I walked in the door and Scout came running to see me as dogs so dependably do. Kneeling down on the floor, he wiggled his body into mine for scratches and love. He was excited beyond belief, yet you can be sure he kept throwing an eye over my shoulder to see if Adam was walking in behind me, even though they had just parted ways a few hours earlier and it had been over a week since he’d seen me. It’s okay, I know my place. He felt so soft and it occurred to me that I hadn’t touched anything as soft since I last saw him. As he tried squirming his little body closer to mine than was actually possible, I realized he is the softest thing in my life. How could I have not known this before?
Home for no more than ten minutes and I find my way to a hot shower. Up north this feature is in the works but not quite complete yet, so we make do. Six days in the woods and not once did I feel desperate for a turn the faucet and receive unlimited hot water kind of experience. You figure out other ways. And yet, ten minutes in the door and it’s amazing how quickly you think, hey, why not... it’s just so easy. So I find myself in the shower and as hot water pelted across my skin, I couldn’t believe how intense it felt. Had to step aside kind of intensity. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it hurt, but I would definitely say that it almost hurt. I thought of uttering the word ouch!, but that would have been ridiculous and dramatic so I kept silent. Maybe if someone else had been home I would have, but there was no one to commiserate with except for super soft Scout and he doesn't exactly relate to such things. There was a brief moment where I wondered if the shower might be the most physically aggressive thing I put myself through each day. It’s not, of course, but in that moment it seemed possible.
The kettle is on and our electric stove whirs steadily as the heating element works to maintain the chosen temperature of the dial. The refrigerator seems loud but not as loud as the dehumidifier that is one floor below me. Next to that, the hot water heater kicks on at the most surprising times and it startles me over and over. I’m about to start a load of laundry, my first since being home, and I can already feel the vibration and noise of the machine. Overload. This I have known before.
The weather was mostly cold and rainy throughout the week. It was cold enough, especially for June, that nearly everyone I spoke to asked how I was faring. Overnights and mornings hovered in the high thirties, but I was fine. It didn’t occur to me that I should expect a certain level of comfort and warmth, so I just went about my day with an extra layer of wool and called it good. But then a friend who I consider to be kind of hardcore regarding this sort of thing inquired about whether or not I had heat, and that’s when I realized that had I been home and our indoor thermometer read 37 degrees I would hardly tolerate it. I’d probably crank the heat and go take one of those super hot aggressive showers. Hey, why not... it's just so easy. But it’s also good to know if those things aren’t available, I don’t seem to mind. And maybe, for a short while if not longer, it’s even kind of nice.