Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Settled

“Here I am! I’m here! Look, I’m waving my hands! You there, on the oil tanker, can you see me?” My view is so spectacular that I have trouble getting settled in my new house. I keep stopping every time I pass the big picture window.
It took two pilots to fly me over with all my stuff. Remember, the apartment in Anchorage was furnished. This house isn’t. So I made two big Walmart runs last weekend and now I have the goods to set up housekeeping. I think you’d be surprised how little you actually need to be comfortable. I’ve become such a minimalist, when I finally get home I plan to live in a ditch.
I have no furniture. An inflatable mattress is my bed. Marilyn, the principal here in the village, is going to loan me a loveseat that she isn’t using. And she says I can take a couple of swivel chairs from the school.
But first things first.
When I arrived yesterday, there was no water. The water guy, Sam, came out and worked on it all day. Wouldn’t you think to turn on water you just open a valve or something? Not here. He started with a metal detector, then drilled and dug and made a big muddy mess in the yard. He was out there a long time. At bedtime, still no water. But I actually got a lot of cleaning done, melting snow in a tea kettle on the stove (I’m writing a book called Little House in the Village).
And this morning……Houston we have water! But that was too easy. Turns out there were no fewer than five leaky pipes, ranging from drips to spewing. And wouldn’t you know it? Sam had to cut through wallboard and make terrible messes where I had just cleaned. But I’m good. This is all good, right?
Sam finally went home, leaks fixed, and I realized my precious water was one dimensional, i.e. cold only. Yikes! This is Alaska after all. Cold water is really cold. Won’t bore you with details. But after three workmen and a landlady, the hot water heater should be working. I’ll know in the morning. Sam is also coming back because there’s dripping under the kitchen sink.
I’m sleeping at Marilyn’s again.

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