Sunday, March 19, 2017

MORE AROUND THE VILLAGE (H)

Mekkar lived in a nice house that his parents bought not long after he was born, but after awhile it required expanding to meet the families’ needs. Mekkar’s family grew in size after his younger brothers were born and then the home actually became a real settled permanent dwelling for them. For larger scale additions and projects related to the house that his papa didn’t have time to do himself would require some materials and needed labor from further down south. Henrik would make all the arrangements for this, which included some input from his mama. Some of these house projects were carried out in parts over a period of years. Some bribery, also known as locality charges and fees, was in order to get the job done.

The house had a large underground basement area built that was more than just a cellar. It always seemed to Mekkar to be cold down there because it part of it was built into the permafrost, which is only a short distance below ground. The cellar and the ground floor are not considered by the national standard as stories, only the levels above ground. Mekkar’s parents had a whole extra story, which spanned the length of the home, added to the top of the house along with an upstairs attic for bedrooms and activity rooms for the boys.

For a long time before, Mekkar had pestered his mama and papa about having his own room, especially for being the oldest child in his immediate family. Yet, Mekkar was not successful in his avocation for a Jacuzzi. Mekkar felt that being the oldest should count for something since he had much more responsibility than his younger siblings combined or so he reasoned with his parents. At the same time, since Alf grew up very fast and was already taller than Mekkar in no time at all, Mekkar got sick and tired of having to share a room and sleeping in an oversized king sized bed along with his younger brother.

Alf drove Mekkar crazy with his continual tossing and turning and swinging his arms in his sleep. Even though Mekkar would sleep near the far edge of his side of the large bed, once in awhile he might receive an elbow in the back or side. Mekkar, would then get ticked off and return the favor back. It was so difficult for Mekkar to get some shut eye because of Alf’s crazy sleep habits that Mekkar would grab some pillows and other blankets and go to sleep in a different room of the house.

Finally, after a few construction projects were completed and built each of the three boys had their own bedroom, a hang out room with a pool table and a big television, and a trophy room in which each sibling had their own wall for jerseys, etc. Outside a cool club fort was constructed with seating for about ten kids. Also, Mekkar could never forget about the sauna too! The sauna was one of those special projects added to Mekkar’s family home for a variety of reasons.

Many homes in the area had home saunas, either attached to the main dwelling or as a separate small building. Those that have the saunas could be invite others over or go to one of the community ones available for public use, since this was normal daily custom for many in the area. Mekkar understood that these hot rooms were invented, in this area of the planet, to provide personal relaxation and a few health benefits for the residents. It was also a place of interaction also.

Many business deals are arranged and conducted while taking a sauna together. For example, heads of state and big time corporate executives have negotiated some business matters there. This is true especially in larger cities down south similar to head honchos who wheel and deal on gold courses in other parts of the world. This activity could be participated in chilly weather outside during wintertime and it is very adaptable too! Some individuals, like Mekkar’s parents, would go to the sauna for a bit of solitude and what they called “self peace time”. 

Boy, it would get hot in there with temperatures high enough to make Mekkar feel like his hair was on fire. Even though he would pour water on the treated rocks in the sauna to get it nice and toasty, it was still more comfortable to him compared to a Turkish steam bath. The steam bath air was so thick with steam that Mekkar could hardly breathe in it. Mekkar went to the sauna almost every day when he was home and there was still room for more people. Some people using the sauna would tap or lightly whip themselves to stimulate and improve blood circulation and get a person’s skin pores to open up. Some in the hot room quickly drink a beer or two to prevent such quick dehydration, but would get someone buzzed twice as fast. Afterward they might go outside to roll in the cold winter snow or jump into the shallow unfrozen part of the river. Rolling in the powder gave Mekkar a numbing sensation, and he was certain that after drinking in the sauna that was the only reason for the odd feeling.

Mekkar preferred to air dry by walking around outside after exciting a hot room to let the pores close on their own instead of using other methods to shock them closed. The shock the pores closed process could be through coming into contact with extreme cold or heat. However, Mekkar preferred his way because he felt that his body had been cleansed and refreshed. At times, Mekkar would invite a few of his closest friends over to the sauna in his house. He figured it was being used for its intended purpose, to entertain guests. Of course, Mekkar would also go to the community saunas, with his friends, to meet girls.

However, Mekkar’s papa had constructed this particular sauna with other additional functions in mind such as heating up the water to provide more hot water showers, etc... This hot room was always turned on and kept in a warm state because you never knew who or when some guest might drop by the house. Thus, an all inclusive practicality was a requirement for the original building and the presence of the hot room along with the usual benefits for those who enjoyed its medicine.


The Far North Native thought that Alf always wanted to test the limits of the sauna’s added hot water production. Alf would proceed to let the upstairs bathroom fog up something fierce, even with the powerful vent fan running, because Mekkar’s brother would turn the shower knob all the way to the hottest setting. Alf then would fall asleep on the large bathmat in the middle of the bathroom floor, while letting the hot water flow from the shower head. Mekkar suspected that Alf would just pass out from the hot steam. Since this was a frequent occurrence Mekkar would then after a certain amount of time have his youngest brother Niillas or another family member pick the lock and open the bathroom door.