IMG_1364 (1)I think to deal with some of life’s exigencies, it is best to be insane.  I’ve told you that I can compartmentalize to the point of delusion.  I am also unflappable in situations when most people would throw their hands in the air and run around like turkeys or check into hotels…

Last night I got home from town and was going to make some dinner.  It was unusually cold in the house.  I set some mood lights, lit candles and when I turned on the burner, there was a fast clicking sound, a spark and no fire.  I repeated the action over and over(like the dumbest rat in the maze), until it dawned on me that the heat and the stove are powered by gas.

There is a huge gas tank at the bottom of the drive.  It looks like an old German submarine – grey and barnacled and stealthy.  I have given it no mind for almost two months – even while I turned up the heat for the Christmas house party – and roasted the holiday fare…

I had two gas tanks in The Bahamas.  One of the guys would take the spare to the Mail Boat and bring it back the following week, attaching it with a rusted wrench and testing for leaks with kitchen detergent.  I never thought about it. In Ponte Vedra, I employed the magical (if ungrammatical) “keep fill” service.

What did I do last night?  The first thing I did was check to make sure I had hot water (yes!).  Then I went to the WORLD WIDE WEB and checked the temperature (lows in the 30’s – won’t freeze to death – great!).  Then I build a fire in the fireplace and microwaved Jon Jon’s leftover beef barley soup wearing running gloves.  I pulled one of the easy chairs next to the fire and put a lap blanket over my legs like Grandma Moses and clicked on Apple TV.

Fiona watched the whole thing with a look on her face that screamed, “Are you kidding? Why did we leave Jacksonville again?”  And the unbelievable, ridiculous, impossible contrasts of the situation made me laugh. An out-loud, belly laugh. I’m sure neighbor Bob could hear it.

See what I mean about the insane bit?

Then I watched a few episodes of Inspector Morse – an 80’s detective show set in Cambridge.  My ex-husband used to tell me dismal stories of his English boarding school days and I remembered he said it was so cold and damp in the mornings the bed sheets would steam when he got up.

This morning, for the first time I can relate.


Staring into the abyss where the gas tank lives…


The look that says, “Are you KIDDING me?”








Today I’m not drinking, because I don’t like brandy – even though it’s warming…

How come you’re not drinking?