The last week has been filled with the things that make life rich and the things that make life real. To begin, our furnace has been acting funny for a few weeks—the kind of funny that makes you tilt your head, listen carefully, and hope that you are imagining the recurring humming/buzzing/whirring sound that emanates from the basement. The furnace was at the forefront of our minds until last Sunday (January 10) when some bitter weather caused our pipes to freeze. For about a day, we had no running water. Then the bathroom seemed to recover. A few days later, the kitchen started working. We thought we were in the clear until my hubby noticed a damaged and spraying pipe in the basement. Ugh. So there was a lot of tinkering, hair-dryer-blowing, and praying! Finally, water returned, and the repaired pipe held fast.
Yep…the ordeal was tiresome, frustrating, annoying. But call me “Pollyanna”—good did come from the ordeal. On Wednesday evening—with the water officially turned off by the water authority—we stay at my in-laws for the night. We toted a bag of clothes and a bulging sack of laundry for an evening of relaxing and enjoying American Idol while the boys played with Grandma’s toys (Why are her toys so much better?). Instead of my constant tidying and jumping up to fix one thing or another, I played a fun, uninterrupted game of “dinosaur” with my sweet kiddos. My older boy said, “You’re fun today, Mommy.” An important lesson!
We spent Thursday night with my parents, and again, I noticed certain refreshment in being surrounded by love and comfort and running water. So I guess you could say that I liked being a kid again! I went to a Taekwondo class after several weeks of close to no real exercise (lugging a 20+ pound toddler on my hip is almost exercise), and I returned to Mom and Dad’s house with tired muscles and a wonderful sense of satisfaction.
While my husband and I were fussing about the inconvenience of frozen pipes and all that goes with such trouble, a tremendous earthquake hit Haiti. If you’ve glimpsed a TV, caught a moment of a radio broadcast, or even logged on to any major website in the last week or so, you have a sense of the depth and breadth of the devastation in an already troubled country. What a powerful reminder of the blessings in my life. Haiti suffered from the fall-out of a corrupt government even before the ground shook beneath them. I don’t always like the workings of my county’s government, but I know that avenues exist for my voice to be heard. I believe that despite political disagreements and differences of judgment on issues of moral weight, we all want the greatest good for rich and poor alike. I do not feel guilty for being upset over my water pipes and the rust sludge still clogging my washing machine; I feel grateful for in-laws who order pizza and let us use their laundry room and so much more. I feel grateful for a Mom who washed up a batch of flannel sheets and made up cozy beds for the four of us and a Dad who retrieved a fresh tank of spring water for our visit (more about that later). Sure, troubles come our way; money is as tight as it has ever been, but I lead a rich life. I have friends, food, a God above, and the assurance of a steadfast family.