My lantern oil just dimmed to nothing and left me in complete darkness but for the glow of my laptop and the internet box blinking green to my right. I see the hazy glow of Luke’s flashlight bouncing as he walks back in from the outhouse and another in the hall where Anthony pulls a book from the shelf, though it’s 12:14 a.m. He’ll read far into the early morning, unable to regulate his desire to read just one…more…page.
Beyond the gentle hum of the cooling fan inside my computer, I hear the jumbled cur plunk of rain hitting the tin roof for the sixth night straight. The occasional turning of some child’s page and the crackle of a warm fire give life to the blackness around me and I ponder this night, this day, this life I’ve decided to live, somewhere between the Last Frontier and Star Trek Enterprise, where life is simple, yet technologically advanced. The perfect world.
Outside the cabin a dog barks suddenly at nothing, at everything, and all these many weeks into life out here, I no longer wonder what is. It’s different now, with walls firmly in place, compared to the times when the children dwelled in tents while the dogs coward and growled into the dark unknown. It’s safe, now, though the front door only hangs, and doesn’t close, an extension cord strung through where the knob should be. No matter, nothing can get in, we have no steps.
It’s September 22, just three weeks away from the average first snow. We’ve still no well, but soon says the driller, soon. Today I plumbed the sink drain. Such a simple pleasure, to be able to brush my teeth without first having to slip on a pair of boots and a coat even if I still get my water from a jug to the side. Tomorrow I’ll set a toilet in place and we’ll all dance circles around the bowl, fighting over who gets to christen the throne. I’ll win.
I’ll head towards my loft now. I’ll fill the woodstove to heaping with logs the boys split and put the potato soup into the ice box using the flashlight app on my phone, just like Laura Ingals would have done it, no doubt, had she the chance. I’ll climb the not-quite-tall-enough ladder and defy death once again getting into my loft bedroom, flip on the flashlight that hangs from a nail on the ceiling, and crawl between my 400 thread count sheets.
It’s a strange world I live in, somewhere between what was…and what is. Finding a balance point…now that could be my demise.