Suiting up, moving out…

Looks like I might be doing this more often for the next month or two. And y’know, in the summer it’s really no big deal. But in winter I always tend to get a bit … hermittier.

As the season progresses, what was a really cold day a month ago is now just a day and rather than go to the effort and mess and expense of warming the place it’s just easier to layer up and adapt. I mean, the Lair’s plumbing still works and I want it to keep doing that so this mustn’t be taken to extremes. High thirties, minimum. But except for that, yeah.

Trouble is, things get kinda ripe under those layers. In the winter of ’08, which was the worst in terms of poor preparation, I used to say I wasn’t worried about stink, I was worried about rashes.

Things are a little more civilized than that now, but the principle remains: There’s nobody around to smell me except the boys, and they don’t mind.

And then of course there’s the small matter of my line of work…

Here's Belle, H's current favorite saddle mare, serving Uncle Joel up another green, steaming pile of job security.

Here’s Belle, H’s current favorite saddle mare, serving Uncle Joel up another green, steaming pile of job security.


If it isn’t horseshit, it’s chickenshit. Every day, it’s dogshit. I go through a lot of hand soap, but the expression ‘fecal matter’ doesn’t upset me, okay?

Why am I sharing this delightful topic with you? Well, early tomorrow morning (This is Thursday I’m writing this) I have to go to the big town fifty miles away for something called a ‘cataract evaluation,’ hopefully preparatory to finally getting the damn thing fixed. Which means I have to let a civilized stranger uncomfortably close to me. (You have your comfort zone and I have mine, which stretches for yards and involves firearms.) And I smell like a guy who hasn’t bathed or even disrobed in over a week. Because that’s what I am.

Uncle Joel needs a bath. In summer, stripping down and bathing from the hose or at the sink is a simple, pleasant daily matter. In winter, I have to stoke the fire for a couple of hours first. Heat lots of water on the stove. Then strip out of maybe four layers. By now I’ve adapted to where I don’t mind the cold that much. I bitch about it, sure, but I am from Michigan. I’ve been cold. Naked and wet in the cold is still a problem.

And I’m always amused by what a big production it turns into, that’s all.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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3 Responses to Suiting up, moving out…

  1. Tahn says:

    Joel, Being a hermit myself with a meager water supply, I try to bath everyday, although I often wear the same clothes for a week, except skivies. I heard once that if you are going to be a recluse, it was important to keep your home and body clean and if you can only do one, keep your body clean. I hate sweeping and dusting so….

    My Dad called it a Navy bath. I sit close to the stove and pour hot water on two small wash clothes. Not to be too personal but I do my face, hair (good scrubbing) and armpits then privates (after using a handi wipe). The second cloth is for my legs and feet. I use a non aluminum “Thai” stick which costs 5 bucks and lasts a year or more. I have had friends work close to me and comment “How do you keep so clean and not smell without a shower or bath”, so it works. Its how I start every day.

    Now if I could just stop the weird looks at the laundry when I wash 60 washcloths and few towels. I buy them by the dozen at the cheapest place I can find. Thin ones work fine.

    Just saying what I do, Not telling others how to live.

  2. LJH says:

    My old Aunt Elsie lived most of her life with just a kitchen sink, woodstove and washtub. She liked to say “You wash up as far as possible; down as far as possible and then you wash ‘possible’.”

  3. Graystone says:

    Probably a long shot, but is there a gym in the closest town to you? If you could get a cheap senior membership it might be worth it to hit the shower once-in-awhile. Around here, (Southern rural Nevada) memberships can be had for about $35 per month.

To the stake with the heretic!