The secret fantasies of a bush person

Many people get an enthusiastic smile on their face when I tell them we live in a cabin out in the bush. The tinge of adventure and even romance this notion conjures up is expressed in their questions.

Many people get an enthusiastic smile on their face when I tell them we live in a cabin out in the bush.

The tinge of adventure and even romance this notion conjures up is expressed in their questions. Did we build our cabin ourselves? Do we fish and hunt for food? Are there bears around? Doesn’t it get lonely?

Once I supply the nitty-gritty details of hauling all our water by hand, on foot, of eating mostly canned food and always the same staples throughout the winter, of our wind-up radio that only receives one station and of doing laundry by hand, once I tell all that, most people will exchange the smile for a doubtful look in their eye. Don’t we have any luxury items or wish for things that would make our lives more comfortable, easier? Fresh foods more often?

The luxury items here, as I see them, are the surrounding wilderness and wildlife, something that exceeds any momentary value and will sadly keep on withering away as our species continues to senselessly gobble up the resources of our planet as we merrily procreate. I would not exchange the sound of the wind, not drowned out by noise, and the curious glance from a moose by the cabin for any amount of money.

But in terms of things that can be paid for and that we already own, I guess the satellite internet is our one big luxury. It was expensive to install and is a monthly bill to pay. And when I dig down deep I confess that it’s true, there are two or three things that I pine for, that would mean ultimate decadence and luxury to me.

To have a hand-agitated washing machine and wringer would be heaven. Nothing motorized that stinks and makes noise and needs to be maintained, just a simple mechanical contraption. No stooping down over a tub with a toilet plunger in hand anymore, no wringing out the frigid laundry with freezing hands. What incredible ease that would be, especially with jeans and bed sheets.

Also, a manual or solar powered water pump for the garden. It would mean an end to the endless trudging back and forth between the lake and the garden with 20-litre buckets of water. It’s not so bad during a regular summer but when it’s a hot and dry one—no fun.

I guess both of these items we could construct ourselves if we were more mechanically inclined. Unfortunately, the mechanics fairy did not bestow any talents on either of us at the time of our births and little aptitude has been added since.

But the utmost pinnacle of decadence, the one extravagance that I would favour hands-down over a washing machine and wringer, and a water pump, is this: an expediter. That is the one thing I really fantasize about. A reliable person in town whom we could e-mail our endless shopping lists, who would track down and buy all the pasta packages, canned milk and cheese to last us a year, the correct O-rings we need, the elusive lemon-juice bottles that were not once available last year whenever we were in town; who would not only shop for us but also organize the shipment of all the stuff to our cabin. A person who would box it all up, load it on a chartered plane or boat, and have it delivered to our remote doorstep.

Somebody who would take the horror and stress out of the town trips, leaving us free to enjoy our times in civilization: visiting friends and taking care of personal business in an unencumbered way. Yes, an expediter would truly be the one luxury of unimaginable value. Alas, it is not the sort of job anyone would do as a hobby and our bank account has so far stubbornly refused to grow to such proportions that could make this wild dream come true.

One day I hope we will be able to afford an expediter. Until then, we make do with what we have: our cabin, the woods and mountains around us, a lifestyle that we chose. And truly, it does not involve much hardship. It is a blessing. Except for the town trips.

Lisa Hasselbring is a writer who

lives at the headwaters of the Yukon River south of Whitehorse.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read