In 1992 my first husband and I bought a cabin in Washington that was built in 1966. It was erected on a reservoir on the SE flank of Mt St Helens. When she erupted in 1980, 33 years ago this past weekend, the cabin withstood the ordeal and survived through the turbulent flooding which ensued after the explosion. It left the lake bottom in front of the cabin, 40 feet shallower than before. To this day, it still is a barren wasteland under the water.
The cabin forty-seven years after construction, is still off-grid. Only one hour from the infamous interstate joining Canada to Mexico, our private retreat is still something from the past. Only a year and a half ago, a cell tower was erected in the vicinity; up till then there was no phone service what-so-ever. And of course I don’t have Verizon, so for me it is still a remote cabin far away from the maddening crowd. No electricity, no phone, with water plumbed from rain and snow melt off the mountain herself. We do have two bathrooms, however just last Friday, the outhouse was finally demolished.
Today we went up to do some work. My illustrious handyman-can-do-anything-fix-it-guy-second-husband, put in solar several years ago. In addition to candles, firelight and propane, we now are very civilized with solar lights. The reason I’m explaining all this is because today it was very Zen. It was totally a chop-wood, carry-water, contemplative, kind of afternoon. It’s really the little things in life which make it charming, wonderful, joyful and meaningful. I know you’ll think me totally daft, however my fix-it guy, turned on the back-up generator for me and I vacuumed the entire cabin, all four bedrooms, great room and kitchen. I took great pleasure in being able to suck up dead critters that collected over the winter. I took joyful pride in being able to get the dust bunnies and dog hair creeping heavily under the beds. I know big deal right? Yes! It was a big deal.
We take life, the people and things in it so-for-granted ~ daily. It wasn’t but a short twenty years ago, most people didn’t have cell phones, yet alone every kid across America. Now we get pissy if a call is dropped while we’re driving ~ a convenience we take so-for-granted. Having had no electricity for the past twenty-one years, it is a gift when conveniences we take as normal in every other facet of our lives, become available if only for a moment. It truly was a joyful and fun afternoon. (To explain, no, I do not have a vacuum up there; we have no room to keep it, nor has it been on the priority list to buy; we borrowed the home vac for the spring cleaning.)
I would invite you to reassess the things in your life. Truly examine them, decide if you are taking anything or anyone for granted. Look through a new window and see another view. Perhaps it is your job, your relationship, even your home or your overly-techie phone. Re-evaluate and embrace simple things from a place of joy and watch the changes that ensue. It’s remarkable the difference in the outcome and within yourself.
And one more thing to note. Dismantling the word, granted, is ranted, or rant. Ranting and raving on about something is based in anger. Anger needs to be addressed, let go and released for us to be totally free and happy. Instead of ranting about the piles of carpenter ants, I was happily removing them. Life is awesome.
Cosmic sunshine to you.
I love your description of “my illustrious handyman-can-do-anything-fix-it-guy-second-husband.” How sweet! Your cabin has been a source of great joy for the family. I know my boys loved their trip! Your beautiful energy graces your cabin and everything you touch. Lots of love and healing energy to you.
Jeannie, thanks for the loving words of healing, support and more love. What a wonderful and caring person you are. I love too, you can see through the words into the world at the cabin.It is a remarkable place and my guys have fortunately had the ability to grow-up there, experience the forests, mountains, rivers and all the natural marvels nature produces. It has taught them both so very much. Dale has grown to love the place too having to take over someone else’s space; that can be said for both of us, with me living in their parent’s home, and home of both wedding receptions. Think we’ve both moved past the past and have embraced being together from this point. Dale has done remarkable things up there which have really made a difference in ease and practicality. It’s awesome. Perhaps one day we can convince you to come play in the woods and rest beside the lake.
On another note, received your card on Aaron; congrats to him on graduation. He looks so grown-up and handsome, and I like his haircut. Last time I saw him his hair was longer. He really looks like he’a slimmed down too. What are his plans? Realized he and Colton are four years apart as he too just graduated – from UW. Our kids are growing up.
Sending you lots of love and hugs to you.
Pingback: ‘Taking Things So-for-Granted’ | Candia Sanders' Beyond Z Productions