The misery index is rising with every day. The temperature struggled mightily to make it to freezing for about five minutes today, which is progress of a sort but of course did nothing to thaw the pipes, and tomorrow isn’t supposed to be much better. What’s sad is that even if we’re able to get out of the driveway tomorrow, neither of us really wants to because we’d be too self-conscious about the stink! Of course, if we could get out we could go to our son’s place to shower, which is what our daughter and her family did this past weekend when THEIR pipes froze.

Yes, the “off-the-grid” lifestyle is way overrated. I want to shower whenever I feel like it (and even when I don’t). I want to be able to wash my hands with hot water and real soap, instead of relying on hand sanitizer and the bowl of ice-cold water I’m keeping in the sink to rinse my hands in when things get too real. I want to be able to flush the toilet—EVERY time I use it—without having to heft buckets that weigh almost as much as the amount I’ve lost in the past year. I want to mop the bathroom floor with bleach water where one of my grandsons missed the mark.

I want this whole ordeal to be over with already.

As I may have mentioned before, I am soooo not the pioneer-girl type. I like my conveniences, thank you, and if I’d been around back in the days when the West was young, I’d never have left St. Louis. I don’t even like to camp. I went once, and when I dropped the big five-cell flashlight down the hole after stumbling a quarter of a mile to the outhouse in the middle of the night, I decided that “roughing it” wasn’t for me. (The damn thing is probably STILL down there, lit.) Now my idea of roughing it is a Motel 6.

Eventually, of course, all of this will end and we’ll be back to the notorious gloom and cold rains of winter in our little corner of the world. At this point, forty-five degrees sounds positively balmy, and I can hardly wait till the rain returns so that the pipes can thaw out and life can go back to normal.

Speaking of which: I have once again managed to strike a balance between mood states, which is downright handy under the circumstances. I could’ve been a total bitch if these hardships had happened in October and November when I was riding on the crazy train, but we all lucked out on this one. As it stands now, I feel completely sane, and even though my patience is being tried pretty severely I’m being relatively reasonable. It’s nobody’s fault that I’m sitting here on a snow-covered hill without water……

I know what you’re probably thinking: “Uh-oh, she’s ‘normal’ again……next thing you know she’ll think she’s cured”. Umm, no. Those back-to-back mood episodes coupled with the hallucinations I experienced during the manic part have pretty much laid that idea to rest for good. Maybe that’s why I had them in the first place; I must’ve just needed a little more convincing is all.

In the meantime, life goes on, and it’ll be a lot more pleasant once we can get a shower and stop smelling like goats. Honey, can you go out and see if the road is clear? Maybe we can stay at the Motel 6 in town till the water comes back on…….





Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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