The first day of spring was last week and all the little creatures and plants seem to be stirring. The sun is now staying out longer, burning brighter and warming up the place. It’s time for some personal spring cleaning. Take a deep breath and prepare to go bare.
On the AT there is a specific day (usually the first day of summer) deemed “Hike Naked Day”. Unfortunately for us in 2015 we were in Pennsylvania on this day. The thought of not having even a thin piece of protective covering over my lady parts while trying to hike and climb over huge boulders and sharp rocks made me just a little uneasy. Needless to say I did not participate. We did however take advantage of “Nude Hampshire” in 2016. This is another AT event where at any point during your hike in New Hampshire you guessed it, you take a nude picture. I was of course all about it. I was able to snag my few moments of glory atop of a mountain overlooking a road and visitor center. If anyone saw me I do not know or care. The wind blew and the sun shone upon all my untouched places and I felt free and cleansed.
You don’t have to be on the AT to get in the buff or wait for a certain day. In celebration of the spring do not just clean out the house do some personal spring cleaning and air your goods out. You have hidden the essentials under numerous layers of clothes and blankets all winter. Let those parts see the light of day! I challenge you to get bare out there and enjoy even a few moments of nude freedom. I promise you will feel great and it’s a fun way to start a new season of adventure.
We finally were able to find someone who could weld for us! A friend from Darwin’s nine to five job Jordan, was available this weekend. It maybe took him thirty minutes to hit a few spots on the frame and fix the dangley piece by the door and bingo bango, The frame was officially fixed! By the time they were finished and packed up I had a large section of weeding completed in the front yard. Our yard duties were paid and the floor was welded….all seemed well with the world!
We spent the rest of the day working on getting the floor bolted down and the steps by the kitchen table and what will soon be our bed installed. Crawling under the trailer is a bit terrifying but between Darwin and I, we were able to get everything aligned and attached. We wrapped up Theo after doing a little jig on our newly attached floor and left feeling mighty satisfied.
We played around with the door frame today. Even with the floor down things still seemed off with the walls. The door frame is to narrow at the bottom and to wide at the top. We pushed and pulled but nothing seemed to match up. We both wanted to throw in the towel. We felt instantly overwhelmed and tired. A long discouraging week at the nine to five seemed to have flowed into today.
Darwin however, decided the bottom piece he installed recently was the issue and went about removing it. This was easier said then done. After almost an hour working on removing the piece we still could not locate the issue. I was left to holding the piece for over thirty minutes while the sun melted my skin off and dried up my brain like a raisin. Meanwhile Darwin was pulling and pushing, cussing and hammering to no avail. The piece we removed ended up back into the same location. We sat in the trailer and babbled incoherently to each other and zoned out watching Bowie play around in the yard. I forgot to mention we brought her over today. She has spent most of her time pooping, peeing, wallowering in the dirt and sleeping in the shade. She was making more progress doing nothing then we were at anything.
After watching Bowie poop for what seemed to be the millionth time (this is normal for her) we decided our brains were too melted and we needed a break. We grabbed the Bowie Dog and left for the afternoon. We ran our normal people errands and returned later in the afternoon when the sun was less intense. We had decided while away that building a support wall would perhaps help line everything up again. Darwin would go to work rebuilding the wall that once was part of the closet/shitter that had we ripped out.
When we pulled up in the Stallion again I felt tired and sick. I just wanted to stay at the apartment and read, clean, sleep, do anything but work anymore. While I watched Darwin cut a piece of wood Alex came out and asked us about dinner. Darwin had forgotten about plans he had made with Alex and Sierra to cook out. This is all I could handle. With a shitty week at the nine to five, spending my one day off on stupid Theo to no avail, being hot and tired all day, and now feeling like a jerk, I totally started crying. Why couldn’t we have just slapped some paint on Theo and hope for the best!
After a few tears I felt a little relieved and Alex and Sierra being the great people they are took over dinner while I tried to clean up the yard and Darwin continued to work. We ate outside next to Theo and Alex and Sierra listened to our woes of the week. We sat out while the sun went down talking and laughing trying to ignore the pile of wood and aluminum that sat behind us. After dinner we felt a bit better about life and returned to Theo in the dark. This is when Darwin discovered he built the support wall backwards. We cut our loses and hope it wouldn’t rain as we put a few tools up and said fuck the rest and left. We had reached our end game.
Darwin had a busy day filming along with other duties so when I came home from the day job we headed off to Theo again. Darwin corrected the wall and officially installed it. After some bitching and hammering the door kinda fits although there were two pieces of wood that randomly popped out from the walls. This was a bit terrifying and very similar to playing Jenga. We keep waiting for the wrong piece to come out and Theo to implode. We buttoned Theo up and hoped the wind expected this week didn’t take him down but then again not really caring either way.
The last several weeks I have noticed there are a lot of going ons concerning people (primarily women) and surgery. A lot of these articles are regarding people loosing weight by means of surgery or having plastic surgery to enhance their appearance and how it’s changed their self perspective. All these articles and headlines have really got me to thinking about myself and how I feel about my image.
Warning: I am stepping up on a soap box with this post, this is purely an opinion and you know what they say about opinions….I am not claiming to be perfect or have all the answers….This is me spouting off my random thoughts about random things…If we are not offended by things, we are not living.
I turned 31 in February and was reminded of something a friend told me. She had informed me that when I hit the thirty mark things change. It’s harder to lose weight, gravity starts taking effect, and time will start showing in my face. I kinda blew it off at the time but I get it now. I feel it and see it in my own body. I however also notice that this message is primarily about the physical. Why? My hair is almost all gray when I don’t dye it, my belly pooch jiggles a bit more than it used too, my boobs are already less perky, my ass not only jiggles when I walk but also seems have a few more dimples that are not the cute kind, and I pluck random hairs that sprout up from body parts that I didn’t know could sprout hair and let’s not forget I weigh more than I ever have in my life, 135 pounds. Regardless of all these factors, I don’t give a fuck. I’m happy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I care about my body. I consider it a machine and just like any good machine it needs to be taken care of. I do my best to eat primarily good things, I exercise regularly, try to keep from exposing myself to unnecessary chemicals found in soap, makeup, hair products etc. and try to feed my brain by reading and learning new things. I however don’t feel worried about my weight or looks in general because I constantly work my body. I’m constantly doing, not preserving. Instead of trying to preserve my youth I plan on using it up. Of course this is going to age me but we are all going to die one day regardless. Although the person next to me may look better in their coffin than me, I want to have filled my time in this machine out on adventures, not in front of the mirror.
I did not always feel this way about myself and I’m glad I can honestly now say I do not strive to make my body into something it’s not. Not any more. This process of decorating my body with jewels, painting with nail polish, and lathering up to smell like a desert food, I find exhausting and something I never really felt brought me happiness anyways. I plan on using this machine for as long as I can and painting it with makeup and nail polish isn’t going to make it last longer. I do enjoy getting gussied up every once in a while don’t get me wrong, but this only gives me limited happiness. A body that is capable of exploring its limitations for an extended period of time is more what I’m in too.
So I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that I use my body in ways that it’s meant to be used; most importantly I use it. I don’t sit around and try to preserve it, I expose it to new things. It makes me sad to read about so many people resorting to surgery of some sort to find happiness with themselves. Even if I had the money to get a surgery to improve my body in some way I wouldn’t do it. Well…maybe I would remove my armpit hair, but after a while would I still be happy or would I look at removing another patch of annoying body hair? We should find new ways to use our bodies adapting to our age not on how to change them to fit societies ever-changing standards.
I am happy with my body and who I am. I may have a belly pooch and granny hairs but I take comfort in the fact that when shit goes down I can haul ass on foot and survive in the wilds because I know my body and treat it like the well oiled machine it is. It’s capable of amazing things. It sucks that so many of us humans (both males and females) strive so hard to conform to an unrealistic image. Could you imagine what we could do if we spent all that time and money on improving our relationships? our communities? our world?
Me Posing In An Awesome Paper-Airplane Dress & Me Posing Half Way Up Katahdin
Darwin had to work on Theo alone today. Due to my work schedule I was unable to help. He was able to replace most of the remaining pieces that were water damaged on Theo’s wall. A slow-moving day for him but successful.
We popped off the other side of aluminum today and it really wasn’t as bad as expected. I was a pro at pulling out rusty staples from the aluminium which surprisingly, uses a lot of upper body strength.
Unfortunately we have been unable to secure help to weld a few pieces of Theo’s frame. Thus, we have jacked him up in a pathetic attempt to bend the metal back to its proper form. We will need a welder eventually to fix a broken piece by the entry way. That it seems, will have to wait for another day….
Safety First! Rusty staples and nails were just asking to be stepped on as the ground was littered with debris. After a little organization of our work space we now have a pile of “Destined for Dumpster,” “Save for Later,” “Brand New Lumber,” and last but not least “Aluminum.”
Due to Theo’s lack of walls, Darwin found a huge tarp that completely covers the entire camper. We are now able to wrap Theo up like a gift at then end of each work day; our new lumber safely stored inside. Alex and Sierra’s yard is starting to look very colorful with all the blue and green tarps about.
Our first real warm sunny day! Woo Hoo!
I totally felt accomplished! Darwin worked a lot on adjusting the jacks that are hopefully bending the frame somewhat back to what it should be. I mean while paid some of our dues of promised yard work. When Alex and Sierra agreed to allow us usage of their yard part of their terms were to assist with much-needed yard work. The sun was out and the sky was blue so I got to it!
You would think in the desert there would not be a need for yard work but you would be wrong. Tumbleweeds although very comical, are a true pain and get stuck every where! You will also find a blend of dry-land grasses/weeds that are tough little bastards to dig up. You’ll only occasionally come across naturally growing green grass. Grass around these parts usually requires lots of dedication and water both of which seem to be in short supply.
I fully let my aggression out digging up roots and in no time was in full sweat mode. It felt good to do this type of work. By mid afternoon I had cleared a decent section of yard and my arms, back, and hands throbbed. I have blisters on me fingers!
Darwin finally finished adjusting the jacks under Theo and I assisted as he measured and cut a large bottom piece. He reattached the side of the metal wheel-well which had completely pulled apart from its base. We then replaced the large bottom piece successfully but as usual the rest of Theo shifted. Pieces were now no longer touching each other as they should. After a few minutes of determining our next step, a piece of the door frame could not longer hold its weight and snapped. With a loud crack and thump, the piece was left pointing at us like and evil witch finger and the roof sagged. Geez Louise!
I pushed up on the piece to relieve some of the weight and Darwin quickly found a few spare pieces to stick willy-nilly to provide support. He then hurriedly measured and cut the broken piece and attempted to replace it. Something was wrong. Everything had seemed to shift to the extreme when the piece snapped; the new piece would not fit. Darwin cut another smaller piece. This one would not line back up either. With the wall somewhat secure he grabbed the door to see if it would fit into place. Nope, there was to much of a gap between wall and door.
Our efforts to replace the snapped piece of door frame continued to no avail. Daylight was fading and the wind was picking up. Darwin secured a few more pieces of lumber to help support the weight of the wall and roof and then we had to wrap Theo up. A successful start to the day ended in only disappointment.