Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Fairytale Life

May 25

It is Sunday morning and we will attend a small church in the nearest town of Wall.  We are also in dire need of laundry facilities and bring three baskets of clothes.

While cramming our clothes into three washers, we encounter Gold Pan Dan.  He tries to sell us his house and car, then says he knows all of the good gold panning places in the area.  Places nobody else knows about.  He will take us there for a fee.  We thank him and make our escape before we are late for church. 

After church we go back and try our hand at the dryers.  

How can heat be so expensive? We discover that 25 cents gets us 5 minutes of dryer time.  And there are some funny colored spots on our white clothes.

I trot across the street to Dairy Queen to use their facilities.

  Never before have I seen such a beautiful sight.  A small, brilliantly clean toilet has light streaming from behind it and triumphant music surrounds me.  I have never been so happy to see plumbing in my whole life.  

A week in the boonies and I am already delirious!

We feed the dryer machines until we are willing to spend no more, then cart our three baskets of slightly damp laundry back home.

Home is becoming a nebulous term for us.  Home is where each of our families are. Home is where I grew up.  Home is where our church is.  Home is our Airstream.  Home is with each other and our pugs.  Home is what we are searching for.

But I am pretty sure home is not here, because I find that a local tick has affixed itself to my head.

Taking deep breaths and trying not to panic, I sit on the floor with my face buried in the bed, whimpering, as Hubs lights a match.  Blowing it out, he applies the hot end to the back of the tick.  I am praying that my hair doesn't catch fire and I don't pass out.  The tick flails, but doesn't let go so he lights another match and does it again.  And again. 

The smoke alarm goes off.  

This would be comical if I weren't so sure I am going to die of tick and fire.

Finally the little bloodsucker comes free, pincers and all, and I spend the next few minutes catching my breath.

I think of a poster I saw for sale on Etsy.

Yea, until the black tank needs to be emptied.

This lifestyle is about compromise and is not some dreamy fairytale.  

You can have a shower every day, or you can see the country.
You can have a proper toilet, or you can have adventures. 
You can not find ticks in your hair, or you can see what is over that hill.
You can wash your clothes in a washer that didn't just have a dead badger cleaned in it, or you can be free to roam where you please.

Yes, every day is new and exciting, but it is not without costs.

One big bright spot is the company we keep.  Our new neighbors have a small, plucky black dog (Daphne) and a large, lumbering basset hound (Bonnie). 

We have dogs too, so let's be friends.

Claude and Christie are from Chicago and are on an annual two-week pilgrimage to the Badlands and other wild places.  They are very entertaining and Claude tells us the best boondocks in the best places, but not in a way that makes us want to back away slowly.  He used to be a climbing instructor out west and now does insurance for items being shipped overseas.  Over pizza and excellent wine, he tells us about insuring Siegfried and Roy's white tigers for overseas transport before they ate Roy.  He has also insured dolphins, but assures us that it is not all glitz and glamour in the insurance business.  Mostly it is washing machine parts and oil rig supplies.  

These two are a hoot, and I am learning valuable life lessons from their basset, Bonnie:

Take life in stride, never get flustered, don't move too fast, and if it feels good, rub your face all over the ground and drool.

Thanks for shopping through my Amazon store!


  1. Glad you have finally made it on the road. Life truly is an adventure. Be safe, have fun

  2. Great story about the tick removal! I am enjoying the tales of life on the road.

    1. Thanks Brian. I am glad somebody can get their kicks out of my mishaps :) BTW, Otis and Murray miss Tater. They really need a playmate to wear them out before car rides!

  3. Thanks for the great photos, having grown up there, it's nice to see it portrayed so beautifully. By the way, the spots on your clothes are likely to be from the additional fluoride in the water in that area. The mineral is red, and the water is very, very hard with a high concentration of fluoride. If you look at the first permanent front teeth of local children who have drunk the water there there will be little red spots from the extra fluoride in the water. I still have them 30 years after moving away.

    1. Wow, thanks for the head's up on the flouride! I didn't see any FREE FLOURIDE ICE WATER signs on the way to Wall Drug :)