This winter of snowdrifts and deep cold has been a blessing. Like all big winter years I’ve had some challenges, my furnace became stingy with heat output and the hot water heater took note and is withholding hot water. I even climbed up in to a very awkward attic space to look at the furnace (thank you yoga!) thinking there might be an obvious part lying on the attic insulation. There wasn’t, and if there was I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what to do next, but it was an adventure! I have no idea how that furnace will someday be replaced with its given location.
These normal home owner issues always bring my head back to the tiny house, and the potential issues that water and heat might face. The extra time indoors has allowed me to research and plan. It reminds me of pre-trip planning when I’m traveling somewhere new, it’s part of the journey and can save you many headaches before arriving to the destination. If I had jumped right into building the plans I had purchased I wouldn’t have the redesign that better suits me.
I spent my Friday night tackling the craft cupboard, which holds many clues that we were a former home schooling family. How wonderful that I work for a school that has two amazing art classrooms, a pottery room AND a Makerspace…I know exactly where all these cast-off art supplies can be put to good use.
Doing dishes over winter break started to get under my skin. The dishwasher seemed to be endlessly full as well as the sink and the dish drainer … we have too many dishes. I emptied all the cupboards and started a new discard corner in my daughters empty room. My kids will each receive a box of really pretty items when it comes time to set up their own living space.
I won’t have a dishwasher in the tiny house, so after bringing down the sheer number of dishes we use I decided to go on a dishwasher ban to see how washing dishes by hand day in and day out sits with me. I ask Alexa to play some music, light a candle on the windowsill, and fill the sink with hot soapy water (when the hot water heater is feeling generous). Turning this daily chore into an opportunity to think has turned doing dishes into therapeutic motion, there are days the dishwater mixes with tears.
I’ll be just fine without the modern dishwasher, both my dishes and my emotions will get a good scrubbing. I will however need a good supply of this awesome product as my hands take the brunt of cold and hot.
Thanks for all the great support and feedback as I share this trek, looking forward to posting my first construction photos in the summer sun.
During the cold, dark, short days of winter the puzzles come out, it’s how I avoid the temptation to slip into sleep before 7 o’clock every night because it’s been dark for hours already. The title of the latest winter puzzle is “The Games We Play”, and it’s full of nostalgia as I have always loved board games. This however is not a particularly cozy, happy post.
As I searched for the spinner to High Ho Cheerio, I was listening to the television when a story about the White Helmets of Syria came on. These are volunteers who dig out survivors after a brutal bombing has occurred. They look for legs or fingers or any other visible body part and begin to frantically dig away at the rubble with bare hands, and time is of the essence to save victims from suffocation. My Hi Ho Cheerio search became irrelevant as I watched the images come across the screen of the horror that is Aleppo. I have no reference of suffering at that level and felt overwhelmed to be sitting in a safe and warm home lit softly by Christmas lights, with plenty of food, clean water and my family.
It is always a worthwhile exercise to connect with the suffering of others, it keeps our humanity in check. Life often hangs by a fragile thread and while I cannot change the reality of those living in Aleppo, I CAN be mindful of the energy I put out in to the world.
Today was my test. It was just ONE OF THOSE DAYS.
The kicker was dropping off a mass mailing of report cards (mass mailings tend to provoke tension from the onset), only to have the postal lady call as I was three blocks away that I needed to return because all the envelopes were 20 to 40 cents short on postage. If there hadn’t been half the population of the county waiting in line when I returned I might have had a memorable moment in the post office. I return to the school, reweigh the envelopes (which the majority were under the 1 ounce limit…thank you very much) and headed home. My sons friends were listening to their music that tends to set my teeth on edge and sitting at the puzzle. I looked at their impressive progress and said, “Whatever you do, DO NOT FINISH THE PUZZLE, that is the best part!” Realizing I need to get a grip I retreated to a quiet room.
I remind myself that my “bad” day is nothing, nothing other than an inconvenience. So I say a small simple prayer for those who are fighting … for Aleppo, for cancer, for loneliness and homelessness, and hunger … I make my family a delicious vegetable red curry and I feel so, so terribly blessed.