Washing our clothes have always been a challenge. In the beginning I washed our clothes in the river. I now know what privilege a washing machine is and how insane it is than none of us even realises.
We don´t have a washing machine. We don´t have the power to run it. To wash our clothes we drive to the nearest little town, maybe once a month, and wash our clothes at a small laundromat.
The effects of not being able to wash our clothes (yes, we are dreaming about a homemade washing machine running on bicycle power)
1. We wear our clothes for a long time
2. We buy all of our clothes second-hand (expensive clothes, treated this way, forget it!) (also; we won´t support a rotten industry) (plus; Do we need all of that clothes? Really?)
Building our cabin have been a challenge, clearly, not so much the actual building as all of the things that happened around us while doing so. This means that we have had to prioritize…. and clothes are pretty low on the list. For four years now we have been storing clothes in black plastic bags, under the bed or on the loft, never organised, just thrown somewhere.
It´s one of those things that makes you feel like you are in a state of survival.
It´s one of those things that makes you feel like you are… running for your life.
It´s something you never mention, it´s a daily frustration, it complicates everything. Sigh. Deep sigh.
Now I´m going to show you something.
What I am going to show you now is holy. You probably won’t understand the implications, the story nor the absolute insane beauty of what you are going to see. But I do.
When going to the lake for a shower you don´t have to spend half an hour looking for a towel. See? When cold, bam! it´s right there that long warm underwear!
You probably won´t understand.
So I did this book tour recently (and I want to do more also I want to connect with independent publishing houses abroad, so hook me up if you know any).
I earned some money. Clearly a lot of the money was used on the kids which let me to think a lot about my role as a parent. Now that most of them have moved away from home I think we´re supposed to be the back-up plan, I think it would be better if we hide some money in a box and bury it down by the roses. Now that they´re out in the world money has become even more…. of a problem. Would have been better to just keep them here at home.
Anyways. The rest of the money was used on this
It´s not finished (clearly). Needs more painting, more rugs, more shelving and I don´t know where to put the leftover building materials, never throw anything out!
This is the mud-room I have been babbling about for two years now. An extension to our cabin.
Bought the windows and the shelves second-hand but the rest of it is material bought in a store which bothered us…. for a long while we wanted to produce all of the building materials ourselves… but do you know how much time it takes to make a board? You probably don´t. We didn´t either. So. It was a question of time.
We COULD have done the materials ourselves but then the mudroom would´t be ready for another two years. And we didn´t have that time. Divorce was catching up on us… because of something so simple as clothes.
It was me.
I could´t live like that anymore. Also I could´t pee in the bushes anymore. I was tired. I was broken. I have four years of stamina in me. That´s it.
So you know what he did? He built this for me while I was away on tour.
I think it´s the most romantic thing he ever did for me.
(it´s a toilet. It´s a real live compost toilet).
It was very sweet of him. Very, very sweet. And clever.
I want to say something about money and work now.
I worked real hard for over a month to get us the money to do this. I slept in the car and put on my fancy dress, I told you about our life here in the woods, old people, young people, I read from my book, blushing cheeks, I stood on stages, I provoked you, confronted you, I comforted you and hugged you and I embraced the fact that my core competence seems to be to make people cry. Crying is good. Crying is needed. I cried too.
And when I got home I cried even more, deep thinking, deep, deep thinking. Walking. Talking. What to do with this? How to proceed? There is also the question about money, it´s always there. How to get it. How to use it. What to make of it.
One thing though. Never in my working life have I seen such a clear connection between what I DO and what I get out of it.
Never has this relationship been so clear. Cost. Benefit. I can SEE the money that I earned, they didn´t disappear into some black hole of electricity bills, insurances or junk food because you just don´t have the energy…
I earned this. I earned to sit with my child playing with letters in my mudroom. I earned it. And I deserve it too.
Also I love my husband. And I´m very grateful. Content even. You could say that. You could.
Thank you for coming to my speeches!