Tests of Strength, Balance, and Endurance

My house and yard are filled with tests of strength, balance, and endurance. I didn’t plan it that way, but that is how it’s become!

And, I like it this way! I think I’ll keep it.

A lot of people would see my setup and say “Jeez, that’s a lot of work!” Following is a hypothetical FAQ for emissaries from mainstream society who wash up on the shores of my tiny urban pocket o’ green:

Q. There are no sprinklers or hoses so you have to haul water by hand in buckets or jugs or watering cans — are you nuts?

A: No. 1) I like to keep track of exactly how much water I’m using. AND how each individual plant is doing. 2) Also, messing with hoses and sprinklers is a pain! And 3) when hoses and drip-irrigation thingees and such deteriorate they become gross plastic waste, whereas my watering cans when they rust just become yard sculpture. And 4) I get a good arm workout plus some cardio from hauling the cans/buckets of water.

Q. The stepping stones are crooked and uneven.

A. Yeah, I confess I’m just not good at leveling them. Every time I go to fix an unlevel stone, it just seems to go off-level on the other side. But it’s turned into a great way to work on my balance and core strength! As I get older I notice my balance isn’t what it used to be, and I need to work at it. Ditto my core strength. The wobbly stones help keep me on my toes, no pun intended. And who knows, they might help repel zombies or other invaders.

Q. You wash your clothes outdoors in a bucket and then hang them on the line?

A. Yup! Easy-peasy, good workout, no water goes to waste, and the sun and wind is by far the best clothes-dryer. Plus, this method helps me avoid being tempted to have a lot of clothes, or thick towels and such that are a pain to wash. And, I get to be outside while I’m doing laundry, while most people are stuck indoors in a dank “laundry room” that has no natural light.

Q. Your setup’s fine for you. I could maybe do it if it were just me, but I have kids and a husband.

A. Cool! More people means more helping hands! If I had kids or grandkids, they’d be outdoors with me hauling water and doing laundry. Except we’d call it “water fights” and “splashing around in the rainwater pool”. But actually, when kids are quite young, they really want to help and want to be involved with what the grownups are doing. I’d make use of that time-window to get kids in the habit of helping. And if I had a husband, he probably wouldn’t be a huge clothes-horse if he was attracted to someone like me. And maybe he’d enjoy my laundry method! Modern society turns laundry into such a lonely drudge and endless treadmill. Automation, meant to save us time and labor, has actually just enabled us to pile on more work. And since the work tends to be done by one person isolated in their home rather than outdoors, together as a family, in community, it’s lonely. The only time I’ve ever remotely come close to enjoying doing laundry the “regular” way is at a public laundromat, where there were people around to talk to or just listen to the variegated multilingual murmurs of conversation. And preferably a sunny window and a door open to the outdoors.