I’m not talking about Dr Gregory House, the anti-social doctor with diagnostic prowess of the TV program House. I’m talking about The House of Mars.
As is my wont, I try each year to put off turning on the heat until November 1, not so much for economic reasons, but as a stubborn matter of principle. Some years, it’s a struggle. But dressing in layers does the trick. Other years, I’ve had to give in. This year it looked like I was actually going to make it. It didn’t dip below 50 until last Wednesday – October 23. I only had nine more days to go.
It wasn’t easy though. The windshield thermometer in my car registered 37 degrees on Thursday morning and 38 on Friday. I took to taking showers at the gym and at night, piled on the blankets. Each morning I awoke to a pile of cats beside me. Anyone remember the 70’s group, Three Dog Night? I had Three Cat Night.
Then Friday happened!
I came home Friday evening to what smelled like burnt popcorn. At first I thought it was coming from outside, that neighbors were burning some sort of weird logs in their wood-burning stove. But when I went outside. the smell vanished. Then I realized – not only was it originating from inside, but it was burnt cat hair. Marceau had gone through a period of sleeping on the heating unit this summer.
I went over – touched it – sure enough – still warm.
Insubordination!!!!! It took it upon itself to heat the house. But not by much. You see I never turn it all the way off because two years ago when I did, the pilot went out and I had to get the propane company to re-light it. I now set it to the lowest temperature, I can, without actually turning it off, assuming the house would never get that cold
Looks like I was wrong!
It came on twice more overnight. I guess the house was saying “I’m @#$!! Cold.
This weekend was warmer and by this Friday, November 1, it’s supposed to reach 65 so I’m going to stick it out. Technically, I think I’ll win. After all, I wasn’t the one who turned it on.
But I did winterize outdoors on Saturday so outside could catch up with inside.
The patio is empty.
The shed is full.
The screen door is out.
The storm door is in.
And now I’m ready for the long cold winter
As soon as I finish Fall.
It started out a hunt for a Christmas tree and ended up a litany of farewells. With Christmas trees costing what they do, I decided it would be a good idea to stop at The ATM. I’ve written previously of my fondness for walking Marcos through Depew Park, and his reciprocating fondness for leading me out of Depew Park and all over Peekskill. Well, the bank is smack dab in the middle of downtown Peekskill and as I parked the car, I thought of last Christmas and how we faced the cold and wind but yet we trudged on. Marcos was always a dog with a mission A sad wave of nostalgia passed through me as I resigned myself to the fact that those days are gone forever.
Don’t worry Marcos is still here, but late last summer he let it be known that he prefers to spend his days differently .
With my money safe in pocket, I headed toward the highway and happened to pass Miller’s Motors to whom I entrusted both Truckito and my motorcycle for regular maintenance. But last spring, Truckito (perhaps in cahoots with Marcos?) gave warning that long trips would not be a good idea. So May saw me bade farewell to Truckito.
And in case you’re surprised at my mention of a motorcycle at my age, be unsurprised. Gone, too. I sold the bike in August. All my riding friends have either moved away or given up riding. I decided to tempt fate no more. The selling experience was phenomenal. I posted an ad on Craigs’List on a Saturday night, accepted an offer Sunday evening, and had the cash in hand Monday evening.
Farewell Ninja. May you and Donovan B. enjoy many idyllic rides.
All this nostalgia and I still hadn’t left Peekskill. In a pensive mood I continued on to the Tree quest. When I got to the farm in Hartsdale, there were fewer trees than in past years, and those they did have were huge. Wide huge. Fine for my living room if I planned to move the love seat and recliner into the dining room – but I didn’t. Also, prices started at $85. Change of plans. I’d run a few errands and head back to my local Home Depot. I was pretty sure they still had some trees.
Well, somewhere along the way. My Monkey Mind made the decision. t had something to do with the fact that it had grown dark and I had no energy left to deal with the tree stand that seems to prefer presenting trees that lean. So into Home Depot I walked and out I came with a tree that cost just as much as the ones at the farm … but it’s the last time I’ll have to buy a tree. Goodby lifelong tradition of live Christmas trees. Artificial isn’t so bad.
Now here we are in a New Year and far be it from me to start it with sad farewells. Similar to the saying that whenever God shuts a door, he opens a window, let me say that each farewell makes way for a corresponding hello.
It may be farewell, brisk walks in Depew Park….
……….but hello, recliner and giant coffee mug.
Farewell, Truckito but hello buying ten gallons of gasoline once a week instead of 14 every five days.
Farewell, bike but hello,more room in my shed……..
Well, there was more room for ……..about a week.
May 2013 be filled with happy hellos for us all. Change is good.