Self-Quarantining in Central Texas

Home, Sweet Texas Home

We are healing our battered hearts and minds out in Burnet, Texas for the next two weeks. We figured that we probably picked up the coronavirus in one of the three airports we were in on Thursday, or R already had it. He was up with a high fever the night before we left Rincon, which has come and gone for the last few days, with a dry cough and sore throat. W picked up the fever yesterday . . . So the truth may be that we contaminated everyone else in our escape. I certainly hope not.

In any case, we are not interested in infecting anyone further – so we have holed ourselves up in B’s family’s abandoned lake cabin near Burnet, and we are utterly grateful to be here. I say abandoned, because the last person that lived here was a squatter, and the place is in sad shape. It is much beloved by the family, but it has been on the back burner of priorities for many years. Hence, it’s got some “challenges”; the most impactful ones to us are:

  • The toilet does not flush. It is so broken, in fact, that when you try to plunge it, the sink and bathtub gurgle (ick). It drains itself, eventually, and when you run the sink water, the toilet bubbles and fills up (eew) from the sink drain. B’s family have had multiple plumbers out over the years to try to fix it, to no avail. In a Jeff Foxworthy voice, “Yer toilet is so broke, that when you turn on the sink, the toilet overflows.” Yep.
  • There is no gas, so the stove and oven don’t work. Easy fix come a weekday when we can call Hank and get some propane.
  • Our phones have no service unless we walk two houses down to get a signal. Tmobile, come to Burnet!
  • Vultures- There is a family of vultures that have nested under the porch. The neighbor, when we got here and he came to investigate (good ol’ Texas neighbors), said that they hadn’t seen anyone here in so many years that the vultures had fully moved in. We had no idea what he meant, until we saw with our own eyes. (This is another story for another day).
  • The damn washing machine leaks. It still washes clothes, but it leaks out of the tub and all over the floor each cycle. We have a repair person coming, but they’ll probably charge us $100 to tell us to get rid of the 20 year old washer.
  • The grill was repurposed. Since the stove and oven can’t be used yet, we are dependent on the (incredibly fancy) outdoor gas grill, which was covered in years of vulture shit. I spent 45 minutes knuckle deep, cleaning and scrubbing and scraping, only to finally open it up and find:
EEK! What the hell creature made this nest?

We are doing out best to adapt, and in spite of small inconveniences, we love it here; I could not be more grateful to have a safe, warm, dry place to land. We thought we’d be back in Texas in the dead heat of summer, and instead, we get to experience the most beautiful season in Texas – SPRING! Bluebonnets are out in full bloom, and the stunning hill country is a balm on our bruised psyches. It’s been a tough few weeks for everyone on the planet – but the beauty here, coupled with this lovely, beloved house, is helping our hearts heal. After feeling like we had to leave Puerto Rico so abruptly, there is no where else I’d rather be.

Here is one of our adaptations. The kids think it’s great!

There is nothing like dropping everything every time someone has to move their bowels, hiking past a nest of hissing vultures, and down to the rainy toilet to help you get in touch with nature.

Stay safe out there friends, and don’t worry about the toilet paper, as long as you have a toilet!

3 comments

  1. I hate to say it, but you were potty trained on an outside potty. Some of my finest memories! Love to all, stay strong. The stories you will have to tell….. I wish I had taken pictures back them.

    Like

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