Friday, April 15, 2011

One more reason to send me to the Home

So today I come home for lunch and Bern is out (she left me a note to tell me she was out, which I would have figured out eventually and that the dog had been to the Canal for his daily long walk on the old B and O canal cum horizontal park.)

I ate my lunch--a ham and cheese sandwich (Boar's Head rosemary ham with double Gloucester cheese, mayo, tomato, Boston lettuce and white onion with a little 1000 Island dressing on Everybody's walnut and cranberry seven grain bread...I recommend it). The bread is the best bread I've ever eaten, a meal it itself.

While I was eating and reading the novel about an Alaskan private investigator named Kate Suhgnan (a series I love) I felt a tad chilly. But I had on a very light sweater because I'd come back from doing the funeral of a wonderful woman, Ginny Tillson, in the unheated chapel at Evergreen Cemetery (I wrote Seminary rather than 'Cemetery' until I backspaced it out...something Freudian in that, I suspect.) I loved Ginny and knew I'd need a light sweater under my alb. But I decided to go upstairs and put on a heavy sweater since I felt a tad chilly.)

On the way past the thermostat, I notice the temperature was 60. No wonder I was chilly. We keep our house at 66 or 67, always wearing sweaters. So I went down in the basement to check the oil--still over 1/4 full, the breaker (on) and push the reset button. Nothing happened. So I went upstairs and called Standard Oil--which is a great company from my experience. After a few questions and my checking in the emergency switch at the top of the basement stairs was 'on' rather than 'off' (it was) they agreed to send someone within two hours--and they always do what they say, which is why they're a great company in my mind.

Bern came home and I told her the heat was off.

"Why do you think so?" she asked.

"Because the temperature is 60," I said, "and the funny thing is it hasn't gone down in the last two hours though it's colder than that outside."

"It hasn't gone below 60," she told me sternly, "because I turned it down to 60 since it was such a nice day."

She looked at me for a long time. "Did you check what the thermostat was set at?" she asked, in a way that I knew was something I couldn't fake.

"I don't know how to do that," I said, since our thermostat is controlled by buttons that I never touch, not knowing what they do.

She rolled her eyes, turned on her heel and somehow pushing buttons I don't understand, turned the heat up to 61 and our faithful furnace immediately turned on and pushed warm air through the vents.

"I'd better go cancel the service call," I said.

"I guess you should," she said.

So I did, explaining when the operator asked that it was all my fault, I didn't know how to work the thermostat, the temperature had simply been turned down, all my fault, my own fault, my most grievous fault and there is no health in me and my wife would probably send me to the home. I didn't hear any sympathy in the woman's acknowledgement that she would cancel the service call.

"How was I to know?" I asked Bern.

I think I saw her writing in a little book where she keeps evidence that I need to go to the Home. Alas.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.