Monday was a rainy day, the first since the first week we were here. Selwyn and Tom used the second cabin as a shop and built a sawhorse, known as a burro here. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough scrap lumber to build two burros, so they used the single burro and an empty window to support doors they were sanding in preparation for staining and hanging them in the first cabin. Tom pulled nails in the second cabin, which are on most of the studs since they didn’t come out when we ripped down the paneling. We’d been told that the cabins were made at different times, and that the quality of the first cabin is slightly better than the quality of the second. This task proved that statement true, since in the first cabin Tom and Selwyn ended up either driving the nails into the studs or sanding them off, since they were impossible to pull out of the hardwood without tearing the heads of the nails off with the pry bar. In the second cabin, the nails popped nicely out of the pine studs. Tom also cleaned up around the building that will be our tool shed, preparing to re-side it so we have a dry, secure place to store the many tools that we are already collecting. I started cleaning gutters that Selwyn had removed from the roofs. The gutters were filthy, some with an inch or so of muck with the roots still in it from the plants that had begun to grow there since the property was deserted. Fortunately we had good water pressure, so I was able to hose out the bulk of the mess, then attack the rest with a scrub brush and a bucket full of bleach. Because part of our water supply will be rainwater collection, we want the gutters as clean as possible to start.
When it started raining hard enough that I didn’t want to be outside even for a wet job, I went to San Antonio to check email. Just as I was preparing to leave the internet café, we received an email from Noah saying that we’re ready to close. So, on the way home, I stopped the truck at the top of one of the hills, got out in the pouring rain, and called Noah, arranging to meet him Tuesday morning.
A cold front came in with the rain, so at the end of the day we turned on the water heater for hot showers. We haven’t been using the camper’s water heater since it almost blew up on us in Texas. Cold showers really aren’t all that bad when the outside temperature is in the 80’s, the water temperature is in the 70’s, and you’re really hot from working all day, but we decided that since it was a chilly 70 and we hadn’t been sweating in the sun all day, we were due for our first hot showers in a while. These were probably the first really hot showers since we’ve been in Belize since the campground showers were warmed by the heated shower heads, but were definitely not hot. We both decided to waste a little water and do luxurious things like shave and condition our hair, and talked all evening about how nice it was to stand under hot running water. It doesn’t take much to make us happy!
Over the past weekend, Tom and I scared ourselves a little. When Tom was cleaning up on Friday evening, he had noticed that his yellow hammer wasn’t in its spot in his tool box. He walked all around both cabins looking for it, inside and outside, and didn’t find it. Saturday morning, we decided to explore and clear the trails running out on the property from the cabins’ site. We were up and down all the trails multiple times as we figured out how they fit together. The entire time we were clearing trails, we were watching the ground – or so we thought – since this was the area where Tom and Selwyn had seen and killed the fer-de-lance snake. As we were coming down the trail from the water tower for the last time, we both stopped dead in our tracks at the end of the trail near the second cabin. The hammer was lying on the ground, right in the middle of the trail. We have no idea how both of us managed to walk over it, multiple times each, while we thought we were watching the ground for snakes. We’re not sure if we’d rather believe that we’re completely ineffective as far as watching where we step, or if the Mayan gods were playing tricks on us during the full moon. Either way, it looks like we’re at least a little bit crazy.