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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Getting Better

So, yes, after the horrible couple of days last week, life is getting better.

Knock, knock, knock on wood . . . the septic line remains open and unfrozen.

Tom returned from a business trip to a casino in Iowa on Friday night which took SUCH a load off my shoulders (it just having been me having to deal with everything). I swear, it seems like he always misses the real emergencies. Lucky boy. In actuality, though, I know he would rather be here - dealing with it - than anywhere else. When he's gone, he's wracked with guilt that it's just me having to slog through the current disaster. Good thing he married a girl who "grew up in the sticks", I say! ;)

Last night was a banner night. Five months and two days after moving into our new house, we both got to take showers here for the very first time! Hot, long, luxurious showers! To recap, the master bathroom tub assembly and shower were finally installed on Valentine's Day . . . but the septic line was frozen, so nothing could go down the drain! And, in all actuality, the Roman tub faucet had long ago been installed in the tub, but there was no waste assembly in the drain . . . and all the water would have fallen onto the dining room table below! Not good . . . nor convenient. Messy, too.

Friday night before Tom was home, I took the first shower. But . . . .

1. The bathroom wasn't enclosed, so all the warm air escaped, and it was COLD!

2. The hot water valve in the shower wasn't properly adjusted, so I didn't have the hot, hot water I needed.

3. I didn't know if the septic line was actually, finally, truly working properly, so I took a speedy shower - 90% expecting that the downstairs would be partially flooded with backed-up sewage water when I got out.

4. The circuit breaker for the pressure tank is still not working properly and blows at the most inopportune moments . . . which I was fully expecting to happen during my shower. This added to the stressful, quick-as-lightning clean-up.

Last night's showers, though, with all of the above either fixed or able to be taken care of by the 2nd person in the house (Tom insulated the entire master bathroom yesterday), resulted in long, lovely, and relaxing showers for us both. Until you've not had it, I'm not sure one can truly appreciate what it means to be able to properly bathe (i.e. not a sponge bath over a bucket) in your own home. But we . . . WE know what a luxury it is!

Onto a completely different subject . . . snowmobiles.

Everyone knows that we are not lovers of snowmobiles. And, I haven't mentioned anything about them this winter. Because I've come to peace with them? No. Definitively NO. Matter of fact, because of the lack of snow in nearly every single other part of Minnesota besides ours, we (lucky us) have been the recipients of more snowmobile traffic than ever this winter. They whine and rev and roar up and down our road. We can't take the dogs down to the river because we'll surely be met by a group of anywhere from 4-20 of them. At a loss for snow-covered trails, they've taken to the river . . . eating up the clean palette of white and chewing up the vegetation at the river's edge. Tom and the dogs snowshoed down to the (other) river that separates us from Canada this afternoon, and, for the first time in the 9 years that we've been here, snowmobiles have even infiltrated that remote stretch of water. What a disappointment.

So, just as I'm ready to think about positioning my sniper rifle (only to render their machines useless, of course), a snowmobiler goes and does something nice. Truly, heart-felt kind, actually. (Dammit.)

Last year, between Christmas and New Year's, we "rescued" a group of snowmobilers who were HOPELESSLY lost late one night and very nearly out of gas. We gave them all the gas we had, pointed them in the direction of the nearest gas station (18 miles, by trail), and wished them a Merry Christmas. They tried to pay us, but we said no . . . .

Today, four snowmobiles came revving into our yard. It was them (or part of the group, anyway), coming to thank us. They'd made note of where we were and just wanted to express their gratitude. When I grabbed my coat and came out of the house, the one man said to Tom, "THAT'S our angel - she's the one who stopped for us!" (I was heading back home to Hastings-on-the-Lake and Tom was staying up here at the trapper cabin when I met them on the road.) They are farmers from Iowa and make this trip with their sons each year. The youngest boy - 13 now - is still traumatized by the "adventure", they said, and gets scared each time a 'Y' in the trail is debated. Poor thing. I remember last year when his little, quavery voice piped up to ask, "Ma'am, are we still in Minnesota?"

Anyway, nice people. Very nice.

(Now, why can't snowmobiles be quiet, non-smelling machines, darn it?!)

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