The Gulch becomes a hotbed of decadence

I had a very odd thought this afternoon. I had dug out my bag of winter gloves and hats, stored in the rodent-resistant shed, so that I could add a couple of watch caps I’d bought and some gloves that feralfae sent me. And I…

Wait, I need a second to wrap my mind around this…

…I almost – not quite – looked forward to dragging it all out again for winter.

Okay. I know. We’re in (what I sincerely hope proves to be) the summer’s big heat wave, and life sucks. It’ll be better by Monday. Monsoon will start, I’ll stop bitching about heat and start bitching about lightning and mud. I know this. Cold sounds good right now. I’d stand in front of an open refrigerator if I weren’t conditioned not to.


Last winter was really kind of…comfortable.

Yes. Yes. Last winter was freakishly mild. True.


Even if that hadn’t been the case, it still would have been far more comfortable than previous winters. Because I’m better equipped to deal with cold, now, than I have been since moving to the gulch.

And it occurred to me, just then, how much those five winters in that little RV had cost me. I disliked winter when I lived in Michigan, but winters weren’t a seven-month ordeal. I didn’t fall into a funk in October and not come out of it till May. Like I used to do here.

“I hate winter.” It used to be a TUAK mantra, remember? The ice on the windows, hell, the ice in the sink, the frozen fingers and toes all day, the layers of sweatshirts, the water that stopped running in November. The anxiety over heating fuel vs. cooking fuel.

And I moved into the Lair in November 2011 in high hopes of more comfortable living, with the absurdly dysfunctional electrical plant and the hopelessly porous walls and the laughable free home-made wood stove that didn’t work – and then there was that chimney fire the very next February…

Wow. No wonder I hated winter.

But the physical plant has incrementally improved so much since then that it’s almost like living in a professionally built-to-code house. The walls are wrapped, the floor is insulated, the wood stove draws, the woodshed bulges. If all goes well, there will even be an actual bedroom with an actual bed and – for those unusually cold nights – an actual propane furnace. Decadent luxury!

I’ve been here eleven winters, and I’m on my eleventh summer. And – could it be? – that I’m finally


starting to get it right?

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to The Gulch becomes a hotbed of decadence

  1. Judy says:

    I think you have been ‘getting it right’ for some time. When you start out somewhere around zero getting to where you are at today is going to take a while without a boatload of money or debt.

  2. Kentucky says:

    Yeah, but . . . Don’t Tempt. Fate.

  3. Zelda says:

    It’s a lot of accomplishments and so good to see you improve your efficiency and comfort level. Sure wish you could turn the past 11 years into a set of books. so that your adventures and improvements can be accessed by all. As Judy said, you sure started out at zero and my gosh what you’ve done!! Goodonya.

    PS As one more step in building a draft and bug and rodent free bedroom, hope you will consider caulking all the seams in your flooring underlayment and around the bottom of your walls. After years of dealing with loss of heat and drafts and bugs I’ve learned it really helps to caulk any space no matter how small or insignificant. And if I don’t caulk, I foam. It’s tedious work but long run worth it. Just saying…

  4. I have the same seasonal longings here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today, the third day of rolling thunderstorms and torrential rain, it’s in the eighties and the humidity level is nearly 100%. I can stay comfortable inside, but not if I go outdoors. So I am missing winter. But in winter, when it gets sub zero and the snow is frozen in drifts on the ground, I long for summer.

  5. terrapod says:

    Sure sounds like you have most of the dragons tamed. Just keep on doing that incremental improvement thing, it is what all life is about. I recall an SF story I read once ( a very long time ago) ,where the midshipman/officer on the spaceship was lazy and always found ways to make his job easier, to the point where he was so good at that that all seemed effortless to the rest and he could sleep in and lollygag to his heart’s content. The flip side of course is that he was absolutely brilliant in finding those ways to make things easier. The name of the book eludes me, but I may still have it on a shelf somewhere.

  6. Judy says:

    What Zelda said about caulking all the seams in your addition. It sure help us when we built our house.

To the stake with the heretic!