I’ve spent a lot of time preoccupied with injuries the last couple years. In fact, I’ve been downright obsessed with rehabbing from surgery in October. Prior to that there was testing to figure out what was broken, hobbling through the Boston marathon, rolled ankles, falling from trees, and urinary tract infections. All the while I’ve been doing my best to keep in shape. Fortunately “apple” is a shape. Throughout all this there were times I got feeling sorry for myself. “Oh woe-is-me. I can’t race”. Except I could. I actually made it to a podium in one of my limited race appearances last year.
Outside of the fitness world, it’s been a difficult week at home. Due to the inordinate amounts of rain and snow we have had this winter, my yard is completely saturated.
If I want to plant a tomato plant this spring I’ll probably be required to pay restitution for destroying wetlands and submit some sort of mitigation plan. The end result is that our in-ground duct work has been filling with water all week. At the moment I’m only able to type this courtesy of an electric space heater that is keeping my fingers from congealing because we had to turn the central heating system off. Otherwise as my wife describes, it sounds like a tsunami when the blower tries to run.
Mid-week, I was able to put the furnace back on for a couple days. The ductwork was still damp, and the super-saturated hot air blew into the house condensing on any part of the walls not thoroughly insulated against the outside cold. This make it look like we have a leak.
While frantically googling how to fix major drainage and water issues around a slab, my wife called to inform me that the water heater was now gushing water all over the floor. Now there was water everywhere outside, in the duct, on the walls, and all over the floor in the hallway. For a brief moment Capetown was starting to sound like an awesome place to live.
Considering it is only mid-February and there is still a lot of winter to go and the forecast pretty much calls for rain or snow from now until sometime in late 2023 we went to Harbor Freight yesterday to acquire a transfer pump in hopes of removing enough water to make our furnace vaguely useable once in a while.
While driving to harbor freight I noticed something on the dash and said “Oh look honey. We have a check engine indicator”. Or at least I said something similar though perhaps not quite so politely. Throw another log on the flaming fire and something else to deal with. What else could go wrong?
In the midst of these first-world problems, I learned that a very awesome gentleman I know from running circles had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Unfortunately, I know all about brain cancer and the consequences. This news made me incredibly sad. I know none of us are getting out of this alive, but when mortality hits close to home it is still hard.
I’ve been watching from afar as another super-badass triathlon/running chick and her pretty awesome husband have dealt with the nightmare that is autism. The last year for them has been terrible as their autistic son has degraded continuously possibly due to extenuating circumstances like PANDAS or some other viral infection. Their life has been turned on end and it makes me feel depressed and helpless. Then I start to think how lucky they are to at least have the means to try do almost anything they can for their son. There must be a lot of people out there that have similar problems without the means to seek help or change anything. Suddenly a bit of wet ductwork or a check engine light doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
Wednesday was Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate love. Instead the Parkland school shooting happened. Yet another school shooting and another murder of innocent children.
There are so many broken systems in our society and government that allowed this to happen and it was completely preventable. Always in these cases the history of the perpetrator is examined and obvious errors are pointed out but we seem to learn nothing from them. There is much hand wringing and expression of emotion but no change. While I am not a parent, it breaks my heart to watch the grief that this senseless act has caused the families and friends of the victims. I think of the children we lost and what they may have accomplished in their lives and I fight back the tears. I feel the same whenever anyone dies needlessly be it at the point of a gun, the bumper of a car, or from a preventable disease.
In the grand scheme of things, life isn’t so bad here at home. I’ll figure out the water problems. I’ll have heat again, and the new hot water heater provides luxuriously hot showers.
I may even still have enough money left after all this to buy a new bike to ride.
There are a lot clichés out there that apply to life. “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill”. “Life is like a roller coaster”. “The Captain always goes down with the ship”. Wait. How did that get there? Instead let’s just go with “Life is good”.
Life is always good!! If you let it get you down, it will be a looooonnnnngggggg and painful trek to the end – regardless of what that ending number might be. Nobody survives, some are faced with tougher challenges than others, some can handle what life throws at them better than others. Look for the next opportunity to smile and enjoy, while remembering those who have gone before us. Make someone smile, if they remember you when you are gone, it’s all worth it!