Shower Free

Let’s do a little morning meditation together. Start off by finding a comfy spot. Really settle in there. Yeah, that’s nice. Now close your eyes. Wait. No. I bet it’s hard to read with your eyes closed so keep them open. But you can still relax them. Let them droop a little. But not all the way. There. That’s good.

Now that we’re starting to feel those muscles loosen, let’s take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it. Mmmm. Feel your lungs fill up with air. Let the oxygen do its work. Notice the ripeness of the world around you. The fragrances of energy and…wait…do you smell that? It’s subtle at first but intensifying. Some sour notes, maybe slightly putrid, almost like something not quite dead but near death. Ah yes, that rancid distinct scent is some type of cross between sweat and a chili dog. That smell that you’re smelling is the smell of me, brought to you by the prevailing westerlies. Friends across the midwest, northeast and southeast, you may get a watered down version. For those of you on the west coast, you get the raw real deal. You’re welcome. Now long breath out.

Inhale. Do you smell that stale swamp fart wafting across a stagnant pond? That’s Cormac. Now exhale.

Long breath in and relax. Mmmm. That mixture of dirt, sweat, old marshmallow and grime is Ruth. Long breath out and hold. Good.

Breath in deep and fill those lungs again. Yes, that smell of charcoal and dusty gravel is Greta meanwhile if you’re getting notes of old cream cheese, rotten garlic and tainted scab you’re probably smelling Marnie. And out.

Last deep breath and hold onto that general body odor. Now you’re getting Sarah, the least clean of us all. Okay, now exhale. Namaste.

It’s been 2 weeks since any of us have taken a proper shower. The kids and I have jumped into any lake or river that we come across so liquid has at least partially washed the dirt and sweat from our skin and hair, but Sarah appears to be attempting to discover some new type of fermentation by steering clear of all bodies of water.

It’s hard to imagine being okay with our lack of bathing but I’m surprised to say that it hasn’t been that bad. This is coming from someone who once had a very strict morning routine that always included a long shower. Are we dirty? Yes. Do we smell? Yes. Are we generally okay with it? Yes. Does it seem to help with social distancing? Yes. Win, win, win, win. This single stone of not showering is killing like 40 birds. It’s amazing how giving things up makes you feel free.

You may be wondering why we’re not showering in the camper more often. While the camper has a shower, it would appear that every time we turn it on every pipe that leads the water to the shower leaks so it’s either shower then clean up the camper or skip the shower. Also, while the water heater “works”, it only really works for about 45 seconds. It’s one of the many things that partially work in the camper.

We’ve been on the road now for 3 weeks. There’s been tons of driving and too much fighting but other than that we’ve had a great time. We miss neighbors, friends and family but we’re seeing parts of the country that we’ve never seen before. We haven’t missed much of our stuff from home. Much of that is attributed to Sarah’s ability to plan and pack. Greta misses some stuffed animals but other than that we have pretty much everything we need. We’ve seen towns that are thriving and towns that seem to be withering away. We’ve stayed in parking lots, campgrounds, a farm, a drive-in movie theater, state parks, national parks, RV parks and other weird spots.

As we drove into Portland, Oregon the other night two interstates merged with one another and we ended up in a caravan of right wing protesters. They flew Keep America Great flags, Thin Blue Line flags, All Lives Matter, etc. They honked and exchanged jeers and middle fingers with passing cars. We drove into Portland at the time to check out the city from the car. It was daytime. We saw people sitting at cafes and restaurants. People walking around. Lots of tents. Mostly masked. We didn’t see violence or even protests but the city was quiet. CNN reported that the right-wing caravan eventually made it into Portland. At least a few of the members of the caravan sprayed left-wing or BLM protestors with bear spray or mace. A man was later shot and killed. Fox News reported the incident as well but chose to leave out the bear spray / mace and include an anecdote about people celebrating the death in streets following the shooting.

One event. Two conflicting interpretations or worse even. Two versions of storytelling designed to leave you with differing truths. One leaves you believing the right wingers are to blame and the other leaves you believing the left wingers are to blame. Either way you hate someone so they win the battle to make us angry and afraid and we lose the battle to empathize as we fall deeper into our divide. Amazing. Our political differences result in death again and our versions of reality are completely skewed based on where we get our news. And it’s sad that we choose to ignore this.

Oh jeez, we started by meditating on dirty kids and ended here. Sorry. For pics from the trip follow us on Instagram @justgleasoning

Power to the people. Thanks for reading.

Chris

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