Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Memories

New Year's Day, 1982 found me living in a 10 x 15 cabin 17 miles above Victor, Montana. There was no running water, no electricity and the heat was provided by a wood burning stove in the corner of the main room. Snow rose to the windows. The bathroom was out the door and down the path. A squirrel had nested between the cealing and the beams, and he would toss nut shells at us as we attended our business. The insult was that we had given him the nuts in the first place. The only other building on the property was the barn -- glorious, new, much bigger and in much better condition than the house. The day dawned bright and clear. The thermometer rose to a whopping 37 degrees, a welcome change from subzero weather. We went outside in our shirt sleeves to split and haul more firewood before the next cold front. As we worked, a power truck rolled across the cattle guard and pulled up in front of the cabin. A driver emerged, clipboard in hand, and asked where he could find our power meter. I told him we didn't have one. He tapped his clipboard. "It says right here you do. I'll just be looking for it if you don't mind." I shrugged my shoulders and told him to go right ahead. My companion suggested that if he found a power meter, he please tell us where. We kept working. The power guy circled the house, the outhouse, and the barn. He came back and asked for permission to check inside the out buildings. I told him to help himself. He poked around in the barn a bit -- even climbed the ladder and looked in the loft. I showed him the interior of our two room shack. Finally, he walked the fence line and then returned to where we were working and pronounced, "You people don't have electricity!" Shortly after the power truck slid down the hill and out to the main road, a car that had no business climbing our drive in that kind of snow rolled in. We quit working and walked toward it. A young woman emerged. She said, "I am lost and I simply must use your facilities." She walked straight to the house and opened the door without so much as a by-your-leave. My companion and I looked at each other in shock. I shrugged. Seconds later she popped back out the door. "Where is your bathroom?" She demanded. My companion pointed toward the outhouse. The woman spun on her heal and marched toward it. The squirrel followed her, hopping from tree to tree. I turned to my companion. "Should we tell her?" My companion shook his head. "Nope." She opened the outhouse door as the squirrel scampered over the roof. We heard a loud chatter, a startled scream and the girl came running back up the path. "I don't have to go that bad!" She yelled, then dove into her car. Just before she fishtailed down the drive, my companion yelled at her, "Turn left at the main road and go straight!"

13 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

That's plain old good living. The cabin sounds kind of like your school.

Happy New Year

1/01/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Doug -- it had it's charm. The outhouse wasn't part of it, but you know, the squirrel was.

1/01/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous cindra said...

Ha. Great images. Happy New Year, and I love you.

1/01/2007 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Lexa Roséan said...

funny story. happy new year :)

1/01/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Love you, too -- Pooh Girl. How's it floating?

Thanks, Lexa -- you, too!

1/01/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Remind me to tell the story of the long drop and the land crabs sometime ...

Here's for a 2007 without bugs, nutty squirrels, and nuttier people.

:)

1/01/2007 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

OC -- the bugs can go -- I am experiencing much glee in their demise. The squirrel I kind of liked. And some of the nutty people may just be my relatives.

1/01/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

Thanks, Quilly-Sister, I was just about to take o ceallaigh to task for that remark! LOL Great story, greater still that you are telling it and not living it today. :)

1/01/2007 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Jackie -- OC told me how to finally get rid of my cockroaches without killing the cats and myself -- and it's working! It's working!

As to the nuts, I think OC specifically meant the nutty people in my story, but he's just too fun to tease (don't tell him I said that).

1/01/2007 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger charlie said...

Do you have squirrels in vegas, QD, or just nuts?

1/02/2007 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Charlie -- here in Vegas it is sometimes difficult to tell the squirrels from the nuts.

1/02/2007 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Minka said...

Hilarious. Not only teh post but this here comment section. You are all so witty!

happy, wonderful,s urprising *insert all positive adjectives here* 2007!
*big grin*

1/02/2007 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Minka -- I am indeed blessed (or cursed) with a collection of sharp-witted commenters.

1/02/2007 07:09:00 PM  

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