Wow - this year is really closing on a bang for us!
Here in the U.S. we just recently had Thanksgiving. Believe me, I have so much for which I am thankful. But that is behind us, and while I'm still grateful for so many things in my life, and in so many ways I am truly, truly blessed - I would like to take a moment to say that I am going to be SO glad to be rid of this year! I can't wait until it's behind us, and I sure hope next year brings better things.
It all started just before Thanksgiving when we lost our heat (propane - ducted system). Then Gary's mom had a bit of a breakdown with the coming holidays (and his sister having died a few months ago). It wasn't a good mix - so we dropped everything and ran to Chicago. We came home to, of course, no heat and a frozen home.
Then that weekend after Thanksgiving there was a terrible storm with a lot of wind, and electricity for our whole area was on the fritz. Of course, the electricity went out on the coldest night we've had this season (it got down to 9 degrees that night). Living in an RV, we have a generator, so that was great. But Gary didn't want to leave it running, so we were turning it off and on - and it got so cold I guess, that when he turned it on (at about 2:00 - 2:30 in the morning), it blew something and stopped working.
I gotta say - Gary was wonderful that night. We had to decide whether to stay or go - and with the five cats, we decided to stay. The stove, fortunately, was working - so poor Gary stayed up all night, heating up our cast iron skillet and wandering around the house waving it about to keep the temp up! And though it got down sooooo cooooold that night, he managed to keep it 62 degrees in the house! (And please feel free to laugh - it really is a funny image! I would have laughed then if it didn't feel so tragic at the time).
Anyway, to continue.... when hooked back up to electric (a whole different story) the next day, we had some kind of problem in the system, and everything blew out and we had an electric fire. I'm standing inside screaming "FIRE! FIRE!" as flames are shooting up our bedroom wall.... We have fire extinguishers everywhere (see - many things to be thankful for!), so I was able to put it out easily.
But have you ever used one of those things? That powdery chemical gets EVERYWHERE, instantly!!!!! I grabbed Sheldon and Flowerbelle (the two most adventuresome) and shoved them in the bathroom. Thank god the others are scaredy cats - they were hiding in their tubes because of the strange people about outside, so I just stuffed the ends of the tubes with blankets until we could get that crap out of the air and off the carpet and surfaces.
But try doing that without a vaccum. Remember - no electricity still!!!
We lost just about all of our electronic equipment. TVs, microwave, toaster oven, VCRs, the electric heaters (which we needed because our propane heater was out), etc. etc. etc. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of fire damage. But clean up was a nightmare.
The new heater arrived - had problems installing it and getting it to work properly. Fine. That got done. Finally. We still have a vibration problem - but the heater works, it's just noisy.
Once again, ANYWAY, we got the electricity back (though we had to rewire the whole home to be safe), and we finally got the house all cleaned up and the smell of asbestos gone. But for a long list of reasons, the insurance of various places, including ours, is not going to cover the damage or the replacement of our electric system and all of our equipment. So if we didn't already have presents for people, they didn't get any because of the enormous expense of replacing all of our stuff and rewiring our home. Just as all of that was drawing to a close....
We got the flu. And I mean bad. For over a week. Then we had some issues that were work-related that I just don't want to bother going into here - suffice it to say it was a nightmare with lots of headaches. You know - just to add to the stress, because we really weren't under enough pressure already, don't you think?
And although we love her dearly, Gary's mom came for Christmas. It is VERY stressful and she and Gary have a really tense relationship. But I guess that still wasn't enough stress - because in an arguement with her, Gary wasn't watching the road close enough, and hit a deer. Everyone's fine, but the whole front end of the car was damaged.
Bad things are supposed to come in threes! We're on to five or six or who knows what now! I'm not even sure how to count them anymore. Maybe some of the things I thought were problems really didn't count?
Anyway, vent almost over. At least no person was injured in the accident, and the deer was killed, not injured and left to a slow and torturous death.
But we've decided not to go anywhere to celebrate the arrival of the New Year - don't want to risk it!!!!
However, we will be VERY happy to say good-bye to this one - which for the past month-plus has really been a doozy.
GOOD BYE 2003 and GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I sure hope EVERYONE has a VERY safe and happy NEW year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And here's a toast to 2004 being a better year for everyone than was 2003!