Okay I will confess that most of my Yukon updates and blog entries give the impression that we reside in the house of heaven. Oh sure there have been a few bumps like charging dead truck batteries and lots of snow shoveling, but I really do like winter and there is a wee bit of me that hates to see the treadmill of fun shift.

Well I’m coming clean. No embellishments here this is the straight poop. Yesterday was Good Friday and I was feeling a bit of a resurrection in that for three days prior, I had been smitten with a skookum cold. (A little review on your Yukon jargon. skookum=good.) So when we discovered that our septic line was frozen on top of having pump troubles, I had a difficult time fending stress away from my healing ways.

Some would call it the perfect storm. Water and waste supplies on strike at the same time.
While it is frustrating, it’s not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. After all, I can go down to the frozen river, less than 30 steps from the house, and tote up five gallon containers of wonderfully pure water running out of the mountains. Hot water is secured by heating it on the wood stove, which we still are using early in the morning and again in the evening. Or we simply heat water on the kitchen stove.

So what do we do with the water, well we throw out over the railing of the deck that is off the kitchen. . . just like we have been doing all winter. During the cold of winter, this was a hurried affair. We usually washed our dishes at the end of the day. With dishes washed, I would carry the dishwater out. Scurrying across the cold and dark deck, I reached the railing and my momentum allowed an impressive toss of water out over the snow.  All too often I heard the scuttle of forgotten silverware in the dishpan as I heaved everything into the night air.

No water for the toilet is not a big deal since we used the outhouse all winter. As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, The Long Drop, I have come to enjoy quiet moments of the outhouse. Though after the long winter, I can tell you we will be digging a new outhouse basement and prying the biffy up onto some pine logs and roll it to a new position. Several times over the past winter I  had to reach down into the bowels of the one-holer with a long, two inch thick section of aspen and knock down the “stalagshits’ or “pinnacles of poop.”

I spent some time on our Apple “Google Machine” and found out that our winter practice of reducing water draining into our septic system was likely the wrong thing to do. We should have been running some water down the line on a regular basis. If you want to live like we have, then it would be best to live in a tent or a remote log cabin where fetching water and using outhouses are the norm.

I spent part of Good Friday in our crawl space, writhing like a snake under the floor following and inspecting the water and waste lines. Only once did I think of Charles Bronson having a panic attack as dealt with his claustrophobia while digging on the escape tunnel in the film, The Great Escape. At least there were zero spider webs to wipe away. There is no way they would survive a Yukon winter there. Besides no spiders, there were no answers.

I tried priming the pump three times. . . no luck. I feel so inept as a handyman sometimes. But on occasion I will surprise myself. No surprises today, only disappointments.

So when I am frustrated what do I do? I do something physical, get outside and move the body. So why not do something constructive, rather than relaxing and fun? I am pleased that a pair of interchanging shovels did the work. My arms and back survived but only because I made myself stop and take two long breaks.

But I shoveled a whole lot of snow and have managed to get down to bare ground. Behold another “first” on my life list! I have shoveled away two feet of snow from a good portion of my lawn. With the days stretching and the promise of clear skies, I am hoping to partner with the sun in accelerating the thawing of the buried septic tank and line.

Feeling at least a modicum of satisfaction at something going right, I grabbed a late afternoon cup of coffee, a brownie and a fine book and settled into a chair up on the deck where the sunshine was warm. Basking felt good and all is really quite well. Though the land wears the stole of winter, the air and south wind are nudging a new story into place.

Fifteen minutes and a chapter later, I stood up, tossed the coffee grounds out of my cup out over our dishwater middens. A flash caught my eye. There sticking up out of the crusty snow, like the first bold daffodils, was a setting of silverware.

Got to love spring discoveries.

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