In this short post, I will acquaint (at least) some of you with two terms that are part of the culture of living in rural Alaska.
I will begin by showing you photos of the item one of these terms describes.
In the above photo, can you see the lettering on the upper left side of the wooden device?
Back in June of 1998, when I was a new resident in Manley, it was a gift from my neighbor Ernie that he had made just for me. When he handed it to me I hadn't 'a clue in a carload' as to what it was.
Have any of you an idea of what it is called and what it is used for?
We use them in the summer and we use them in the winter. They are part-and-parcel of the rural Alaskan lifestyle.
Yes! They are shown and discussed in Wikipedia.
It is a Boot Jack.
In the below photos taken by Patti, you can see me using my Boot Jack to assist me in removing my muddy boots. Removing tall boots without a Boot Jack is very VERY difficult.
Boot Jacks are absolutely indispensible in rural Alaska.
Now we will go into our kitchen to learn about another vital piece of equipment in rural Alaskan Cabins.
Like I said in a previous post, living in a small cabin can be very similar to living on a small boat.
Now we look directly at the Kitchen Sink.
It looks 'pretty routine' to you doesn't it.
Ah yes it sure does BUT, perhaps in the majority of rural Alaskan Cabins, you DO NOT HAVE RUNNING WATER.
Take a peek into the open door under the Kitchen Sink.
At the top of the above photo, you can see the white plastic waste water disposal line for the two kitchen sinks. Where exactly does the waste water empty into?
The waste water empties into a five gallon bucket that has a name.
What is the five gallon bucket called?
It is a Slop Bucket.
Ah yes! Tales-abound about Slop Bucket mis-adventures.
Here are two of them.
1. You forget to periodically empty your Slop Bucket. And? When it fills to capacity it overflows and makes a mess of things under your sink. If it is (say) minus 60°F outside, the water flash freezes into an impossible-to-thaw mess.
2. You take your Slop Bucket out to your porch to empty it. You get 'distracted' by something (anything) and after you deal with your distraction, you go back into your cabin (and the Slop Bucket is still outside on your porch).
Then you begin to prepare a meal or undertake some other sink activity forgeting your Slop Bucket IS NOT under your sink. And? Voila! (see Number 1 above) you have a mess when you empty a quantity of water into your sink.
During this visit Number 2 happened to me. I let out a yell (Patti came running) as I heard the water I had dumped into the sink cascading down under the sink area.
Smiling with Joy at our Alaskan Adventures.
Cap and Patti