Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What a Day!

Winter has hit Maberga. I mean really hit. That would be snow on the top of the mountain across the valley. We had snow at number 29 as well, it didn’t stay on the ground but it snowed. That means that it is, quite literally, FREEZING.

I like to be in control of things. I admit it. It’s not my favorite personal trait but it is what it is, I am what I am…a control freak, among other things. Control freaks live in a constant state of trying to make order where none exists. In addition, there is the added stress of needing to accept that there are just some things beyond one’s control.

Take the weather for example. I would like to control the weather but, well, I can’t. I’ve accepted that. I have learned some coping mechanisms to deal with things that are beyond my sphere. The most useful one being to, once identifying the horrible thing out of my control, immediately take control of my response to said uncontrollable. For example with the weather, I simply moved to a place where the weather is more likely to be how I would choose it…if I were in control.

When cold, and I mean bitter, you-don’t-want-any-exposed-flesh-because-it-will-freeze cold does arrive I do what I can to deal with my response.

  1. put on as many woolen goodies as I can find in the house. This isn’t so bad. I like woolen goodies. I don’t often get a chance to wear those wrist warmers I made two years ago. (it is most unfortunate, however, that David shrunk my second pair of alpaca socks…I’m going on day 4 wearing the one pair I have left…I hope it’s a short cold snap)
  2. drink many hot beverages. This isn’t so bad either…I like coffee and tea and hot chocolate and vin brule.
  3. stay no more than 3 feet from the heat source.

Number three assumes, of course that A. you have a heat source and B. you are in control of that heat.

Pellet stove 2, Lynn 1.

Yep. In the middle of the one week of cold that we get every year in Maberga, the stove stopped working.

Ok, this isn't such a big deal. It happens all the time. Every time in a different way. This time, it just went off...like completely off, as if it were unplugged. Between 5am when we got up and 9am when we could go into town to find a technician, it spontaneously went on and off about 4 times. Just by itself...without my help (ie: control).

So, at 9am David and I bundled up to head down the mountain - he would go look for some genius who is lucky enough to have pellet stoves within his sphere of control and he'd drop me at the grocery store (we were out of some things...like coffee and wine).

We hop in the car...can you predict where this is going?

Yep. Turn the key and nothing. Not even a noise. Nothing.

Turn the key again. Still nothing.

I go back in the house, without heat and David calls a pal to drive him to get a new battery. I knit. (maybe it was my state of out of controlledness that caused me to choose to knit thigh high stockings in the only yarn I had enough of in my stash...blaze orange merino).

David comes back with new battery, it doesn't work.

Did I mention that our internet connection had expired at midnight the night before?

So, here we are at 10am with no heat, no car, no internet, no coffee or wine.

Using the only tool available, we get on our phones. David calls our pal again to arrange for a mechanic (aka: a genius who has cars in his sphere of control) to come to check the car - next appointment for house calls, first thing tomorrow morning. I call work to say we won't be making it today and possibly not tomorrow if the mechanic tells us that car death is beyond his control and we have to be car shopping. David calls the stove shop to learn that they have changed their phone number, but don't want to share the new one.

Car needs to wait for mechanic. Stove, internet, and food need to wait for car.

David plugs the stove into a different plug. Nothing. So he settles into the couch with several blankets, his coat, beret, and a book.

What possible control can I take to respond to this level of out-of-controlledness?

Potato prints.

What a great day! I might be cured of the curse of control. Having absolutely NONE was completely liberating.

In case you are worried...

The stove spontaneously came back on and has been working perfectly. A couple very patient and strong neighbors drove by and they, with David pushed the car backwards up the road so he could pop the clutch. By 7pm we had a running car, heat, food and internet...and some nice christmas cards.


  1. oneofthedanes11:31 AM

    Whauuuuh. How fortunate you are. Congratulations on one of the most beautiful views, fantastic christmas cards and the most beautiful creative fancy and wonderful pair of stockings I have ever seen. You have to do something serious to make their way to a new frontpage. And I mean it!!!
    About all the other minor problems you have had, I am glad that they are over.....for now!!! See you soon.

  2. Hi, Lynn,

    19" of snow here in the last 9-10 days (much of it still on the ground) and temps as low as the single digits. San Juans have 150% of their normal snow fall compared to averages for this date. Maybe snow on Friday, so it may be a white Christmas for a change. After 62 Colorado winters, however, I think I am ready for a Maberga winter!

    Be kind to the pellet stove--it belongs to the same union as the car (and the fridge and the washing machine and...).


  3. Anonymous2:35 AM

    Lynn-- Sara said that she loves you, you are crazy, BUT ultimately you are her HERO!!! She loves the way you write. Best of luck to you. Keep up your knack of being totally in control of out- of- control!!

  4. Anonymous7:02 PM


    If you didn't have any problems just think how boring it would be on the hill. Now I will admit that it would be nicer with a little heat, but after these many years in Maberga - cold is your life. Sorry about all of the problems, but, just hold on a little longer and the Californian's will be there with lots of goodies. Too bad, we can't fit a new car into our HUGE collections of luggage.

    Wayne & Denise