This blog has little to do with woodworking. But it does involve the larger project called Life.
I received some recent emails expressing concern about my whereabouts. To those I have befriended on this site. I give my deepest apologies for falling out of touch and believe I should offer an explanation.
It all started a few months ago. My washing machine started making a horrible sound when spinning. Time researched online indicated that the problem was either due to a bad coupling or a bad washer transmission. The transmission would have normally been the death bell to the washing machine because the repair would normally cost as much as a new washer. I went to the DIY route and found enough online resources to get to the heart of the problem -
An online order of a new gear and pinion and the transmission was fixed for a price more reasonable than paying for repair or replacement.
When performing the repair, though, I had to learn a lesson in anger management. I was in a hurry and was trying to get the washer skin back on. I was in a confined space and the sheet metal got caught on the frame. I gave it a hard jerk but my lower back was what ended up popping and not the sheet metal. I was able to get it fixed but ended up with a lower bulging disk that pressed hard on my sciatic nerve. I had about a week where ice packs and heat ruled my life while I sat with legs propped up on a chair. The back is much healed now but the lesson was definitely learned. Don’t be in a hurry and never lose your temper.
A couple weeks later. I started getting a bad knocking in my vehicle. I knew it was a rod and I had a very short span of time to deal with that situation. Long story short, I have a new car right now, at a time when I really don’t need a new car payment. Still, the vehicle has a warranty that will carry me through till my youngest graduates and financial support to their mother ends and I can breathe a little easier.
But that isn’t the end of the story.
I came home from my new car purchase to discover this in my basement -
I am not used to seeing my wood pile floating along with my tool boxes. I had my sons that weekend and it was the coldest night of the new spring. The boys were patient while I waded in about a foot and a half of water and hooked up my portable pump and ran hose to the outside to drain out in the yard. My house is old and has gravity drains. Roots had clogged the main line and the nearby river system had overflowed the banks on account of rain. As a result, the freshwater and gray water back loaded in my basement. My house is a definite fixer upper and the basement is my home away from home. Believe me when I say that I would have preferred, by some miracle of gravity defiance, for the water to have floated upside down and gathered in the top floor.
So, for the week following, I had pumped out the water and rented a plumbing router to deal with the roots. The furnace had filled with water but the heater was unaffected. The A/C won’t come on and so I have a bit of work to do with a multimeter to find the offending item and replace it. The water heater was flooded out and I had to replace a bit of black pipe and a thermocoupling that tells the heater that the gas is lit and it is ok to continue delivering fuel to the fire. Not much lost in the flood except a few magazines. The wood dried out ok and any rusted tools were only affected on the surface and a couple minutes with sandpaper made everything as good as before.
But the story still isn’t finished.
I was just in the process of regaining my balance and getting over the hump of finances and these mini repairs when I received a letter from the friend of the court letting me know that my ex wanted my finances reviewed for an increase in child support. I won’t waste anyone’s time in aggressive rants against ex wives and any injustices in the legal system. It is just a bit time consuming to go through the hoops required to lay out my living expenses and what I can afford. I will end up paying a bit more but my house and car are secured. I have a good reputation with the court system here and have never been late with any of my child support payments. So all will be good there.
But it has been exhausting.
In this story there is no plea for sympathy. The things I fear the most in life pretty much hit me all at once. House, car, necessary appliances, health, and finance. But, in the end, those fears managed to be worked out. The modern age sometimes distances us from the hands on experiences of living. I think, if nothing else, the challenges I face only remind me of the necessity in being capable and responding directly to situations. Not by making a phone call and having someone else come to my rescue, but in pulling up my pant legs and wading in the muck and doing what I can to directly confront the problems head on. It wasn’t pride that drove me but plain necessity. Ten years ago, before I developed an interest in doing things with my hands, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Challenges exist not to break the human spirit but to ignite and refine it. So the difficulties I outline is not for pity, but explanation for my absence and a reminder that difficulties are only there to demonstrate the growth in our abilities to face them.
As I was pumping the water out and my kids were in their coats under a blanket in the house, my youngest asked me “How are you going to fix this?” It wasn’t a question about “if” but “how” and there was no word about “who.” I can honestly say, that made me kind of proud.
Thank you for your support and concerns.
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.