Category Archives: home improvements

The Privilege of being Busy

Our last blog was Sept. 22 because that’s just before Jack went to Boston on a holiday with beloved friends. I stayed home because I’m going to a conference that starts Monday and somebody needed to watch Bruce, the cats, and the chickens on our sweet little homestead.

It’s gonna be okay

On Monday the garbage disposal went out. No problem, I can bail the sink.

On Tuesday, driving home from a meeting two hours away, my vehicle began making horrible sounds and got left in a town an hour away. A friend drove me home. (Thanks Donnamarie and it’s a wonderful thing to have friends who will make round trips for you.) Neighbors across the street, fighting their own battles with serious health issues, took time out to run over and let our doggie Bruce out because I was stranded so long. It was unexpected, catching up with Donnamarie after not seeing her for over a year. So pleasant, even if the ride was forced by difficult circumstances.

On Wednesday I drove our farm truck to an awards ceremony in a posh location. I resisted the urge to park my sheep-smelling vehicle in valet, but oh it was a temptation. I went to the posh location because one of our volunteers at the Inman Village Community Nourishment Project was receiving an award for being awesome and running a food program over the summer when we didn’t have any student volunteers to do it.

On Thursday I sent query letters on my first serious piece of fiction to four agents, and covered our garden in prep for winter. And had ice cream for supper, in a waffle cone.

Today I am headed back to Inman in a rental–they didn’t have one Wednesday which is why I drove the farm truck–to run our monthly outreach of free food, fun crafts, and listening to questions the Inman Village residents have about access to services. And hopefully answer them. I was able to get the rental because another beloved friend picked me up at home and took me to the rental place, despite being up to her eyebrows in care needs for her own extended family, including three elders and an accident-prone brother. It was lovely to catch up with Nora, in forced circumstances again, but we sat in the rental lot and talked for 15 minutes, just filling each other in on grace under pressure, aka Adulting 101.

Everything that happened this week was hard, and everything is based on something wonderful and resulted in something wonderful. I have a back-up vehicle. We have awesome volunteers. I can afford a garbage disposal, and chickens on my little one-acre homestead. My husband got to spend a week with dearly beloved friends from his home country. Covering the garden started with annoyance at wind gusts and curious chickens trapping themselves under the tarp, and ended with me laughing so hard I had to sit down as the chickens danced with the fluttering plastic.

Gratitude is an amazing framework. Not comparison, not denying our feelings, but being grateful for what we have.

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Filed under between books, blue funks, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Uncategorized

The Monday 300-lb. Stove

Jack and I bought some forested land, and began hunting a good deal on a wood stove. When a brand-new one popped up on marketplace super-cheap, the nice man we bought it from loaded it into our truck with his brother. They slid a cheap piece of plywood under it to keep the legs from digging the carpet.

There it lay for the next three weeks, feet toward the steering wheel, aimlessly humming a tune to itself as it waited… and waited… and waited….

We tried friends, family, neighbors. Everybody was busy. It’s a hard time of life and a hard time of year. Plus, we really hate to be those sweet-but-annoying elderly neighbors who need help every twenty minutes.

But when my opportunity to pick up a full load of donations for a community project coincided with the stove still taking up 2/3 of the trunk, Jack and I did some math and hatched a plan.

We gathered every quilt, duvet, and rug in the house, including a sheep fleece headed to some community work of its own next week. We added three tarps, drove to the property, and piled the soft stuff as high as the bumper of the car, fleece below a tarp to avoid the barnyard smell. Positioning the car’s bumper right at the edge of the softy pile, we wiggled the stove out moving each corner of the plywood a couple of inches at a time, left right, left right, until the inevitable was about to happen. When the stove tilted, I held it in place while Jack raced to the driver’s seat and pulled the car forward a foot.

Thing came down like gentle snow.

We rocked it onto its feet, covered it with tarps, kissed each other soundly, and piled the soft stuff back into the car so I can wrap it around the furniture and other donations going to the community project.

Neither of us went to the hospital. We didn’t hurt the stove. We are still married we didn’t swear once.

Next up: how do the elderly couple get the stove up four steps into the house? Good question. We’ll figure it out. Or hold a barbecue and invite strong friends.

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Filed under home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch