Friday, March 22, 2013

Home Sweet Alaskan Home:


After banging around Alaska from one odd project job to the next my sweet-heart said, “We need a place to hang a picture and throw our rug.”

We are a ‘second-time-around’ couple, so my parts of our wedding vows were: Love, honor and "drive to my house" and "I won’t haul water". Well, I’ve always been able to drive home, although deep ruts and unkempt gravel have sometimes been a challenge.

About the other part-- After twelve years in my new house, this December, I got a bathtub.

Hauling water isn’t so unusual here and the cost of drilling a well isn’t the only consideration. Sometimes there is plenty of water, but you can light a match and watch the blue flame flicker around the faucet. Others have water, but it tests so high in arsenic one probable shouldn’t drink it.

In my case, the well driller blew past the gravel layer and dipped into a layer of glacier silt, so thick I couldn’t even use the water on my garden. It would have smothered the broccoli and dried into concrete.

What to do? Haul water. With two fifty-five gallon barrels in the living room (so it doesn’t freeze) we plumbed the house the same way anyone else would. I have always had hot running water for a shower, a toilet that flushes, and water for cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. Hauling just requires being scrupulously attentive to not wasting a drop.

I wasn’t willing to haul for a clothes washer, so once a week or so I made the trip into town for the Laundromat. I bought my new car depending on whether or not it would accommodate a fifty-five gallon barrel for hauling water back to my home.

I purchased water behind a gas station in town. How cold does it get? If the quarters freeze to my mittens its zero degrees or so. I carried a small propane torch to thaw out the hose-bib and gravel to sprinkle so I didn’t land on my keester.

And last August --- (Angels singing: "Halleluiah") 'New well guy' says: “I can fix your well.” And, he proceeded to do just that!!

I have a new washer and drier—they sing to me. 

I have a new dishwasher—it sings to me.

I take a shower whenever I want to and I sing.

Turns out: It’s the little things, like running water that makes a house a home.
  --- DeNise Woods 


Tam Linsey said...

Congratulations! You have certainly experienced the true Alaska!

Boone Brux said...

I'm so thrilled for you. And yes, running water is a thing of beauty.

Maxine Mansfield said...

Sooooooooooo happy for you :)

Morgan O'Reilly said...

Running water whenever you want/need it certainly does come under the heading of "required" household item! I'm thrilled for you!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Yay for running water! It has always been on my non-negotiable list--but I'm a wimp. You're the real Alaskan, DeNise. :-)

LizbethSelvig said...

What an awesome blog! It "sings" of true Alaskana--but I gotta say, it also reminds me of why you're my hero -- I've never heard one word of serious complaint out of you. (A grumble now and then doesn't count.) Congratulations--you deserve this modern marvel so very much!!! XO

Anonymous said...

Awesome Blog! especially after world water day. Thanks for sharing you Alaskan experience.