Posts Tagged ‘winter’

The Symbols In Everyday Life

January 31, 2010

Have you ever thought of how much memories play a part in your reactions to things you encounter in daily life?

It’s winter here in Kansas and there are red coats all over the place. To me, a red coat is so much more than a coat. To me, every red coat is a symbol of how much my dad loves me.

You see, my dad supported our family of seven on a butcher’s salary. I was the oldest child and there was no money to pay for higher education. The year before I went away to school, I saved enough to pay for my first year college. I’d also been buying most of my own clothes since I’d gotten my first job when I was 14.

During the early fall, I came home one weekend and went shopping for a coat. I found the most wonderful red wool parka, but it was $25, a huge sum for me at that time. When I got home from the mall, I couldn’t stop talking about it. At some point in the conversation mom said, “Why don’t you go over to your dad’s store and see if he will buy it for you?”

This was so out of the ordinary. We got $2.00 a week for lunch money all thru high school. Other than that, we worked and paid for our own things. But on that day, my dad pulled out his billfold and handed me $25.00.

It was very special and to this day, I see dad in every red coat I pass.

And did you know that no matter how bad you may look on a particular day, a little lipstick will make a big difference?

Mom and I were doing a big construction project and decided to go over to the cafe to grab lunch. We had paint splatters all over us and I thought nothing would improve the way we looked. Regardless of that, mom insisted on putting on her lipstick. I was laughing and telling her it would be a futile gesture.

I didn’t pay attention until we were sitting across the table from each other and then the joke was on me.

Lipstick really does make a difference.

Even when you’re having a really bad day,  put on lipstick, it’s worth the effort. Every time I put on lipstick I think of mom.

By now you are wondering how on earth the word “plethora” ties in with this article. Anytime I see that word I think of Jennifer Brubaker. It’s one of her favorite words. The other day I saw it on a banner for, of all things, Monster Energy Drinks. Forget about the banner, all I could think of was Jennifer, even though we haven’t spoken in over a year. I picked up my cell phone and called her right then and there, all because of a word.

Red coats, lipstick and plethora…. They’re just a few reminders of love, humor, family and friendship.

Look around you.
Be aware.
There are symbols of love everywhere.

Miss Goody-Two-Shoes Goes on a Rampage

March 15, 2009

Many of you know me as a person who is prone to looking on the bright side. Look out!

As you may know, I live in a 100 year old Victorian home. In a house, you can imagine, that occasionally may need work.

“To be expected,” you might say.

And I agree.

I keep up with it, if I know something is amiss, I get ‘my fix-it guy’ (The one who fixes all things broken in the house).

Well, last month I was only home about 5 days.

While I was away the heat was turned down to just above freezing.  I was more than shocked to get a gas bill for $290.00.

My personal opinion was that the unit had epilepsy.

By that I mean that it goes along working just fine most of the time and then, Whammo!

All of a sudden there is a glitch and it stops. Then, when it corrects itself, it starts working again.

Since I wasn’t at home anyway, I could put up with the heater not working. But… when the gas bill was outrageous and the heat still was not working…

Now THAT’s a problem.

So, I called in my guy. And he called in another guy.

They decided that the lack of a cold air return for my first floor system was the problem. I’d known I needed this done for several years but had tried to get along without it.

However, since they believed it was the reason for the high utility bill, I finally acquiesced to the solution.

Even though the solution cost me almost $600 (more than my normal full year in gas bills), the prospect of an even higher bill this month while I am home made me bite the bullet.

“So,” you may ask, “what’s your beef?”

After two days of beautiful weather, last night it got cold again. I turned the thermostat up and later on went downstairs to find the first floor all nice and cozy.

(The reason I say the first floor is because my house has several different central air units. The one on the first floor is the one with the problem.)

I was happy and thought that the problem had been solved.  But, this morning I went down to find the temperature was only 55 degrees, the new thermostat (part of the fix) was set at 68.

The heater was not running. No hot air was coming out of the registers.

The epilepsy has returned. 

I’m $600 down, might have another gas bill close to $300 this month, nothing is working any better.

It is really cold down there… and…   

Oh, did I mention that the cold air return they put in required them to saw an 18” square hole into the 100 year old lath and plaster wall?

@#*^%$#@  

If you have never dealt with the dust raised by such an act then you have no conception of the kind of clean up required.  Don’t even think about comparing it to sheetrock dust.

Sheetrock dust can’t hold a candle to this. An 18” hole cut out of sheetrock would have taken about 15 minutes to clean up.

EVERYTHING on the entire first floor and the stairway to the second floor was covered with the finest particle dust known to man.  

Imbedded in every piece of furniture, clinging to the walls, enhancing every cob web in the corners of the ceiling, laying in the folds of all the cascading draperies, encrusting every silk flower arrangement, every piece of pottery, the table, the candles, grandma’s antique glassware, the area rugs, the hardwood floors, the fancy woodwork, and all the indoor trees and plants.

And that was only the dining room!

The living room, kitchen, bathroom and family room were covered too! The mess rivaled the damage of the great dust storms of history, completely held within the confines of one house.

I spent the entire last two days cleaning up this dust and I’m not done yet. 

The family room is still barricaded off as if it is a toxic dump site. Even walking thru the room with dust that fine would cause a flurry that could re-contaminate the rest of the house and undo the progress I’ve made thus far. I have paid my dues.

From now on, anyone who says I haven’t done my part to clean up the environment will be shot.

So, to finish this episode of the saga at hand…

It is Sunday, but I called ‘my fix-it guy’ anyway.  I just rambled off this entire litany of woes to him.  

Hearing the tears in my voice, he promised to call the other guy and come and look at the heating unit that has cost the national debt and still won’t keep the house warm. 

 I gotta go now. This guy does so much work for me that he has a key to the house. I have to go downstairs and make sure he doesn’t come in thru the family room and raise the dust.