Hello again! You haven’t heard from me in a while, but I am here. You are no doubt familiar with “Writer’s Block” when a person can’t come up with what they want to say. Yeah, I don’t have that. I always have plenty to say, usually leaving friends and family rolling their eyes or shaking their heads.
I’ve decided that what I have is Writer’s Wall. It’s as if Life, in its ugly omnipresence, simply surrounds me, throwing out challenges and surprises that syphon away the time and the circumstances that were supposed to allow me to spin my tales and entertain all of you.
As autumn arrived, we had car problems: one car that simply died, another that almost has, and then the delightful (not) shopping for a replacement vehicle, transferring paperwork, car loans, license plates and all that hassle.
Before the dust had settled there, the furnace went out at our son’s house and we played and fussed with that for a couple of weeks before it finally decided to die and stay dead. We set him up with space heaters and as much extra insulation as we could to wait it out bundled up with his darling four-legged heat sources.
Before his new furnace even arrived, the one at our house started making noise — I’m sure it was sympathy pains. We got the verdict: “cracked heat exchanger.” For those who aren’t familiar, a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace is an excellent way to wake up dead some morning, asphixiated by carbon monoxide. The furnace was immediately disabled, and we began insulating our own home and cuddling up with our dog while we awaited the arrival and installation of our new furnace. Fortunately for both households, the winter temperatures here in Michigan were quite moderate in the high 30’s.
We have a small business to run, a couple of part time jobs we do, and looking after my mom’s house while she’s away for the winter. Spinning in the background, of course, were The Holidays. Fortunately, we didn’t have any out of town plans this year, but we still shuffled around schedules of the company parties and other events of the season.
In January, one of our grand-dogs had an emergency when he ripped a toenail and wouldn’t stop bleeding. We were called for middle-of-the-night intervention when other options didn’t seem to exist. That was an all-night event, capped off with a vet visit the minute they opened the following day.
We were just about to take a breath when we got word of a close relative in the hospital out west, and went into “what can we do from here?” mode. Weighing emergency travel options against the bitter cold temperatures and winds (and increased danger of flying) and life has been quite a mess, for quite a while. Meet my Writer’s Wall.
So, there you have it, the many reasons for my silence. I haven’t been slacking, and unfortunately haven’t been hibernating. (Doesn’t hibernation sound wonderful?) In a perfect world, from here on out I’ll have low, pleasant, and artistic walls that I can simply step over. Yes, I’m going to go with that. See you soon.
(c) 2019, J. L. Cools