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Are We Really Only Three Days In?

3 weeks ago

854 words

Photo: Just… augh…

 

Ok, so here is the stupidest thought that I ever have thought ever in the history of my life:

“I’m gonna just slide into 2018 and keep my head down and get some work done. I’m gonna mind my business, keep my scalp oiled, keep my eyes on my own work, and not bother with nobody. Nobody. It’s going to be a great year of me work and me working and me not doing anything else but working.  I’m going to start it off right with some writing. No crafting for at least a week. And I’m not going to say yes to anything social until later in January. Gonna just… get back to work. Reestablish my groove. Be a writer for God’s sake. I’m going to make the time to be patient, disciplined and focused. Yes. 2018 requires discipline and focus. Ready? Go!”

Here is what the Universe decided to do with my folly-filled thoughts:

  1. First, the temperature of the world decided to go down by all the degrees. Wind-chills in the negatives, which is just inappropriate. This is annoying, but usually manageable. Yesterday, however, it was so cold that the local school buses couldn’t handle it. They broke down/didn’t warm up/whatever, which started a cascade of delays and issues. The result? I had to drop off and pick up the boys yesterday, ducking and dodging in crazy-parent traffic, taking away chunks of the day.
  2. Second, my thoughts somehow started a butterfly-effect type situation where tiny brainwaves somehow conjured a massive nor’easter that is now barreling up the coast. It’s January, after all! Why not add a blizzard to the mix just for funsies? 10-15 inches, plus the cold, plus the wind. Oh, the joy.
  3.  And you know what the word “blizzard” does to my Marylander brain, right? I was at Wegmans this morning. First thing. No list beyond “all the eggs”, “all the bread,” and “a lot of booze.” I was, of course,  with all of my closest buddies. All of them on their cell phones and in their best LuLu Leggings and Ugg boots. It took forever to get in and out of there. But I am very happy to say that I have enough food in my fridge to keep my from having to leave this house for anything until at least Monday. Maybe Tuesday! This is probably the only good news to come out of any of this, because…
  4. Our boiler is on its way out… see the photo above.

 

That’s right. Our boiler, (which is, by some estimates, 40 years old) is doing the stuff that dying boilers want to do: leak water. The corrosion is quite visible on the bottom and, as you can see in the picture, water is starting to drip onto the basement floor. The good news? My house is warm. The boiler is working so hard to keep this old house with drafty windows warm enough (67) for us to all be comfortable, and that’s hard when the temperature is so low outside so consistently. With the storm impending, getting guys out to look at her and give us estimates about a possible replacement is difficult. I’ve gone down to the basement multiple times a day to fret over her, lay hands on her, speak encouraging words of motivation and gratitude to her… so far, the water puddle hasn’t grown and the house is still warm. Please, Lord, let it remain so until after the storm has passed us.

And then there is the price. $3,000-5,000 is what we’ve heard from a neighbor? Supposedly, because this is such an old boiler, we’re going to be able to get a fairly good rebate back from Massachusetts to replace it, which will be nice. But how long will that take? How much will it be? Much research to be had. One has to wonder why house disasters have to happen right before and right after Christmas!

So, as you can imagine, I’m sitting here feeling a little bit… drained… already. Is this really only Day Three of 2018? It’s hard to pay attention to a wider world still suffering from the same madness of the year before when my all-too-personal world seems to be crumbling down for no discernible reason.

I start the year with a lot of humble gratitude: my house is warm. It has good food in it, ready to be cooked and enjoyed. My boys have drawers full of clean, warm pajamas and clothes, just in case we lose power or something else goes wrong. My husband and I have great neighbors, with a wood stove,  just in case we need to get warm some other way. And our van, God how I love our van, has four wheel drive. If I need to get my babies somewhere, I will. I just will. These are the only things that matter now. Writing, working, external goals…everything else… can wait.

Pictures of the snow progress for all ya’ll to gander? Sure. 🙂 I’ve got nothing better to do tomorrow, I guess!

Stay warm out there, Dear Reader. Oh, and… Happy New Year!

5 Replies to “Are We Really Only Three Days In?”

  1. Oh man, I am praying for that boiler not to crap out on you! I have a friend in New Jersey who returned home with her two small children on Sunday night after a wedding, only to find their boiler had quit on them- they just bought a beautiful, super old farmhouse. I was happy, at that moment, to not only be a renter, but a renter in California. You won’t hear me say that too often. Good luck with your writing this year! We have some of the same goals. 🙂 Happy New Year!

    1. I would usually say, “OMG! California! I’m so jealous!” But I know ya’ll have had your own challenging weather out that way. I hope you were nowhere near the fires. That was really awful.

      A guy came to look at our boiler today before the snow got really bad. The good news? He said it didn’t look like it was in imminent risk of failure. The goodish news? Because we have steam heat, our boiler is a simple machine that should be less expensive than some fancier stuff. The bad news? There are very few manufacturers who make steam boilers anymore. So… this is probably the last steam boiler we will ever put in to this house. Hopefully it will last for the lifetime we need it to.

      1. I am on the Central Coast, so we had our worst fires in 2016, in Big Sur. But the fires last year were North first, then South, and they were AWFUL.
        Aside from that, no one except for the very rich can afford to buy a home here, so I probably won’t be here too much longer. There are beautiful places I have yet to discover, where a girl can buy herself a home. I’m considering Maine.
        Good luck with that boiler! Stay warm. ❤️

  2. So glad to hear you have some time on the boiler. Time can makes even that annoying task less fraught.

    I’ve got to ask, when you hear blizzard what specific worries zip into overdrive? Having lived here since I was old enough to walk, I’m curious. I know some of the weather other parts of the country take for granted would freak me out (tornados, wild fires, earthquakes, annual hurricanes…)

    1. My biggest fear is being in this house, with the lights on and the heat on, but stuck… for days and days and days. Growing up in Maryland, Boston was all the example of where the “big, devastating” snow storms were. I guess we were being shown video of the ’77 storm. I just… I don’t want to be in a situation where I don’t have enough to feed the family, and I can’t really get anywhere. Eggs, milk, bread, cold cuts… they are guaranteed meals, you know? All the other stuff is gravy from there. And in the case of this blizzard, I have been in this house since Wednesday and haven’t even thought about the grocery store!

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