I swear, sometimes it does seem like living this kind of life requires a tag team. It would be possible by oneself, but a-w-f-u-l-l-y hard!
Case in point:
As I wrote a few days ago, Tom's car is dead. But, it's been good to us. And, lest I find myself eating my words, we - just today - began giving some thought to getting it fixed because, even though that would amount to a BIG financial punch, it WOULD be cheaper than getting a new (to us) car. Of course, the gamble lies in "how long until it needs ANOTHER major repair done to it"? Decisions, decisions.
But, I digress: back to the story. So, we're down one vehicle. That means that Tom's been driving my car, leaving me the plow truck. Perfect timing then, don't you think, that the transmission should go on the plow truck?!
Now, if anyone's counting, that means that we only have one vehicle, and no plow truck. But wait - what about the back-up plow truck? Perfect . . . except now I'll REALLY be using it (out on public roads) which dictates starting the insurance back up and getting current tabs. Oh, and then there's the little issue about getting it started. Yes, we did mount the snowplow on it this fall (thank you, Honey!), but it hasn't been run in well over a month. And, the temperature has dropped to the single digits today. But, we both need wheels tomorrow, and I need to plow.
This is where the tag-team aspect comes in, and it's as relevant in our daily lives as during the "particular" little reminders of The Simple Life that we're living.
Weekdays: Middle of the night, one of the 3 of our 4 animals that goes outside needs to. Unlucky human (usually me) performs task, flops back into bed, tags out to partner. Either a matter of minutes or hours later, same animal requires coming back inside. Tag-team partner (Tom's turn) tends to it. Flops back in bed. Tags out. Alarm goes off at 6:00; tag, I'm it. Tom sleeps 'til 6:45; groggily shaves, showers, and dresses; sips from the coffee cup I've handed him. Tag, he's it. While I make his lunch, he's out the door to stoke the wood furnace for the day. A breakfast smoothie later, and tag: we're both it. He's the money-maker / the bread-winner / the bacon-bringer-homer. Until he returns, I'm the "man of the house", the farmer, the housekeeper, the cook, the accountant, the blah, blah, blah. Early evening, Tom returns home. Tag, he's it. Like Superman, his clothes dictate his actions. He's out of his business clothes and into his "real clothes". He's back outside to stoke the wood boiler again.
Today, when I was the "man of the house", I worked on getting the old plow truck started for about an hour. I finally gave up. The plowing didn't get done, and we still only had one operable car when we needed two. So, fast forward back to Tom being home tonight, and he's "tagged in" to being the man of the house again. He fights the valiant fight, does the manly things that he knows how to do, and gets the plow truck's battery charging.*
I, his tag-team partner, am inside getting dinner on, doing the dishes, washing and folding clothes (no space in the day for the personal laundry - this is the stuff I'm getting paid for). Tom comes in, tags out: he needs to sit down to prep for his upcoming board meeting in town. We eat our stew in front of the new fire while he pores over his notes. Then, supper's over, and tag! He's back outside to work on the truck again. I'm back to making cottage cheese, finishing dishes, and cleaning eggs. While loading the dryer, I see headlights. Yayyy! Progress!
Tom comes in, exhausted from a long, long day; tags out. I'm it: the truck is running, time to plow and recharge the battery. It's 9:15 PM.
I do a cursory job - some of the tight work is too dangerous in the dark although it's a beautiful, moonlit night. Makes me want to be a wolf out there in the moonglow. 10:30 PM, I come in. Tom comes downstairs to kiss me goodnight as I take off my down coat; tags out for the day. "Don't stay up too late", he says, knowing it never does any good. "I won't," I promise. "The cottage cheese should be done in an hour or so."
And, that's where we are now. I'm ready to tag out. The cottage cheese is almost done. Then I just have to rinse, squeeze, and mix it before going to bed. One last load of laundry to throw into the dryer. Tom's clothes will have to get ironed in the morning.
It's 11:23. I think I'll finish the cottage cheese in the morning, too.
Tag, you're it.
* For most people, charging up a car's battery would mean hooking the battery charger up to it and plugging that into an extension cord plugged into an outlet in the garage. Not so for us.
Having the trapper cabin and that "storage area" away from and out of sight of the house is a great thing: keeps the junk hidden. But, when you need electricity that far away - say, to run a battery charger - it creates a little more work.
In our case, that "little more work" meant Tom getting the back-up generator all gassed up and loading it onto the toboggan, dragging it on the toboggan through the unplowed snow from the garage up the trapper cabin road to where the back-up plow truck is parked, getting the generator started, plugging the battery charger into IT, and THEN hooking the battery charger up to the truck's battery.
See, easy as pie! ;)