Camping and Working

The world of outdoor showers is something I have never been privy to. But here, on Martha’s Vineyard, outdoor showers are a very serious thing. I have been out on home visits with multiple patients 90+ in age who refuse to shower indoors, because, of course, it’s summer and you use the outdoor shower during the summer. Everybody has an outdoor shower here. We’ve been living at the campground for about a month now. Our camper’s water heater has been on the fritz (more on that later), so most showers have been over at the main campground building – quite nice, actually. Good water pressure, hot water, what’s not to like. But, the row of six outdoors shower stalls has been taunting me across the parking lot with the “closed” sign hanging prominently in front. This weekend, that closed sign changed and I took my first outdoor shower on Martha’s Vineyard. I’m a long way from being considered a local here, but an outdoor shower is a good start.

Typical midweek campfire at or site. Loving it.

Typical midweek campfire at or site. Loving it.

I’m currently sitting out by my campfire in the “seasonals” portion of the campground. There’s 180 sites at this place (huge!), that will apparently fill up in the next couple weeks once everyone is out of school and summer really hits. But, we’re insulated from that madness, surrounded by people who have reserved their spot for the whole summer. It turns out that a lot of these people have homes on “the mainland” and go there frequently. Ed and Nancy on one side of us – Ed is mostly here, Nancy is mostly here on weekends – I’ve made up a back story, based on no evidence, where Nancy is a school teacher – she spent the full week here this week, so maybe her school year ended, and my gut instinct about her being a teacher may actually be right. Mike and Kathy are on the other side – they have New York plates and are mostly here on the weekends. I wonder if they’ll stay for longer periods of time once the summer gets going strong – maybe they are teachers too. They usually roll in after dark on a Thursday or Friday. When they showed up this past Thursday night, Kate and I were sitting by the fire, I shouted over the shrubs, “Welcome back!” Mike replied, “You’re cheating by staying here all the time!” It was funny… but I realize it might not read all that funny, so you’ll just have to trust me. Funny stuff.

Pipe wrench in the water heater on the leaky pressure relief valve. If you don't reconnect that tube at the bottom left tightly when you're done, it throws fireballs up the side of your camper.

Pipe wrench in the water heater on the leaky pressure relief valve. If you don’t reconnect that tube at the bottom left tightly when you’re done, it throws fireballs up the side of your camper.

Anyways, aside from a handful of on going projects, camper life is becoming normal. I’m enjoying the simplicity of living at a campground, and, otherwise, there’s not much to living in a camper – it’s just regular life, condensed. My greatest victory so far is fixing the leak in the water heater this week. A series of projects on the water heater led up to the changing of a valve that was spewing hot water onto the ground outside the camper. I may have almost burnt down the entire place (no, seriously), but the water heater now makes great, piping hot water – 6 gallons at a time. I might start taking more showers here at the camper, but it’s tough to resist the allure of the outdoors showers just down the road.

On the work front, we are back in the grind of home care. It’s been a good assignment so far. The schedule is nice and flexible, so it’s been great to get some mid-afternoon exercise before fully finishing paperwork in the evening. And, to top it off, weather has been great, so what more could you ask for than driving around an island for work during the day and hanging out at a campground every night?

Pretty sweet so far, more updates coming soon. This was just a quick one to keep you up to date on what’s happening with us! Hope your summer is going well and, where ever you are, you have some exciting plans for the 4th!

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