Then, due to more difficult times in life, we took a long break from going to our acreage. All of the hard work we had done with partial clearing was being undone by Mother Nature. But, I had a good reason for holding back our visits for a while. My mother, who was in her 50's, was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I no longer had free weekends to go to our land. Tending to my dying mother was more important than cultivating our dream. I could not handle maintaining two places while helping my mother to make many, many trips to M.D. Anderson. But, that's for another time.
|My sister and I visiting mom at M.D. Anderson, shortly before|
she died while at home.
Leaving our home in the city with nice amenities is not always easy, especially when it comes to having a hot water nozzle and a cold water nozzle at our fingertips. We have different bathing methods to choose from at our house that are rather luxurious...we have a huge two-person garden tub, a separate tiled shower and a second tub that is soaker-deep with multiple jacuzzi jets.
|See? We clean up pretty good.|
|We have a lot of days when we look like city people.|
But, the clothes we wear in the country feel much better!
|Even the dogs get a spring-fed lake bath in the country.|
To help us enjoy an easier method to get clean, quickly, I made a suggestion. Remembering all of my camping trips as a child, I talked my husband into getting a sunshower. He wasn't really convinced that these worked so well until he began using them. Now, he's hooked.
We are a sunshower loving family!
These days, we bring large containers of water with us to our acreage and when we arrive on our land, Deputy Dave fills up the five-gallon sunshower in the morning and leaves it in the sun to warm up. Not only does it warm up, sometimes the water gets scalding hot and we must add cold water to the bag to cool the temperature.
From a pole, he hangs the sunshower and we get to enjoy the slow spray of clean, fresh water at the end of the day as it washes off the caked-on dirt from our every clogged pore. We must practice major water conservation by just getting wet enough to scrub off the dirt and to apply soap, then enough to wash our body free of the remaining dirt and soap residue. The little nozzle on the sunshower is designed so nicely: you pull it out of the hose a little to get the water flowing and then push it back into the tube to shut it off. Simplicity.
Over time, we upgraded out outdoor shower area and added a plastic chair for us to sit in because we'd often be so exhausted from our day's work and the overwhelming heat that it felt great to sit and have an easier time juggling the nozzle while using the other hand to scrub. We pulled an ice-chest close by to use as a shelf for the shampoo, wash rag and clean towel. An ice-chest always makes a great make-shift table.
Usually, we don't bathe until it is dusk or dark, but it is very liberating to be so "free" on our land. This is a huge benefit of not having neighbors, although we have seen people in the country do some pretty strange things. On that topic, we've seen some people on the streets of Houston doing some REALLY shocking things. After those disturbing memories, I realize, again, that country life seems to win my personal preference choice award for daily living.
The humble outdoor shower area got another face-lift during the past couple of months as I moved some old bricks that we'd previously used outside the RV as a pathway. These bricks had been my mother's and they had ended up forgotten and buried far beneath many layers of dirt in her backyard. They were testimony to the days when she craved flower gardens and a manicured yard to satisfy her own need to be outdoors. However, she didn't have much help in the yard area, so the dream died shortly after she had worked so hard to make it come true. Maintaining her dream was another story. Over long years, the yard with its overgrowth and lack of attention swallowed the bricks.
|I prefer to put some Bluebonnet pictures I took in the Texas hill country|
this past year, in honor of my mother, who loved taking wildflower trips.
One day, my husband and I took the time to actually uncover the many bricks so that they could actually be used and enjoyed. This was at my mother's suggestion. She wanted those bricks to be put to good use. She'd been to our land and knew how they could be used and appreciated. Deputy Dave went the extra mile to dig deeply to recover every one of those old bricks. I'm glad we took them out of the ground or no one would have even known the bricks existed.
|One of Deputy Dave's hands that I love so much and am willing|
to share with this ladybug...the only other lady I am willing to share with!
Brick by brick, we moved the pile from one area to another by wheel-barrel, then I put on my gloves and laid them out. Instead of having to sit in the plastic chair with our feet raised and dangling in the air to avoid the dirt, we now have bricks to stand on, firm ground, as if we are in a luxury 5-star hotel! Well ----- almost.