Friday, October 17, 2014
Funny when I think about it, when I was a kid, receiving at Christmas was all I thought about. It was magical, the thought that an entity existing in the “outside” world would be kind or generous in any way, Santa Clause was a myth with a heart. It wasn’t that we received much, a box of crayons, a colouring book, an orange, a banana and a handful of chocolate creams in our stockings, and one modest gift under the tree. It just meant the world to us, the joy of being accepted by the spirit of goodwill, that was Santa Clause. In reality, that was my Mom, and my Mom alone, who gave us that.
I don’t recall when it all shifted for me. I think it was when I first left home, and came back for Christmas. I spent my few dollars on…. fresh milk for my brothers and sisters, quarts and quarts of fresh milk. We didn’t drink pure fresh milk when I was a child, after the milk cow was slaughtered, always instant mixed with fresh. It was awful, instant milk. So I brought fresh milk for my siblings, for Christmas, so that they could drink as much as they wanted, for a short time.
Just to note for posterity: As a child I believed that Santa Clause had a heart, but I didn’t believe that Jesus did. My concept of Jesus was down to the humans at the local Churches, who left us with bad feelings, always bad feelings, they exuded condescension, contempt, intolerance, judgement, we could feel their poor opinion of us through all those superior smiles. We accepted Santa Clause into our hearts because Santa Clause accepted us. Jesus was keeping bad company, in our view, and it was best to leave him to sort that out for himself. It was generally believed that he was capable of accomplishing this.
Back at the country house, another grey day has dawned. Another day where the trees provide all the sunny yellow a person could possibly need.
On Tuesday night Attila brought home a new not water heater, one that he managed to procure at an excellent price. The down side to it is that we are not sure that it is functional, but will not lose our investment if it is not. If it does not work, another new water heater will be ordered locally, and will arrive next week. We have our fingers crossed that this new hot water heater will work!
Last night, after a quick supper, Attila began work on the new installation. The old hot water heater had to come out, to make room for the new. As Attila was maneuvering the old hot water heater out the door, he called to me for assistance. Mist figured it was a perfect opportunity to take a little trip into the great outdoors. I grabbed her just as she was about the make her great escape. She and I retreated to the back kitchen for some petting and conversation, until Attila had moved the old water heater out and the new water heater in.
It was a long job, and in the end, long after I had retired for the night, Attila had to leave it unfinished. One little part was missing on the new hot water heater, a plug. Attila was not able to find the part needed near here, so we will have to wait till next week to get the part and finish the project. That hot water is so close I can feel it!
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Last night after Attila arrived home from work, we had a quick supper, bit the bullet, and made the trip to town for parts for the hot water heater. We arrived back late in the evening, and Attila went right to work on it. An hour or so later he announced, “it is done, it works”! After waiting half an hour for the water to heat up, I had my first shower since Monday morning. Bliss!
We did dishes, we did laundry, Attila had a long hot bath… what luxury.
It was a late night, for all of that.
Today was the final day of curing for the masonry heater. Tomorrow it will be throwing some serious heat, and just in time! Overnight temperatures will begin to fall below freezing, starting tonight.
Attila and I are researching a replacement for our little car. It is a 1998 vintage model, which makes it 16 years old. Attila manages to keep it on the road, but this is becoming more and more difficult as time goes by. We have experienced several episodes of late, where it was off the road for repairs for an extended period of time. It is becoming less reliable.
There is another issue with it though, and that is that it can no longer travel long distances reliably. That means it cannot travel to the little house in the city, or to visit relatives. That means that when I am staying at the little house, and Attila needs to be there too, I must make the four to five hour drive back to the country to bring Attila back down to the little house, and then return him to the country house, before heading back to the little house myself. So bringing Attila to the little house involves 16 to 20 hours of driving. We do this.
However, if our 1998 vintage vehicle were replaced with a vehicle that could make the journey to the little house, then Attila could travel a one-way trip, to get there, and a second one-way trip, back to the country, which would entail 8 to 10 hours of driving. Half the time, half the cost of fuel.
We are also thinking that it would be a bad idea to wait until we are in desperate need, to replace the 1998 vintage vehicle. It would be much wiser to begin the search now, when we have time to be fussy, and to make careful, informed decisions.
Our present lifestyle was never the plan! We bought the little house to move there. We have both looked for work near the little house for over four years, without success. We have had our country house up for sale twice, with no success. Life is weird. When we bought the little house, to live there, Attila was working under the supervision of a drug addict, the company I was working for was folding, and we had nothing to lose by picking up and leaving. A few days after we took possession of the little house, the drug addict quit, Attila was promoted, and now values, even enjoys, his job. He and we suddenly had a lot to lose. So we carry on, renovating and maintaining both homes, wondering what twists and turns lie ahead.
We still make plans, and that is a faith based thing.
Date: 11:33 AM EDT Thursday 16 October 2014
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Visibility: 10 km
Wind: W 9 km/h
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 18 October 2014
Pressure: 100.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: NW 22 km/h
“Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.”
Sir Julian Huxley
1887 – 1975