Wednesday 16 October 2013

Kjell's Sauna

    Yesterday afternoon, we flushed out our waterline.  Our water comes from Sunbeam Falls and runs downhill through a 2 inch (5cm) line, providing 4 households with water.  The length of our line is 4,100 ft (1.2 km).   In the winter, to prevent the water from freezing we keep the water flowing.  It empties into Beardsley Brook, over at my neighbor’s property.  
    To flush out the line we went over there to where it empties and fully opened the valve to allow maximum flow.  This flushed out the fine sediments that built up in the line over the year.  The outflow pours out of a pipe into the pool located by the sauna, my ex-neighbor, Kjell built years ago.   I don’t think that the sauna has been used in many years, and it is starting to deteriorate.  
    Taking a sauna was something new to me when I first moved to Canada.  As a child, my mother always warned me that if I was really hot and sweaty, I should never jump into cool water.   I seems to remember her saying that you could get polio from doing that.  At any rate, not wanting to get polio, I refrained from cooling off too rapidly for most of my early life.
    It did seem strange then, when I was invited for my first sauna.  I just followed what everyone else was doing.  I stripped down, and endured the clouds of steam made from water being poured on a blazingly hot iron stove, which started me sweating profusely, and when I could no longer stand the heat, I followed the others out into the cold winter air to either roll in the snow or jump into the creek.
    Kjell, who was always the initiator to saunas, had a Norwegian background and had been doing saunas all of his life.  He never came down with polio; so pink and sweating with heat, I forced myself out into the below freezing outside temperatures and either rolled in the snow or jumped into the water.  
    While I took many saunas with friends, I never really got too the point where I really thought I needed to build a sauna for myself.  It was a comfortable social experience and I always enjoyed the nudity of the opposite sex.  It was a nice ritual for ending a day of cross country skiing or other outside winter activities, which always made me feel all warm, sleepy, and at peace.
    At one time there were several saunas in the neighborhood, all of them, like Kjell’s, are now slowly falling into disrepair.  Even Kjell seemed to loose interest in his sauna once he got a hot tub.

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