Yeah, as jed mentioned in a comment, it’s definitely been too quiet around here. I hope that means everybody’s having a relaxed, peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.
Tomorrow is the hump day in my two-month retreat. Mixed results so far. I’m glad I’m doing it, but instead of peacefulness, I’m actually feeling quite a lot of stress and anxiety. Partly that’s over decisions I need to make. Mostly it’s just a lot of “old stuff” coming back on me. Really, really old stuff. Like things I thought I’d moved past years ago.
Boring to go into, but I find myself longing for busy-ness.
It doesn’t help that the only real heater in the house has gone out twice in the last two weeks. Both times in the middle of the night. When the temps outside have been in the low 20s. And on weekends. I swear, it’s a conspiracy.
The first time I was able to get the heater working again after about seven hours of putzing. This time, it’s just dead. Not sure, but it may be a bad thermocouple. I hear that’s easy to replace, but on this model of propane fireplace the connection for it appears near-impossible to get to and there are no instructions, online or off.
So the critters and I sit surrounded by space heaters that (after having expended 3,000+ watts for many hours now) have raised the room temperature a grand, glorious TWO degrees from what it was at 1:00 a.m. when I noticed the fireplace had died.
It’s better in this one spot, though. So back to hanging sheets of plastic in doorways and archways, and I’ll keep working on that heater. Gonna be a colder day than this before I give in and call a service rep!
Anyhow, it’s a gorgeous sunny day. The darned sun doesn’t seem to be useful for much, but it’s pretty.
ADDED: This isn’t a bleg! After the year (and the roof) you guys gave me, I want for nothing. I’ll figure out that *&^%$#@ heater for myself.
ADDED-ADDED: Got it going again! Right now it’ll work only when nursed back to pilot-life, kept on pilot-only for five minutes, then rapidly turned to (and kept at) full blast. But that’s something …
When I get to feeling sorry for myself, I think about better people than I, who show grace and courage in the face of nature.
One of those is a lady who may or may not be reading this right now. Her husband was the reader of this blog. Just middle aged and full of life. Then he died a long, hard death (which he always said was harder on her than on him). They were each others’ true loves and had been together I don’t know how long.
I never met him, though he was for many, many years a cheerful member of the Commentariat and a supporter. Only as he approached death did I begin to learn that he’d actually been many different people online and in print — all fascinating people, but all so private I doubt anybody ever had a clue that those different identities belonged to one man.
He and his beloved were people of modest means. They lived a good life but never had much more than required to meet their needs. They always shared with others, though. For a long time, they knew they were going to come into some money. Not fabulous wealth, but enough to make them comfortable for the rest of their lives. The money was tied up in some sort of contracting tangles or for some other reason (I don’t know the details). For many years, I gather. Then suddenly it was freed up. Just a couple of months before he died.
Now she’s alone and, in her own words, “broken.” Despite having good friends and a big support network, nothing can “un-break” her. Nothing but time — and even with that there are no guarantees. Some people mourn forever.
And of course, she’s reminded of him wherever she turns. Sometimes the reminders come out of the blue. For instance, he used to love to send people a certain small luxury gift — the sort of thing few people would buy for themselves but that would delight them and make them feel pampered if it came from somebody else. The company noticed. A couple of months ago, shortly after his death and not knowing he was gone, they sent him one of those little luxuries as a thank you for being such a special customer. I can only imagine the mixture of wry humor and sorrow she felt opening that package.
Thing is, she has continued his legacy of giving — which was also her legacy. Terrible though she feels, hard though it is for her to get through long days and even longer nights, she keeps on thinking of others. I don’t know how many have benefited, both before and since his death, in ways both small and huge.
I only know she’s an amazing lady and a fitting partner for an amazing man. I only wish that she could take comfort in her own amazingness. I wish she could give that gift to herself. I hope time and nature will give her that.