Monday, May 10, 2010

The simple things - A Hot Shower and an Adirondack Camp

I have a camp. It's a summer home on a lake. In some parts of the country it's called a cottage. But in the Adirondacks, it's called a camp. It's the family camp. My mom purchased it in the 70's. There are two buildings on the property which she called Moss Bluff. My sister and I are co-owners and she has the one story "trailer" and I have the house. Moss Bluff was a very special place for my mom and thats the place that reminds me most of her. I lost her May 16, 2007. It's been difficult spending time at camp.

This past Saturday I was going to go kayaking, but it was cold and raining so we decided to go fix and clean camp. (We had a problem with the pump so there was no running water last year.) Walt fixed the pump, repaired a busted pipe and replaced a broken window. The place was filthy from a few years of neglect. It was time to roll up my sleeves. First things first, I lit a scented candle and put a bouquet of flowers in a vase. We started with the lake view porch. It was dusted, swept, de-cluttered, and vacuumed. We also cleaned years of grubby fingerprints and spills off table tops and chairs. Inside the cabin I dusted the mantle over the fireplace, and artfully arranged some candles, antlers and other decorative items. I dusted and polished the big wooden desk, washed windows, collected blankets and bedding to take home to wash. I dusted window sills and vacuumed the floor. We also walked the grounds outside and picked up stray pieces of paper and some errant bottles.

I returned by myself the next day (mother's day). It was snowing. I stopped in a dollar store to pick up more cleaning supplies, candles, bird seed and some other items for camp. When I got to the camp the house I now call "Loon Watch", I made a small fire and set off to work. I dusted windowsills in the dining-room, hung curtains in several windows. I scrubbed both the upstairs and downstairs toilet and cleaned them until they sparkled. The downstairs bathroom is just off the back porch and is very rustic. It has unfinished floors. Mom enclosed the back part and made a small shower and sink. I chased out cobwebs, and swept out a few years of dirt, leaves and debris. I threw away some old stuff, polished up the sink and put out a fresh towel and candle. Then I proceeded to work on the upstairs.

I washed the walls in the upstairs bathroom, cleaned the sink (very dirty), washed the window, dusted and vacuumed. On to the large Master Bed Room. I vacuumed the mattress and sprayed it with Lysol. I de-cluttered two dressers and policed them. I washed windows, and wiped down walls. Then I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed. I don't know when the bare floors and the carpet were vacuumed last but as long as the Dyson was pulling up dust, I would keep vacuuming. finally I deemed it done.

I was cold, tired and hungary. It was after 3pm. I ate a banana and left for home. (1/2 hour drive). The family had leftovers from dinner and mother's day gifts on the table. I receives a long stem red rose, some wax begonias plants, a lovely scented candle for camp and a grey 100% cotton short robe that Walt selected. He thought It would be great for me to pack on my overnight outdoor adventures. I think it's perfect.

Oh, you're wondering where a shower comes in to this story? After I ate and received gifts. I poured a glass of merlot and went to take a shower. I earned this shower. Simple shower. It felt so good. Soap and hot water. The simple things.
When you've worked physically hard and are cold,
a hot cup of coffee , or tea or a bowl of soup
a bit of heat goes a long way ... the light of one candle makes a difference
an old sweater to warm you, a dry pair of socks
Simple things
a bird song, a bird in flight. an unexpected wildflower. any unexpected flower.
A butterfly
A rainbow, a thunderstorm, a snowflake, the warmth the sun, a cool breeze
A dip in the lake on a hot July day. A sip of cold spring water at the end of a long hike.
The taste of a fresh picked strawberry, or a stalk of asparagus,
the first tomato of the season
The sound of a paddle dipping into still water, the cry of loon
So many moments made of simple things but if you can take the time to appreciate them
they can fill our life with joy.

Let yourself be surprised by joy.

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