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.