Friday, November 26, 2010

staying warm

I’m sitting in the kitchen the sun is peeking up behind the now leafless oaks. The grasses stand tall, frozen. Both ovens are open and the red glow of the burners makes a nice warm light. The heater is not working. Two weeks ago when we found this out we weren’t concerned but days and a week went by until someone could come out to look at it, unfortunately they weren’t able to fix it and had other jobs ahead of us so here we are 53 degrees in the house, 17 outside. I slept in a couple of layers and stayed toasty in soft clean bed. I count my blessings. I had a deep and joyful thanksgiving and have more blessing than I can count. And 53 isn’t that bad, really.

I do hate being at the mercy of these things, but I find it hard to complain. I know eventually the heater will get fixed a few cold nights and mornings can’t take away the amazing blessings I have all around me. I’ve been watching the John Adams series, I love the show and I love all the details of it down to the black soot flame marks on the walls from the sconces that actually provided light. No light switch, no heater to crank on. That was a lot of work when you think about it, but at the same time I’m so drawn by the self reliance of it all. There is a lot of that I crave deeply.

This is the first time in many years I have not had a wood stove. Several years ago when I lost power for two weeks after a terrible ice storm I stayed warm and was able to cook all of my meals on the stove. I lit with oil lamps and made out quite fine. I had filled many buckets and 5 gal water totes with water. I had to boil water to do dishes. I had to conserve water as well. I had just enough for the animals, I had a lot less animals than I have now so it really wasn’t that difficult. I had been accustomed to heating with the stove so a thing like losing power had very little affect on me. I actually rejoiced in absent buzz of appliances.

I suppose I can honestly say I don’t want to live in a time without refrigerators and modern comfort. I think it’s that I just don’t want to be completely dependent on them. But right now I am. If I lost power I would be out of commission completely. No heat, no water, no way to cook (other than the camp stove). No way to chill the milk, on and on. This dependence worries me. It gives me a great heavy feeling in my heart. I don’t know where this comes from. If its arrogance, independence, fear, past life, what? But I fret over it.

We had intended to buy a wood stove and be heating with wood this year, but I wasn’t able to find one used and didn’t have the funds to buy a new one with all of the piping required. I’m sure next year we’ll be able to, but watching our pennies is of utmost importance to us. So we’ll bundle up and do the best we can. I’m sure the repair guy will come back today before dark and put an end to this crazy meandering on self reliance, or rather increase my obsession of it.

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