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While It’s “Memorial Day” Up There…

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Have I mentioned that I love living alone?

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog post with that sentence for awhile now, until today I battled with making fire for the first time in months. Let me explain my morning (an early start at 11:45):

  • Build kindling sculptures and feed cardboard while my stomach growled for over 45 minutes.
  • Say, “Fuck you!” out loud.
  • Abandon ship and decide to take a break before trying again or asking for help.
  • Shower (gas means hot water!) and layer up (see photo below).
  • Eat banana and peanut butter (thank you, Auntie Jane!), drink white peony looseleaf tea (thank you, Mommy!).
  • Put laundry in washer.
  • Return to see that, to my surprise, there remained a little bit of a flame.
  • Take off a log that was completely charred, but somehow went out anyway.
  • Start a new structure, crumble up cardboard underneath.
  • Wipe my soot-blackened hands to go back to my MacBook and work on lesson plans.
  • Poke at fire, rearrange kindling.
  • Arrange wet laundry on chairs around fire, skeptical that it will dry given current condition of said “fire.”
  • Add more cardboard.
  • Eat more peanut butter.
  • Print out picture of family and make 1st grade worksheet.
  • Crumble up more cardboard.
  • Go back to check email, curse at getting soot on my computer.
  • Wipe off keyboard.
  • Poke at fire again.
  • Label family members on worksheet.
  • Put bigger log back on in disbelief.
  • Start in on “I like to/ I don’t like to…” worksheet.
  • Confirm that, after starting 2 hours earlier, I have a fire.
  • Wait another hour for fire to heat house.

Though I got a fire going in the end, I felt like I had gone backwards two months to when I just put on more clothes to avoid dealing with fire-making.  The funny thing is, today I was probably wearing just as many layers as I did back in April, but the difference is now that’s what you need to wear inside even with a fire– to go outside, I put a parka over the whole thing:

Here you go, internet: that’s a tank-top tucked into my warmest spandex (of former crew use), jeans, longsleeve LLBean long-underwear, sweater, fleece.  And of course my ultra-warm socks and Keens.  No, I’m not cold, I’m just a layering pro.

But back to living alone: despite today’s fiasco, I really do love it.  I’ve settled into my weekend routine here, of cooking whatever I want when I want, reading and writing and studying, Sunday afternoon tea & planning with my co-teacher, going for walks when I need some action.  And partly it’s that I can go buy a tomato and chat with the store owner, who is in my English class, and run into the head of tourism, who is the sister-in-law of my friend, and mother of one of my students.  My phone actually does ring from time to time– last night I went to  a small get-together where I got five strikes in a row on Wii bowling.  These people even know me well enough to offer me Casillero de Diablo (one of nicer wines available in Palena) while they stick to rum and coke.

Yesterday I went for my first run since I sprained my ankle a month ago, and though my body felt heavy and slow and kind of gross, I returned feeling a bit of that high again, and when I woke up this morning — I was sore!  Welcome back, girl!  With the darkness it’s unlikely I’ll be able to run much in the week (it’s dark at 6 PM), but I’m going to enjoy what I can make happen, and not stress too much about the rest of it.

So to all of you Northern Hemisphere people who enjoyed the 80s over the weekend: 1) I’m so pissed, you have no idea, and also 2) You don’t have to feel that bad for me.  I’m doing pretty darn okay.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. mpr permalink
    Sunday, May 29, 2011 9:39 pm



  2. David Russell permalink
    Monday, May 30, 2011 6:51 pm

    Thanks for letting us know what Memorial Day was like for you down there. I bet that change of season is hard to take, though don’t forget that as soon as it gets hot here people start complaining about that. I quickly ran out of fingers this weekend to count the negative comments. You are doing pretty darn OK also. You keep your sense of humor and perspective, and I love how your entries bring it all to life. It is 78 now and just starting to get dimmer at 7:49. We’ve launched into summer rather abruptly these last few days. Take care and I love you. Dad

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