Thursday 26 February 2015

Cold Snap Grumble

It’s funny, it dropped down to -16C last night with a wind chill of -23C, yet all I did was grumble a bit. A few months ago, (okay a few weeks ago) I would have been cursing up a storm due to the cold and hunkering down in my -40 sleeping bag. 

Yet last night and this morning all I did was just grumble a bit and carry on. I seem to have gotten used to this colder weather, not that I like it, but I have gotten used to it. I have changed, this much is certain.

Back in September and October, I was fearful of the approaching cold (sub-zero) weather, but now I don’t fear it. Even the nasty and dreaded -30C to -40C does not scare me. I know that one way or another that I will survive. 

In the evenings I drive to my chosen parking spot and fire up Jenny before connecting the power cable to Wanda. This allows me to not only charge up her batteries and freely use the furnace but have the luxury of electricity for two whole hours each night. 

I take advantage of this electricity by charging my phone, firing up the laptop and mucking about on it for my allotted two hours. Typically, right after getting into Wanda I will change into my warm clothes for the night and make dinner. I have gotten used to my five layers that I wear in the evening, stripping down to just three layers when I go to bed. On the nice and warm nights (when it stays above zero) I may sleep sans-layers . . . ooo luxury. 

In the evening I can actually turn on the electric lights in Wanda and so I can see clearly. Without Jenny I use Wanda’s lights sparingly, saving almost every ounce of electric charge in Wanda’s batteries to run the furnace. When I go to bed and while I am at work (or otherwise out) I turn Wanda’s furnace off so as to save both electricity and propane.

When Jenny is not running I have gotten used to the dim lamps or candles that give me enough light to see . . . sorta. Sometimes I need to turn on a flashlight to see the keyboard to type. As always, I muddle through. 

I think nothing of finding a “thirsty tree” or other such vegetation in need of a bit of moisture when I need to tinkle. As far as other bathroom necessities, I typically am able to find a real toilet somewhere nearby, but the odd time I use my “backup toilet” (the bucket and bag). 

Two of the first casualties of this lifestyle are modesty and pride. You have to be able to do things that other people may look down on you for. Let’s be honest, I sleep in a trailer parked by the side of the road. I consider it a treat to sleep in a store parking lot, as I can put my slide-out out and have added space inside. As far as a campsite is concerned, for me that is downright homesteading and a return to civilization . . . for a weekend at least.

I don’t say this to elicit pity (or donations), just to say how I have changed over my time living in Wanda. I suppose that one of the key skills that this lifestyle has taught me is adaptability. You have to be ready, willing and able to adapt what you are doing in order to deal with the various challenges which come your way. I am constantly evaluating and improving what I am doing and asking myself “How can I do this better?”  

I look forward to spring the warmer weather to come. I will adapt what I am doing then so as to take advantage of the warmer weather. I have not deluded myself to think that winter is finished yet. It may surprise me with a bout of really cold weather yet. Even if it does, no matter what winter throws at me, I will be ready. 

As the cold weather comes again, I shall just grumble a bit and carry on, thinking ahead to spring, summer and debt freedom. I look forward to being able to enjoy a light breeze drifting through Wanda’s windows and doors. Hmm, a nice thought, a warm thought, one which makes me smile and not grumble.

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