A Day In The Life

December 16, 2007, 10:46 pm
Filed under: My Life

I freely admit I am not the world’s most enthusiastic camper.  My mom, on the other hand, loves to camp.  As a youth,  it is hard to avoid doing something that one or both of your parents love to do, so, yes, I’ve been camping.  Most of the time in a nice non-primitive campground with showers, restrooms and a convenience store of sorts on the premises.  But there were occasions when we were just out there…..in the wilderness…..camping.  When these more primitive camping excursions occurred, our camp location was always near a body of water, usually a creek or river.  And we did not take showers, we bathed in the creek or river.  Now it might gross some of you out that we also washed our dishes and eating utensils in the same body of water, but come on.  The creek or river was full of moving, running water so it wasn’t like we were washing plates and skillets in bath water or bathing in dish water. 

Now, my previous post garnered some interesting comments about Matthew liking his new girlfriend because she was willing to go camping and not shower for a week.  However, I would just bet that Matthew and his lady friend do bathe when they’re out in the wilderness for weeks at a time.  All it takes is a creek or river and a bar of Ivory soap (because it floats) and well……you can imagine the rest.  😉

All the comments about not taking showers started me thinking about the longest amount of time I’ve been without a shower.  Which leads me to the ice storm we had in Arkansas in 2000-2001.  I was without electricity for nine days. When I don’t have electricity I don’t have running water because my well pump is powered by electricity.  Luckily, my parents are on a rural water system so they did have running water during the ice storm.  But their house is a little over two miles from my house and I couldn’t go anywhere for two days because of the ice on the roads and the timber that had fallen and was blocking the roads and my driveway.  So there you go….I went two days without a shower.  I had water because I always keep several gallon jugs of water just in case.  And I also collected ice and snow and melted it in pans on my gas range.  I was so thankful I had a gas range and gas heat! 

My dad was still living during the ice storm.  He had emphysema and was on oxygen 24/7.  Three days into the aftermath of the storm, Dad had to be taken to the hospital.  His bottled oxygen just wasn’t giving him the amount of air that his electric oxygen machine pumped into his lungs.  His situation was severe so our local hospital sent him on to Ft. Smith which is about 85 miles from where we live.  Dad traveled by ambulance, but the rest of us drove on treacherously icy roads to the hospital in Ft. Smith.  Once we arrived, we ‘camped’ out in the ICU waiting room for three days because Dad’s condition was so perilous.  So there was three days without a shower.  On the fourth day when Dad’s condition was improving, we got a motel room just so we could all have a shower.  We being, my brother, sister, two nieces, myself and Mom. 

I love a good hot shower as much as the next person, but sometimes you just have to roll with whatever’s being dished out.  My thoughts and prayers have certainly been with the people in the mid-west who are going through circumstances similar to what Arkansas did in 2000-2001.  The ice storm was an experience I hope never to repeat and I certainly don’t want to see another loved one suffer with emphysema.  At the same time, I remember how wonderful my country neighbors were and how hard the rural electric employees and volunteers worked to restore power.  The local hospital staff was so kind and supportive with my family and the ambulance personnel were heroes who got my dad safely to a hospital with full power.  In a day and age when it often seems that people have forgotten how to work together, it is heart-warming to remember how the people in my little county in Arkansas joined forces to overcome the obstacles forced upon them by the ice storm.  In the face of disasters and the well-being of loved ones, the lack of a shower seems a very small price to pay. 


4 Comments so far
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Aw yes, showers. It had never occurred to me before I started driving truck with my husband that there are public showers. Yes, it was quite a culture shock! Glad your weather is better this year. I was still driving truck during your horrible ice storm and spent part of it in a rest area in Arkansas because I COULD NOT drive another mile. Very treacherous.

Comment by myanderings

I think I was one that said I could go w/o a shower if that is what MM wanted. In reality I think my longest w/o a shower/bath is about 4 days. Actually long hot showers are one of my guilty pleasures.

Hub’s Mom is from right outside of Ft. Smith….I have been there a couple of times.

Comment by giveitatry

showers, I HAVE to have one every day or else I get crabby…

I have also taken MANY baths in the Fox river and the Sturgeon River back hom ein MI while out camping or out camping and riding the trails with our horses. Now that cold, fresh river water will get ones hiney SQUEAKY clean……..

Comment by barngoddess

I’ve bathed in a few cold creeks. But I sure couldn’t do it now.
I’d stay dry and warm and stinky I guess. I read today that the singer STING doesn’t use deorderant, and some of the press called him STINK behind his back.

Comment by Pamela

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