There are a lot of new people on the island. Properties are selling left and right. Empty lots, rustic cabins, beautiful homes with all of the amenities but all of the properties will have their issues. We are off grid and stuff happens. It is a difficult time for new people to arrive to an island with no services. It is hard to meet new neighbours. Normally there would be community events where the hand of friendship could be offered. Advice freely given, bodies willing to help.
It is not without irony that we find ourselves these days with too much free hot water.
Although the freeze which was predicted for the weekend never materialized and we have no snow, it is colder than I would like and so we burn our precious arbutus firewood. It burns very hot. Very hot is great when the house is cold, and I appreciate the comfort it provides. The stove, as it burns the arbutus, heats not only the house, but the water in the attached range boiler, very quickly and very hot. As a safety measure, if the water gets too hot, a pressure/ temperature valve releases and the water boils over onto the ground under the house. E hasn’t replaced the over flow pipes yet since the whole pipe melting episode the first month we installed the range boiler. So if we burn the fire too hot, and don’t manage the water use during the day, the water is wasted. Ideally the overflowing hot water will flow into the storage tank under the house, but for now it just flows out a pipe under the house.
Burning arbutus in the stove is a fine balance of keeping the fire hot enough to keep the house warm and using all of the hot water we produce, before it boils over. Regular baths are a great solution as is dish washing and laundry. It seems extremely reckless to be running the laundry so often but if we didn’t, the water would be lost anyways. Fortunately the rain continues so our water reserves are not in danger. By the time the rains start to slow we won’t be needing the fire quite so hot and the whole problem will go away.
Every season on this island there are different problems and every season there are opportunities to solve those problems creatively. If you aren’t willing to think outside of the box, and try to solve the challenges yourself, you are going to have a difficult time living here. Hard as it is to meet them during these difficult times, there are lots of neighbours willing to help the new property owners. It is the nature of most islanders but at the end of the day you are on your own and have to be willing to figure it out yourself. If your solution to a problem requires daily baths
so be it