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January 4, 2022: Hardship

So Pete nailed it many years ago when he said that writerly situations worth reading about are hardship-related. I did not want to believe him, I who was the one with the literary acumen and imaginative bent. But I now concede that he is right.

People don’t like those who are always right. This is because there is a certain sense of self-satisfaction that goes hand-in-hand with the knowledge that they know something someone else does not know.

It’s not that I don’t like Pete. I love Pete. But I have resigned myself to never, ever having the right answer. As importantly, my survival is now dependent upon him. There is no way that I would have known what to do about the freezing pipes. But this guy, he is on nodding terms with our plumbing system. He knows where each and every pipeline is, what materials these lines are made of, and how to heat them up.

He did attempt to explain it all to me. I understood about thirty seconds worth, but not the remaining four minutes worth. I pretended for two minutes more to understand, but finally had to say – enough.

So, yes, our situation was one of hardship. The winds were strong, the temperature dropped, the pipes froze, we were it seemed, without water. But Pete also knew that we had a reserve supply of water in the tank in the root cellar, and how to pump it out. He did not tell me the latter, so two nights ago I laid awake, wondering if we’d even be able to get more water because the road and driveway were then like a skating rink.

Pete took care of things, even put a blanket on the living room door so that the heat we do have is centralized. So our cabin is warm, and our beloved pipes are warm.

I’m the one who is most bonded with the outdoor animals. I was the one who this morning noticed that Tinni’s eye lid is swollen and that it’s draining.

But nothing we can do about this now because, again, the phone and the internet are not working.

Could things get worse? Yes, of course. So today we went to town and first to the Meeting House. There, there was power. But the pipes, like here, are frozen and the boiler isn’t working, so it is much like an icebox in the place. Nan and Lois showed up to clean books but did not stay long because it was too cold. Fortunately, all the books are in order and there is actually room for more.

Hardship. Those we talked to had stories. For instance, our farrier Josh was the one who told us that a window was smashed in at the Valley Hotel. And Becky said that there may have been damage to the Alaska State Fair greenhouse, so the plants in the greenhouse at the Alaska State Fairgrounds may be damaged. I had some ideas as to who to contact about this, but again, the phone is out.

I do not want to think of this whole situation as being hardship related. But yes, it is. The wind has died down and the temperatures have gone up, some. Alas, the inconvenience and the hardship remain constants in our lives.

Next: 5. 1/5/22: Chin Up

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