Thursday, September 30, 2010


We have had houseguests for the past week.  It's a friend who used to live across the road and her husband and daughter.  Several years ago they moved to the mid-west.  The friend's oldest daughter is getting married locally this weekend so they are hanging out at my house for the week.  They aren't really involved with wedding preparation, they are just guests at the wedding.  This means they have a week to just hang around.  I've spent half the time working at home rather than going into the office or field.  The kids are in school during the day but get to play together in the afternoon and evening.  They all eat breakfast and dinner together.


I don't care for the husband.  It's not that he's a bad person, he isn't.  In fact, he's very friendly, plays with the kids when they get home from school, and does pick up after himself.  He spends most of the day watching tv.  I know it's not his house and he doesn't have anything to do (certainly wouldn't volunteer to do anything around here, but that's about the same as at home where he doesn't do anything but watch tv when he's home from work) but my tv has been on more this week than in the past year combined.  He has gone out to fast food each day for lunch.  The closest fast food is 20 minutes away, so it's not just a quick run to the corner.  He hasn't walked the property, picked any fruit to eat, or done much of anything other than tv and fast food.  He's like this at home as well.


My friend cooked dinner one night and has cleaned the dishes all the other nights.  The back patio has been swept and so has the kitchen.  Her daughter has taken over the feeding the chickens and watering the animals.  This evening I asked if there is any water left on because the well kept kicking on.  Oops, the animal pen is flooded because she forgot to turn the water off.  That's what I get for not checking up on what she was doing.  No harm, the mud will turn back into hard clay in a few days.  And, I do appreciate the help.


The wife buys items in bulk and tries to be as self sufficient as possible.  It's hard when she has absolutely no support for this by her husband.  In fact, he laughs that she has so much food stashed around the house.  He thinks our house is even more ridiculous, and he hasn't even seen the real stash of food!  He's just looking at a month or two supply that I keep in the pantry. 


My friends just moved onto 85 acres last summer.  The property needs lots of work as it's been neglected for quite a while.  They were put to the test last winter when their power was cut off for 17 days due to storm damage.  They had no heat other than their fireplace.  Although their property was wooded, they never got around to fixing their chainsaw so they had to purchase wood for $5.00 a bundle.  They bought lots of bundles.  If they had just cut up their downed wood they would have had a dozen cords of wood.  They have handsaws, they just didn't want to put out the effort and would rather have bought the expensive firewood.


They had a generator but didn't have the fuel stored to run it.  They lost much of the food in their refrigerator.  This astounded me since it was cold outside.  Why didn't they rig something together and have an outdoor refrigerator?  They could have also saved the food in their freezer if they had done the same thing.  They could have frozen ice blocks at night and put them into the freezer during the day.  They did have plenty of food to eat that was canned and the fresh and frozen food. 


They stored water in jars and bottles so they didn't run out of water to drink or cook with.  They didn't have any stored beforehand, but did have enough warning that the storm was going to be bad that they filled up on drinking water right when the storm started.  The well wasn't running but they were able to get water out of the pond to use for flushing toilets.  They took sponge baths to keep clean.


They learned some lessons but I asked about their chainsaw.  No, it's not fixed yet.  What are they waiting for?  What about their generator?  Yes, they have stored fuel for it. 


Why am I judging what they are doing?  I'm still looking for people to group together.  While we all get along just fine, we do not want someone who doesn't have enough to offer.  I'm not expecting them to work their rears off, after all, they are on vacation.  Just the amount the wife does is plenty to not wear out a welcome.  The wife's abilities don't make up for the husband's lack of everything.  Being able to have fun with the children isn't enough to want to include them in our group.


We are still looking.

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