Well, I wish I was reporting in to say that our weekend on Orcas was lovely and perfect, but unfortunately it was a notch or two below perfection. We ended up rallying and making the most of our weekend and there were some good times, but they were preceded by a very annoying start. Based on the ferry schedule, we didn’t actually pull up to the cabin until 11:30pm on Friday night. In the summer, arriving at the cabin is always a cinch. The water stays on all summer (no fear of freezing pipes) so Jeff doesn’t have to run around in the dark with a flashlight and get the water turned on, and the temperature is always pleasant (no immediate fire starting/stoking needed). Being 8 months pregnant, the first thing I did upon arrival was pee. I noticed right away that something was wrong when the toilet tank didn’t refill after I flushed. I was also not able to get water to wash my hands post-pee. I came out and Jeff was looking equally perplexed with a drinking glass in hand at the kitchen faucet.
He grabbed the flashlight and wandered out back to see about turning the water on, not really understanding why the water would be off to begin with, but assuming an easy solution. He came back in to report that there was a giant hole behind the cabin and pipes appeared to be exposed and more pipes were sitting on the ground nearby. It looked like the hole had been dug by a Culver shovel, but the shovel wasn’t put away, just lying on the ground. Very un-Ken-like. When Ken (Jeff’s Dad) does a job, he FINISHES it, and if for some reason he can’t, he certainly doesn’t leave things like shovels lying about. The mystery increased – who dug this hole? Jeff tried to turn the water on anyways, and nothing happened. Eventually, the confusion was won out by tiredness and we decided to just go to bed without brushing our teeth or washing our faces. I took my prenatal vitamin with some melted ice cubes and we went to sleep. In the middle of the night the power went out. Then came back on. Then went out. Then came back on. I peed the usual 5 times in the night without being able to flush the toilet and got nervous thinking, “What if I have to poop tomorrow morning!!??”
We woke up earlier than we’d have liked to try and phone Jeff’s parents, but they’re on a boat trip in the middle of nowhere and didn’t answer or call back. We pestered the neighbors (family friends who share much of the island property), and were told that they dug the hole (one mystery solved!) and then something about a leak at the boathouse and that the water needed to be turned back on higher up on the property. But the person who knew the location was fishing. Gahhh!! We decided to go out for breakfast and hope that he’d be back from fishing upon our return. So we proceeded to hit up the Doe Bay Café for breakfast. And let me tell you people – I do NOT recommend the Doe Bay Café. My dirty hippy “Belgian” waffle was really two sad, skinny, dry waffles stacked on top of each other to fake the appearance of a fluffy Belgian waffle, and were made with what tasted (and looked) like dirt but that must have been spelt. They were also served a full 20 minutes before Jeff got his mediocre eggs, potatoes and veggie sausage (the restaurant is entirely vegetarian!). My visions of a perfect last weekend on Orcas were crumbling around me. I tried to rally. But I’m pregnant. And hormonal. So instead I got pissed and decided we should just throw in the towel and go home.
But when we got back to the cabin, our neighbor was there and he helped us to turn the water on. But the pipe immediately started leaking explosively in that giant hole behind the cabin. So we were told that we probably couldn’t turn the water on for more than 3 minute intervals, and only when needed. And each time we wanted to turn it on and off, Jeff would have to run out back with a giant T-tool and strain to twist the pipe in the hole open and closed. Double Gahh!!!! They did finally offer me a shower at their place, which I took them up on in order to regain my sanity. Jeff decided to stay dirty, grow a beard and don a cap.
After the shower, I rallied, not ready to give up my vision of our last weekend on Orcas. Things picked up from there. The weather was gorgeous – a sunny 72 and we went into town for groceries and had lovely lunch out at Rose’s and Gelato at the nearby ice cream parlor. We decided to just eat prepared foods on paper plates for the rest of the weekend so as not to have to wash dishes. So we grilled burgers Saturday night and ate them with premade potato salad, and bought gallons of water to flush the toilet and drink. I normally love to bake and we both like to experiment with complicated recipes for dinner at the cabin, so this was a revision of our original plans, but still fine. Unfortunately, Jeff wasn’t interested in spending the 2 hours it takes to unwrap and rewrap the boat of its complex otter-protection system to take me for a put, but I guess I couldn’t have gone fast and bumpy like I like in my current state anyways. We came home a little early and a little dirty yesterday afternoon. All in all, we were glad we went, but it could have been about 10 times more awesome. Oh well. Hopefully we’ll make it up there in the Fall with the baby and the island will redeem itself. For as long as I can remember we’ve looked forward to having kids and bringing them to Orcas. Jeff spent large chunks of his childhood there and we look forward to taking Edie there over the years and exploring tide pools, flipping rocks over to find crabs, beach combing for sea glass and other treasures, baking cookies, roasting dogs and ‘smores around a beach fire at night, and eating pancakes and French toast while watching the boats go by in the morning.