Friday, July 06, 2007

Living Lean in the Forest

I just got back from a 5-day camping trip. Tent camping, not RV. We spent a good part of our second day gathering wood for the fire, cutting it, splitting it, and piling it. Now picture me at 5'0" and my husband at 5'11" on either side of an old fashioned crosscut saw, sawing away at a downed log like a pair of lumberjacks. My arms and legs hurt the next day; I woke up stiff and sore from using muscles that normally don't get a lot of exercise. Between that and pumping drinking water at a hand pump, swimming in the lake, etc., I imagine I'd soon get into amazing shape if I had to live like that for very long. Somehow I doubt the pioneers tended to be either out of shape or overweight.

Now here's the kicker: I took the laptop with me. I finished doing my paper edits for Chapter Nine and got all the edits input for Chapters Three through Nine. If I'd had another day or so, I'd probably have been able to write the new scene I think I need for Chapter Ten. With any luck, I'll be doing that tonight. But I found out that when you have a laptop running on battery power and you're limited to however many hours that battery will last, you're a lot less likely to even look at any computer games. Play a game = waste power. You get as fast and as efficient as possible. I was able to recharge the battery using an inverter and our pickup, but I only recharged twice and didn't find myself tempted to take it for granted. Also, with no internet, no email, no anything extra to waste time on, it was a lot easier for me to just dive right into the work without stopping to do other things first.

All in all it was five days of livin' lean. I am, however, very grateful right now for all the creature comforts that I usually take for granted.

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