When we first moved to Tennessee, we lived in a mobile home that had been moved onto a piece of Steve's mom and dad's 120 acres in the woods. Well, let's back up a little. Because really, at first we lived with Steve's mom and dad. All six of us: Steve, me, and four kids. And our cat. For a month. Now even though they were wonderful about it, I was really looking forward to being in our own place again (and I bet, though they wouldn't ever say it, they were looking forward to it too). So once that mobile home was moved on, leveled, and secured, we moved in ... without electricity... in July.
I wanted electricity, mind you. I wanted it badly. I kept pestering the electrical company, but they were booked solid for a month. So we waited, not so patiently, while we lived in the mobile home. In July. In Tennessee.
It was soooo hot! If you've ever visited or lived in Tennessee in July, you'll know that the heat and humidity are overwhelming. We combatted the heat using a window fan, running an electrical cord from the chicken coop. We could choose to have one thing on at a time, so either the fan or a lamp, our choice.
Before moving in, I spent hours washing walls, cleaning the bathrooms, wiping down the cabinets, washing out the fridge that came with the mobile home. I wanted everything clean for my little children before we moved in. I also wanted the carpets cleaned and had learned from a friend that the best way to clean carpets is to hire someone who uses a process that kind of dry cleans them. She explained that when you put all of that water onto the carpet, the carpet acts as a wick and brings up all of the dirt way down in the carpet pad, so your carpet never gets clean. I had heard from another friend that having a carpet cleaner with the suction in the truck is better than the do-it-yourself carpet cleaners that leave a lot of the water behind. So armed with information, I opened up the yellow pages and searched for carpet cleaners, convinced that I needed someone else with better equipment or at least better suction, to make my little nest as clean as it could be.
I called one that looked decent and the conversation went something like this:
Carpet cleaning guy: Hello this is the carpet cleaning guy.
Me: Hi, I really need to have my carpet cleaned. But, will you be needing electricity for your machines, because we don't have electricity yet.
Carpet cleaning guy: (silence, then finally) You don't have electricity hooked up to your home?
Me: No, not yet, the electrical company is booked up and can't come out for a bit, but we do have a cord that we run from the chicken coop.
Carpet cleaning guy: Um, just call me when you get electricity. (click)
Right then and there I knew that I was no longer in Kansas, I mean the city, and it was the first time (though not the last) that someone could write a really good redneck joke about me. You know, something like:
You might be a redneck if.... your chickens have electricity, but you don't!