I wake to the warm bedroom and sunshine outside. The only reason my room is warm is that the space heater has been on all night. It is cold downstairs I sit with the down comforter on my legs as I eat my breakfast, leftover Thai food. Delicious. I start to make a mental list of all the things I have to do today: Put in the last two storms, rake the leaves in the front, put flannel on the backs of the curtains, wash them first, sweep the basement, get cobwebs off the ceilings, bring in wood, clean out the ashes, start a fire, run the vacuum, wash the dishes. Sometime after ten I get started, coffee getting cold as I work outside. I get hot fast and take off my sweatshirt. I realize I have to rake the back too, part of it anyway. I share my tarp with my neighbor, he cannot find his and we both know it is easier to lug all those leaves to the curb on a tarp. My other neighbor steps outside to tell me someone will be coming to shore up the fence. She thanks me for giving her the name of a local appliance repair guy. The major department store quoted her 79$ just to put their feet on her floor. This guy from Semple’s Appliance Repair charged her, I think she told me 39$. The dog was barking it was hard to hear her but she said she was so thankful that I saved her so much money. Awesome. Back to the other neighbor who asks if my daughter got her brakes fixed. I laughed, his friend was going to do it for her, but instead she did it herself. Sometimes, he says, it seems like a bad day, but in the end it just isn’t. Yeah. I say, that is so true. I cleaned the kitchen window from the outside, damn that aluminum ladder is a bitch to carry. I clean the storm windows as I put them in the doors, and on a roll clean the front window too. I hang out the new bird feeder and fill them both with food. Later as I sit still sweaty from all the work I have done today, last bit of laundry, pulled in off the line when it started to rain, clicking and tapping in the dryer downstairs, listening to Ray LaMontagne and the fire crackling. Steel cut oats and boiled eggs cooling on the stove. The dog resting on the fresh couch cover, head resting happily on the stuffed toys I found behind it. The curtains are hung between the doorways that let in the biggest drafts.
In a little while I am going to make apple crisp to warm up the house. I feel a contentment that is grand. I am so happy today. It feels good to take care of my home. It will feel even better when the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall and I am well prepared for the cold weather. Doing what I can to save energy has always been a money saving thing for me, but on another level it is what is right for the planet. That white flannel may well not look beautiful on the curtains, but it sure keeps the family room warm. Using a space heater and lighting a fire saves on the bigger energy cost of running the furnace, and making sure my storms and so forth are on before I start it, also important. There is this other too. The sharing and helping of neighbors is important too. It makes the neighborhood a better place, it makes my home a warmer place. From the heart.