|The pins indicate cities I have lived in for more than 6 months. Calistoga doesn't show up very well.|
Activity: Working on the shed.
Book: Coyote America
For the past few weeks, my hot water heater hasn't been working. The water would only get tepid. It is cold to take a shower and I needed to heat water on the stove to wash dishes. (I don't have a dishwasher nor a microwave.)
And so I called the expensive, but always reliable, plumbers from Earl's Plumbing. They have a fleet of Red Trucks that I see all over the place. I've been told they have around 25 of them. And so the Plumber came out and he said that we could order a new regulator for $500 but it might not be heating due to sediment in the heater; or I could just buy a new one for $1,400. Which is what I did.
Plus I had him do some other work, making it a $2,000 day. There goes my financial cushion.
I did some charting and then set about finishing cleaning out the shed. Ten years of stuff is in there. A walk down memory lane. Downsizing is tough on you emotionally. The treasured objects take you back in time. There were protest signs and old homework from the girls. Fish bowls and old cages from Kylie and Jazmine's pet mice. There were four tents in there and various kinds of shade structures. All of them ruined with holes and poor upkeep. I had enough tent poles in there to build the Keystone Pipeline. All of it to be hauled off to the dump after admiring and being taken back to the days that we used them. Camping on the Pacific Ocean as a family. Camping at California State Parks with the girls.
Life was social then. Chaotic. And I loved it. Now Kylie is here a few nights a week. And I have the dogs to keep me company. Joni is living in our trailer down in Oroville. I am a man who likes having a family that can't seem to keep having a family intact. God, I miss the everyday hum-drum stuff. Keeping schedules and school events and dentist appointments and doctor appointments and homework and all those other extraordinary ordinary things that we all should cherish and savor like a wine that has an extra long finish. Perhaps it was losing my first family (through no fault of my own) that made me cherish this new family all the more. And I did that. Memories. It's what we sit and do when we get old.
And yet it is important to make new memories too. To have new adventures. Meet new people. Re-establish connections with old friends and family. Read new books and be challenged by new ideas.
I miss the life I had.