From the vantage point of a decent hotel room in Palo Alto, typing on a tiny keyboard, the last four days do not seem quite as awful.
True enough, mechanical systems at my tiny house failed. A perfect storm of rare cold weather and an area-wide power outage sent ice along lines not fully prepared for the sudden wicked grip of winter. The charm of a talented neighbor soothed the chaos but did not carry the day. Solution awaits the ordered parts.
A day or two later, the first truly sympathetic spirit whom I have met here upped stakes and headed to SoCal for the winter months. Bruised by this sudden loss, I fled to Lodi for a fridge full of healthy food. I cruised Sprouts mumbling words of encouragement to myself. My spirit began to rise. Can I be blamed for a muttered curse or two, upon discovering one of four brand-new tires flat upon my return to the car? The arrival of the same AAA rescuer who helped when someone slashed my tire a month or so ago barely took the edge off my foul mood. I relented a little when he professed to well remember the day he escorted me to the place at which I purchased the tire now staring limply in my direction.
With spare in place, I journeyed home, dragged my purchases inside, and took a seat at my desk to answer the accumulated message notifications. My gaze fixed on one or two troubling emails. I let my head sink to my hands. Oh dear.
Then I remembered the story that I often told my son and his friends, of Isaac Bashevis Singer consoling his publicist when she moaned that his decision to give away a story for whom she had a willing buyer was a downright catastrophe. “No, ma’am,” he hastened to correct. “It is not a catastrophe. No little children will die of it.” Donning a rueful smile, I closed my laptop, and rose to light the kettle for a cup of tea. Because i live in such a small space, I only had to take one step to get to the stove.
It’s the fifth day of the one-hudred and eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.