The picture is fuzzy and we have loose insulation and empty propane tanks making us look super classy, but Sam was squinting (the snow was blowing into his eyes) in all the other ones and if life were perfect here I wouldn’t have a blog. Right? Taken this morning before I trekked off to work. 🙂
I can’t believe I haven’t written a THING since November. Actually, I can. Between long hours at work, weather induced troubles and the holidays, it’s been just about all I can do to get a load of laundry done on my day off. (I didn’t even really do that for about a month, so my poor mother got like 5 trash bags of laundry when we came home for Christmas. That month was an excellent time to appreciate my fairly complete urban wardrobe, which I usually resent every time I have to stuff clothes into my closet.)
Since I last wrote, we experienced a good week and a half of temperatures as low as -50 degrees with the wind chill. This period is best described as a “trial by… ice”. Everything stops working at those temperatures. I didn’t go to work for two days because the freezing temperatures caused the generator to go out, and everything that had so far managed to stay operational froze completely. Power went out in neighboring areas, many work crews shut down, and our little trailer chugged out heat day and night to keep warm. Our refrigerator and freezer stopped working (I had to put everything in the snow; I saw coyote tracks by it the next day, but apparently gluten-free bread and frozen Amy’s meals aren’t their thing), our pipes froze again (one of the two little heaters we have below the trailer and in the mudroom went out) and the constant electricity drain from the mini heaters kept causing the breaker to trip in the trailer, which meant I couldn’t watch a movie or make toast- I’d have to unplug the heater, and that was not going to work. To top it off, I woke up one night to the sound of gnawing. Yes, gnawing. The mice chose that very week, in the midst of frozen hell, to attack the trailer. The kittens weren’t much help either. In fact, I’m pretty sure their food was being stolen in outrageous amounts by those mice (I found a man-sized handful in one of my snow boots in the mudroom).
That awful week finished with my coming home to an inside temperature of 40 degrees. Our propane supply had been exhausted. I kept my coat on, crawled into bed with every blanket we owned and waited for Sam to get home. Sam put in a spare propane tank, but it was out by the next evening. God was good though, and the propane guy came that very evening just when we were trying to figure out what in the world we were going to do. Needless to say, I was ready to go home for Christmas.
This past Sunday, I didn’t really want to come back. I’ll be honest. Seeing family was so incredibly nice. We are so blessed with wonderful parents and great siblings. Sam and I got to see a movie, go out to eat, and just spend time together too, which is so, so hard out here. I shopped at will, had a manicure, and driving on normal roads and freeways was like treat. It’s so easy to take for granted and even complain about daily life things (I can’t even count how many times I’ve complained about roads back home or the weather), but living out here has been an education. I’m so much more conscious of how lucky I am- even out here. Where many live in man camps or crappy and cramped hotel rooms, I have a nice place to live that I really do enjoy. When it is freezing like the week of hell mentioned above, even the regular houses have pipes freeze and stuff stop working.Trailer living really isn’t a trial, especially when it is as homey as ours. The homeyness is what turns this whole experience into a triumph.
My favorite movie to watch when I am feeling low is A Series of Unfortunate Events. My favorite part is when the narrator describes the meaning of “sanctuary” as the Baudelaire children gather in a small tent, shielding themselves from the ugliness around them. “Sanctuary”, says the narrator, “A small, safe place in a troubling world”. Our little trailer is our sanctuary.
Our bedroom. There is a built-in set of drawers in the wall across from the foot of our bed, and the mirror you see is one of the sliding closet doors. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have a “room” in the trailer.
***NOTE: I’ve looked at a LOT of Pinterest posts on trailers…many are absolutely gorgeous, but not livable. I’d love to go crazy decorating an old trailer for my personal tea parties, or decorate a vintage camper for just that- camping. Living in one full-time is a different story. I’m still working on things like getting pictures for our refrigerator and cushions for the dining chairs, but paint jobs and “remodeling” is definitely not happening. I thought about removable wall paper, but every wall in the trailer freezes to the point of sometimes having a visible ice layer, so that won’t work either. So, no incredible decor story here, but I love having different artwork given to us as wedding gifts decorating the walls. 🙂