Prepper Diary July 8: A Retreat Visit

A cabin or retreat in the mountains
This is not our retreat, but it has many similarities. Maintaining a retreat can be time consuming and expensive.

Our youngest daughter and her boyfriend visited our retreat this past weekend, her first trip there in 10 years and her first visit alone without us, her parents.  She described it as “going back in time” which is very true as we have not updated the old cabin furniture and the kitchen is one that harkens back to the 1970s.  It’s mid-century modern, but not in a good way,

Our daughter is in her mid-20s and is doing her best at what she calls “adulating,” meaning acting like an adult and assuming adult responsibilities.  She has her own apartment, job, car and better benefits than I do, so she’d doing jut fine. Nonetheless, this trip was a good lesson in adulating because:

  • She had to do things like turn on the water pump, turn on the hot water heater, vacuum up the stink bugs, try to repair the leaky toilet (fail) and find out first hand that the dishwasher leaks.  OK, that last one is our fault – we do the dishes by hand because it leaks and we just forgot to tell her because.  I think the dishwasher seal has dry-rotted or decayed, and who wants to buy a new appliance for a place you visit four or five times a year?
  • She also learned that your cell phone GPS doesn’t work when you are in the hinterlands and cannot get a signal.  
  • They had to deal with the kind of “high speed internet” that some of us remember from the early 2000s – in other words, pretty slow, but btter than an old modem.  It is fast enough to check email and visit a web page but, we were told, not enough for gaming.  This also fits into the “Why pay more when we are not there 20 days a year?” category.  (By the way, did I ever mention that I am cheap, or at least thrifty?)

How Quick they Forget

After returning, she encouraged me to use a messenger app that didn’t need a cell signal, like Telegram, so in an emergency she could text me via the WiFi when there is no cell signal.  “Or,” I said, “You could pick up the land line sitting on the kitchen counter and call me the old fashioned way.” 

“Oh, ha ha, I didn’t think of that.” And this is a smart girl.  Plus, I know we had a land line at home until she was at least 10.  How quickly they forget.  If we ever get automated cars, in 15 years, no one will know how to drive manually.  Just like few can use a stick shift today.

She didn’t seem to grasp that one benefit of the retreat is that no one can reach you.

A Positive Retreat Visit

In addition to being a little bit of a learning experience, they had a good trip.  After being quarantined and on lockdown, they were glad to get away and enjoy a peaceful country setting without protesters, sirens and hovering news helicopters.  (They live in an urban setting and his house is about six blocks away from an area that has received its share of protests.)

She even expressed an interest in going back.  Maybe even trying to work remotely from there.  Not sure how the Internet connection will handle video conferencing, but I’m willing to let her find out.

In any case, it’s always good to visit the retreat from time to time, and we hadn’t been there since February, so we appreciated her making the trip.  This way, we can be reassured that no one has broken in, no tree fell and is blocking the long driveway, it hasn’t burnt down, etc.

What surprises have lain in wait for us on past trips?  Termites.  A roof leak that had soaked through the ceiling.  A large black snake.  Mice. 

Retreats are good to have in your prepper quiver, but you do need to visit your retreat occasionally, and they can also be a handful to manage when you are gone months at a time.

If you enjoyed this entry in our prepping diary, we’ve compiled all the entries in chronological order.