Welcome to Our Northeast Corner of Kirkland, A while back I wrote on my calendar that in Buddhist Culture on February 8 there is a practice to give thanks to the broken things. This touched a chord with me at least enough for me to make a note to myself. I do remember reading in the book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. In her book you go through your things; touching them, holding them and looking at them asking does this item bring you joy? If not, thank the item for its service and discard the item. Keep in mind I am not Buddhist nor do I know any of this to be true, I just liked the idea and embraced it. I am OCD and always looking to sort, organize and discard.
Events and Happenings, all in the last two weeks:
· The freezer died. This is the ‘new’ freezer, turns out it was 17 years old. Of course it was defrosted and clean during the move less than 4 months ago but frost had started to build up a little on the coils. Then I looked one day and said those coils at the top are all clean, again. No frost. The next day the top two shelves were melted and things were starting to melt on the other shelves. We were able to move the stuff in the freezer to the freezers of the three fridges in the house and wait for the new freezer to be delivered. We did throw away a lot from the top two shelves but I know we were able to averted huge waste and I joked about it being such a first world problem because of the backup refrigerators. Thank you for your service old freezer.
· The clothes dryer that came with the new house died: Bill took it apart and discovered it had been repaired before and it had not been repaired correctly. The heating coil wiring had broken before and had been repaired with solder which worked for a while but we ordered a new part, along with 2 other parts. This all cost about $300 instead of a new dryer at $1000 and essentially we have a new dryer. Extending the life of something instead of sending it off to the landfill. Thank you clothes dryer for continuing to serve us.
· The Microwave in the kitchen died. (We have one in the kitchenette also, again a first world problem.) Right in the middle of preparing a dinner for 12, I was able to steam the first two bowls of green beans and on the third bowl at the end of 6 minutes the beans were still frozen. It took some testing and evaluating to confirm that indeed the microwave was dead. Thank you for your service. We still have the “new” microwave from the old house sitting on the back porch. We just hadn’t gotten to deciding what to do with it yet. Now Bill is planning on taking down the old broken microwave and replacing it with the “new” one from the old house. Turns out it is handy to have back up appliances. But nothing is easy either; the mounting brackets are not the same, the screws and holes are not the same either. We are using the microwave in the kitchenette until it all gets changed out. (A few more steps on my pedometer)
· The stove that came with the new house is having problems. The lower heating element is not getting as hot as it should. I was in the middle of roasting Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes for that same dinner for 12 when the oven took half again as long as it should. Guess what, the stove from the old house has been sitting against a wall between the kitchen and the front room of the new house, since we moved in. I love my old stove. It is a duel fuel stove; electric ovens and the top burners used propane at the old house. Bill had to change out a little jet inside each burner to make it correct for natural gas. Remember nothing is easy. It took days to get the stove apart; screws were frozen and had to be drilled out. He had to get all the new parts together and replace a few things also and we have both cleaned on that thing for days. The cooked on stuff, under the burner and on the sides of the stove that you can’t get to even when you are trying to keep things clean. Another $300 plus project and my stove from the old place is about to take center stage in the new kitchen. We hope to sell the old stove for $75 or so and let it service someone else for a while and we will be back to using our previous stove. I loved the gas cook top and the two ovens.
· The clothes dryer from the old house, was not new. In fact I had been saying from time to time that I didn’t think it was hot enough or that it wasn’t drying clothes well enough. However with the other dryer out, Bill decided to hook up the old one as a backup. So then, I am carrying wet clothes through the house and down the hall to the other laundry room and using the dryer there. When Bill was installing the dryer he cleaned it; vacuuming the insides and all the lint traps and the little places you don’t reach to clean out all the time. Now is works just like new drying a load of clothes in about 45 minutes.
· The kitchen refrigerator, we brought with us works fine but the ice maker hasn’t worked in the new house. I don’t think it has been hooked up correctly and since there is an ice-maker in the kitchenette I am managing but since I am mentioning the broken things that goes on the list. Hopefully Bill will get it fixed, someday. I know you are going to think we are crazy but we sold the fridge that came with the house. It had the ice maker and water in the door and I really don’t like those. I find that mostly they seem good for getting water all over the floor. We also pulled out the garbage disposal and sold it. Bill and I have composted for years and we needed the hole in the kitchen counter for the instant hot water machine. Now those appliances have gone on to serve others in new homes.
We have a dear friend who broke a bone in her foot. I have another dear friend that is on dialysis now her kidneys are ‘broken’. I pray daily for a dear friend with cancer, she is going through chemo therapy trying to kill cancer and extend her life. Then we were eating lunch with a very special someone and his tooth chipped, he said his teeth were chipping a lot. Another friend has a failing heart and a different friend has failing lungs. Bill and I have both had our second colds of the winter which makes me feel vulnerable. Today I am grateful for the body I have and the ability it has to function as well as it does even with Addison’s disease and diabetes and the complications that come with it. I will do all I can to take good care of this body so that we might serve each other a couple more decades anyway.
I have mentioned broken appliances and broken body parts. During the move I have looked at and discarded furniture, clothing, games, books, dishes, cooking utensils, spices and canned goods but there is another very delicate part of our lives that can break.
Bill and I are good but around us lives are shattering: We have friends that are suffering; broken hearts, broken relationships and broken lives. If you have ever known someone that took their own life you know what an utterly selfish act that is. The loss and pain that touches every single life that was connected to the person who dies is changed forever and not in a good way. It seems broken promises work the same way. The commitments we make to each other and to those around us when broken are devastating. Some times when young people partner up I look and say, I just don’t see that working and other times I look and ‘judge’ they are a very good fit, then time passes and the truth shows in the end. Last summer we were reeling from breakup of a young couple that we loved and really did think they were a good fit. We have had friends that were married for years separate and get back together we have friends that have troubled children breaking up it was easy to see how the stress got to them. There are relationships where a partner has broken a promise and hurt the other partner even I have been guilty of this and for that I am sorry. But when it happens to someone you love, someone you are close to, someone you counted on, someone you trusted, someone you care deeply for, the pain is almost unbearable at first. Then somewhere inside me I hear a voice saying, that relationship brought beautiful children into this world, it brought families closer together, it brought out the good more often than not and I am grateful that the relationship was good as long as it lasted. I can’t choose anyone else’s behavior for them, only my own. I can be sad that people are hurting and wait for time to move on and watch the rebuilding begin.
The Seahawks are resting up and getting ready for next season, kick-off is Sept. 10, 2017.
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