We’re home! What was the first thing we did when we got home yesterday? We turned on the hot water tank so that we could have a luxurious soak.
Actually, it’s stinking hot here, so what we really wanted was a luxurious cold soak just to cool down! But you do still need a little hot water mixed in. Otherwise you might as well shower in ice water, and unless you’re a polar bear, that’s too cold!
So…how did we shower at the cabin? I can hear you wondering!
Well, Mr. C walks with the big canning kettle down to the lake and scoops it full of water and carries it back up to the house. We light the propane stove and put the water on to heat. In the winter, we heat the water on the wood stove. But in the summer, it’s too warm to have the wood stove going. Since we use a solar shower bag, we could fill it and leave the black rubbery plastic bag out in the sun to warm (its intended purpose, after all), but we prefer to shower in the morning, before the sun will have worked its magic on the water. When our shower water is just the perfect temperature, we pour it into the shower bag and hang it up in our home-made shower stall. The shower stall is located in the small room off the main cabin, the “little addition room” we call it, not just because it is an addition built onto the main cabin, but because it contains all of our “additionals.” A spare bed which will sleep one guest – Michael’s childhood bed, as a matter of fact; the wood bin which we keep full all year ‘round; a chest for storing towels and spare bedding, with one drawer dedicated to “junk”; an antique sideboard that belonged to Mr. C’s mother, good for storage but that also has a good flat work surface; the cat’s litter box, shelves where I keep various odds & sods: my crafts, my collection of hats, spare boxes of Kleenex, Mr. C’s binoculars. In one corner of this tiny room is the home made shower stall. When the shower bag is hung, you must stand in a sort of deep-kneed squat in order to get your head under the nozzle. It’s actually quite a clever way of getting in one’s daily calisthenics…active showering!
Showering at the cabin can also be a bit of a shivery affair. You don’t get that buildup of warm steam that insulates you in your little bathtub world at home. Here, when your shower is finished, the cool air comes pouring in and you have to jump quickly and dry off (especially in the winter!)
Our showers are like the ones you take on a boat or in an RV, if you’ve ever done that. You open the nozzle and get yourself wet all over, then stand in a puddle of rapidly cooling water while soaping up and shampooing your hair. Then you open the nozzle again to rinse off. The solar bag holds enough water for two showers if I don’t need to wash my hair. Mr. C always goes first because he likes the water hotter than I do. I get a bit of a longer shower because Mr. C usually underestimates how much water is left in the bag and leaves me more than half. Or maybe he’s just being courteous. He’s like that, you know.
For some reason that I can’t put into words, it is an exquisite pleasure to shower this way. And it’s also an exquisite pleasure to live this way for a bit of time each year. Without phone, electricity, running water, internet. It reminds me of how little one really needs to be happy.
…And of how nice a hot shower is. Especially when you’ve scooped it, carried it, heated it and poured it yourself.