Being a big city girl, I had grown accustomed to certain "givens" in life before I moved to the Ozarks. Givens such as the availability of a warm shower whenever I wanted one, the magickal flip of a switch to bring lights on in a room, the cool breeze of an air conditioner humming through the living room, cable TV with a variety of channels to choose from, a refrigerator to keep things cold and a freezer for my favorite late night snack of ice cream, among other things.
Fast forward to our little cabin in the woods. No electricity, no running water. And thus, none of my favorite "givens" at my disposal. For a warm shower, we have to hook up our gravity fed solar shower or bathe down in the river. For electricity we rely on our propane lanterns and oil lamps. Air conditioning consists of hand fans and a water spritzer, and when it really gets hot, a small battery operated fan. TV has been reduced to what we can watch online on Hulu or what we can get through our Netflix subscription. We run the TV with the help of a generator, sparingly though, since gas is still pretty expensive. Our refrigerator is actually three ice chests we keep stocked with block and bag ice and covered by Tek-Foil, an insulating sheet of foil and bubble wrap used to insulate chicken houses, and a freezer is just sort of out of the question.
We have a wash station set up for washing dishes, where we heat a large stock pot of water up on our large propane burner and use a second pot of cool water for rinsing. Bathroom facilities are provided by our composting potties, which are actually pretty neat little contraptions.
All in all, not the most glamorous existence at the moment, but we've adjusted. We actually spend lovely evenings outside together, reading and relaxing with the dogs until it gets cool enough to go inside and cook dinner on our propane burner. We take walks through our property and watch the hawks and various wildlife, and enjoy the peace and quiet of living in the country. Now don't get me wrong, I miss my "givens" and I now value each and every one of them a lot more highly than I used to, but I also value the quiet time we've found to spend together that we never had the "time" for before. I think that, even when we do get electricity (which hopefully will be soon now), we'll still make that time to sit together and relax under the beautiful canopy of our Ozarks hideaway...I'll just have ice cream to enjoy with it.