Monday, July 19, 2010

maybe it builds character, but I doubt it

Today I have to drive to my dad's vacant house and wait for a service man from the local gas company to replace the indoor gas meter with an outdoor one. This is something that I most devoutly do not want to do, and I almost never do things I don't want to do. I am dreading this, but perhaps not for the reasons you think. Yes, it is inconvenient, and yes, I hate waiting for workmen to arrive - although I was given a two-hour window, which I think is not bad if he actually shows up then. No, the real problem is the heat.

My dad's house has never had central air, but he does a have a large window air conditioner that my brother used to install in the living room window every summer. Unfortunately, it has been many years since the last time he did that. I had to pretty much quit visiting them in the summer, as I would get very overheated and uncomfortable there, and then wouldn't be able to cool off. My dad doesn't mind the heat. In fact, he seems to like it in some way that I can't understand at all.

The forecast for today has the temperature in the mid-80s with humidity to match. I mean, it's July. It's hot. With that in mind, I have been thinking about how I will cope with the heat ever since I made the appointment. Here's what I have come up with. Worst case scenario, I can just sit in my car with the AC running. I said worst case. I put a lawn chair in the trunk of my car. I could sit out on the back patio for a while and knit. I will bring my knitting, and, also, a book I have been wanting to read. If it rains (which is a possibility) I can take my lawn chair down to the basement, where I'm sure it will be cool, although not very dry. The last time I was at the house, there was an old TV and a leather couch in the living room, but I am pretty sure it will be way too hot to sit in there - although that would be ideal.

I am not above cutting and running, if it comes to that. If it gets to be 1:45 or so (my time slot is 12 to 2) I will call and let them know I am leaving. I mean, two hours is all I can realistically stand, and who knows how long it will take once the service man arrives. One has to know one's limitations.

Thanks for listening. I'll try not to be so whiny next time.


Update: Well, it was just no big deal, as it turned out. I drove to Elyria, stopped at McDonald's for a filet-o-fish sandwich, and headed for my dad's house. It wasn't too hot inside yet, and I wandered around the mostly empty house while I ate. As I have in the past, I tried to summon some happy memories about the place, but to no avail. I never liked that house. It never felt like a home to me, and now it feels alot like an albatross hanging around my neck. A really dusty albatross in need of a good cleaning.

After I ate, I got my lawn chair out of the trunk of my car, and set it in a shady spot on the back patio. I took out my knitting and set to work. I was only on my second row when I heard a truck pull into the driveway. Yes, it was the young man from the gas company arriving at about 12:20. I was delighted. Even more so when he told me he would be done in about five minutes (!) As I turned on the basement light, I told him I didn't have the slightest idea where the meter was. I was charmed by his reply. "That's okay," he said. "I'll do a little spelunking down there, and I'm sure I'll find it." Spelunking - that just about describes it perfectly.

I was loading my lawn chair into the car by 12:45, and I was home by 2:00 - and that includes a stop at a roadside stand for fresh corn and tomatoes. While it's true that I drove two hours for an errand that took fifteen minutes, I am not complaining. It could have been so much worse. Once again, by expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised when things turned out to be not totally awful. And, boy, do I feel fantastic to have that taken care of!


Ben said...

I'm glad that worked out. Often the worry before is worse than the thing itself. Good that you didn't have to build too much character. ;-)

Remember, if you ever want to roll up your sleeves and go clean over there, I'm in.

jamanci said...

you know it's because you planned for it to take a long time that it didn't, right? :) taking a chair, some food, and some knitting ensured that you wouldn't have to wait too long. nicely done!