An outdoor shower

Well, it seems that summer is over and I’ve barely written about it. This is what we woke up to on Tuesday morning (October 4th):

Yup, welcome to Saskatchewan. It was +20°Celsius on the weekend. Sigh.
Anyways, on to the memories of summer now.

There were a handful of things we really wanted when building and designing the house: a black house, a wood stove, a farmhouse sink, a clawfoot tub. And… an outdoor shower.

I’d only used an outdoor shower a couple of times in my life, but it had left a distinct impression on me. There’s something wonderful about showering in nature. Exposed to the elements. I can’t really put my finger on it. But anyone who has experienced this agrees – there is something primal and extra-ordinary about it.

We’d had the plumber run both a hot and cold water line to the outside of the house that we would be able to hook up washer lines to attach to a shower. We found an outdoor showerhead and attachments from “Speakman” on Amazon (it still amazes me all the crap they have on there) for less than $200.

Initially I’d considered making the shower a fixed structure to the house as I’d seen in California and some other permanently warm climates. But this really didn’t seem like a great idea for us (see snow above) and due to excessive water and possible soap staining the siding.

A freestanding and portable shower made the most sense, something that could be stored in the shop over the winter and transported out easily in the summer.

This is what I came up with.

Honestly, it’s the only way I wanted to shower all summer. Good thing the neighbors don’t live too close. 

The snow

When we first bought the property and told people we were moving from the city, one of the (negative) responses we’d get would be something to the effect of: “how’s it going to be in the winter?” or “it’ll be great until you get snowed in” or “I hope you have a 4×4” or “it’ll be good except for the winter” and other such tongue in cheek comments. F-you guys, I’d think to myself, what do you know?

However, I’ll admit, we were a bit worried about it. We’ve always lived in the city where snow clearing is taken for granted. Someone does it for you with the exception of your sidewalk and driveway. Although both Darcie and I had travelled for work to rural towns 3-4 times per week for the past several years and were experienced winter travellers on the highway, we were not sure how this road would be. And, we had no idea if it had a tendency to get snowed in or, really, if it is maintained much at all.

In fact, this question was one of the first things Darcie asked our neighbour, Ray. He has lived here for the past 15 years. His home is on a ridiculously amazing spot just around the corner from us. Both he and his partner drove to and from the city up until last year when he retired. He told us, “two years ago was the first time we were snowed in in 13 years. The RM is very good and they are always out taking care of the roads.” Hmm, impressive, I thought, but I was still skeptical.

Still, when we talked further, even he didn’t sound super happy with winter. He told us the summers are great, but the winters are… well, not as great. Whatever, I thought, we’d take it as it comes. Gotta have the good with the bad. Not everything is going to be perfect. Etc etc. But you know, if we get snowed in then so what? We get a day off, I’m cool with that. Besides we were living in one of two houses on the tree farm, so we could learn from Doug (the owner) as to what we’d need to do for clearing snow while not having to worry about it ourselves. Although we are only three months into a relatively peaceful winter, I must say that we have been thoroughly enjoying it so far. There’s something about the snow and white and cold out here that’s a lot different than in the city. We have a much greater appreciation for it. Instead of thinking, “ah man, it’s snowing.” We’re saying, “It’s snowing, isn’t it nice!” Everything is clean white, crisp and totally peaceful. Sure there have been some bloody cold and windy days already, but I really haven’t minded them, at least not nearly as much as we had when we lived in town. It’s funny, we get up and drive into work while watching the sun rise shining across the snow covered prairies, listening to music, chatting about the day to come and drinking coffee. It’s nice. When we get to town, it’s crazy. People rushing to get to work, driving like a-holes, the roads are dirty and brown, the sky is much further in the distance behind the buildings puffing exhaust from their heating systems, and the roads are way worse in town then what we just drove in on! I dunno, I kind of prefer winter in the countryside…