1948 – 1966 – 2014
For six and a half decades my journey in this life’s experience has ebbed and flowed as necessary for continued forward progression. I have never been accused of stagnating for long. Friends and acquaintances have thought, and some have called, me crazy. Reflecting as I have this winter and more recently as I shovel out from this snow storm, I think the world would be a better place if more people could roll with life and adjust their priorities.
Pictures like the recent highway scene above (and worse!!!) appearing on the news, drives home how inflexible people, in general, have become. They accept no deviation in their desired routine! Mother Nature is not honored. Why would anyone in their right mind be on the road in a major snow/ice storm unless they are Emergency/Health/Fire/Police involved. What happened to common sense? What happened to staying put while the storm is cleared? As I said, the picture I am using is mild compared to many situations out there that have been shown on the news. Add to this the anger exhibited at airports with flight cancellations and delays! People have totally lost touch with reality and lost their ability to roll with life and adjust priorities!
Maybe this is in the forefront of my ponderings as I live though this challenging winter having adjusted my priorities.
The Bathtub This Winter 🙂
Last December during one of the subzero spells, we had a pipe burst. It was around a corner in a crawl space, so by the time I discovered it, it was coming through the cellar rock wall and flooding the cellar. Five inches was enough to take out the hot water heater and the furnace! The sump pump had not been able to keep up with it. Once the water was shut off, the pump removed the water quickly. I used a torpedo kerosene heater to dry things out with fingers crossed. Didn’t work.
The frustrating part is that where ever that pipe is (out of sight) that burst, it has been there for the eleven years we have owed the house! Never a problem until this year.
So here we are with some decisions to make. Some priorities to adjust. The $1000 deductible on our insurance meant we needed to cough up a thousand dollars! Then do we want a smallish claim against the insurance on the property, the main purpose of which is to protect us from a major disaster/wipe out?
So an assessment of our situation! We have cold running water to bath & kitchen.
We have a Vermont Castings Vigilant wood stove and firewood. This can heat the kitchen and, through a ceiling floor register, the bedroom upstairs. Thus we have running water and a warm area to live in. Think of the people around the world who do not have that much!
Water can be heated on the wood stove. So life can proceed w/o spending a $1000 plus an insurance claim at this point in time. Bathing is easily accomplished with a couple pans of water, locally made soap and a couple of cloths. We have the necessary amenities!
With limited financial resources, we need to establish priorities and right now the first priority is, and has to be, opening the Shops at Fayrehale the end of May this year. Paint and stain need to be purchased. Some work needs to be done by a carpenter we have been lucky to find. We have antiques galore for the major antiques portion of the Shop! We need Christmas, Gifts & Toys to round out the other portions. We have to look complete when we open the doors if we expect people to return and spread the word.
So what little money we can assemble is going towards this first priority. To do otherwise right now would be like flushing it down the toilet… using it for something we can temporarily do without rather than for something that can start to generate some income.
Using local artisans serves a dual purpose. It means that our hard earned dollars go to other small businesses plus the minimum initial order requirements are usually $50 – $200 so we can, with careful and tasteful selection, assemble a nice and varied range of inventory.
This priority also means that on subzero and/or stormy nights, I get up at 3am to stoke the stove, run the cold water (which is left dripping – little higher water bill is better than total destruction of the plumbing system!), check and remove snow on the hoop houses etc. It means staying more connected to the real world and to Mother Nature. It means ice in the toilet bowl in the morning — I spare you that picture:):) — and tells me to hurry up and start composting our own manure!
This last storm as given me time to reflect. I shovel the snow and today was day two of a three day shoveling project. No snow blower and no paid plow service. Again, our priorities, shoveling is good exercise when done carefully and wisely, (acknowledge widow maker snow with shorter sessions at a slower pace) why spend money unnecessarily. I was, however, aware as I shoveled the 30″ of plow gifted snow at the end of the driveway of the dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with plows that passed by! An awareness heightened by a friend who recently slid in to a snow bank and sat there while people just passed by.
If you don’t know me, bundled with layers and with a white beard, I look like an old man! :):) So these strangers are driving by an “old man” tackling 30″ of compacted, plow gifted snow! Not one stopped. The point here, is not that I needed or wanted help. The point is that all these people drove by without awareness or compassion for a fellow human being! I would have thought someone would have stopped. Not necessarily with an offer of free help. (three passes would have done everything). They could have stopped and said I can do that for you for $10, $20, $30 whatever! I would have graciously thanked them and declined.
It just enhances my comment above that people accept no deviation in their desired routine. They want no inconvenience, real or perceived. Too many have lost the ability to show spontaneous compassion for people they do not know. The world has become rigid, fast paced and isolated. Most people can no longer deal with the unexpected and perceived hardships.
Hopefully this gets you to reflect on your own situation in life and your own priorities. So much stress can be removed, life can be more peaceful and enjoyable if you just roll with life and adjust your priorities!