Monday, October 23, 2006

I've changed my mind. I'm going to agressively seek out a husband. Not just any husband...

After completing the month's banking and bill paying on Saturday morning, I ended up with a small excess. Imagine my surprise. It was substantial. The surprise; not the excess.

I rechecked the stack of papers on my desk to make sure I hadn't missed a bill. Gave consideration to the fact that there are still 10 days left in the month. Then sighed with giddy abandon because of the wiggle room left in my chequing account.

I post-dated 2 months of tithing cheques to give to church and made out a donation for Stillwood, the happiest place on earth according to 2 out of 3 Oh bros. (The third one will be going this summer, so it will likely be a hattrick consensus that the little Mennonite camp in the woods is better 'n Disneyland.) Then gave serious consideration to supporting another child through Compassion. Maybe Uganda this time. (You know when you drive a red Intrepid, it seems like everyone is driving one? And then when you get a red Durango, you notice them all over the place? Or when you buy a Digital SLR, everyone else gets one too? Well, that's exactly what's happening with me and Uganda. First, Jesse went there at the beginning of September. Then, at that concert I drove 4 hours to get to, Third Day talked about their visit to Uganda, the "night walkers" and encouraged us to support the work of Compassion there. Then at work, while on my lunch break, I picked up one of the periodicals delivered monthly and noticed that every single article in the September issue was about Uganda. And then, have you ever hit the "next blog"icon at the top of the screen up there? I did. And saw this Ugandan blog.
Jesse came home at the beginning of October burdened for the orphans in that African country. "We have to do something," he cried to Clint. "They need a water. We can get a system up and running for $6,000." {The big picture goal is to get water to a village outside of Kampala, but in the meantime, the boys are putting together 20 Christmas boxes. I offered to pay the $7 per box shipping costs if they filled them up, and was told to mind my own business; this was their project and they could raise the $140 themselves, thank you very much. So I picked up 2 boxes of my own and loaded them up with $50 worth of love. By the way, if you go to the dollar store next to BCAA in Langley and tell them you're buying for a Christmas Box, they'll give you a 10% discount. } {This is a very long paragraph; I'm not sure where the break should have been. This post is really about the smell in my house, but somehow I got sidetracked on this Uganda thing, and I'm committed to finishing that thought before I move on. Closure. It's always about completing well with me. And I'm finding these parentheses-within-paratheses difficult to keep track of. Are you still with me?} {Can you tell its craft night and there's no one here to talk to? I didn't feel right about letting folks into my cold and smelly house.}

Anyways, back to the Uganda theme that's running through my life right now. Jesse was over the other night encouraging unsuspecting impressionable 16 year old boys to swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon. Once the dust settled from Jon's nose, Jesse mentioned that he ran into the Newsboys in Uganda. They were all at the Sheraton Hotel using the internet connection in the lobby. The Newsboys. In Uganda. Same city as Jesse - Kampala. {My fingers are getting cold. Which, by the way is also a recurring theme in my life these days... the gym we meet in for church on Sundays was not heated this weekend, making for an icy service. Then at work today, it took, well, more hours than I was there, for the furnace to kick in and take to cold edge off. }

Right. Back to Uganda. Today at work, Carson asked us to pray for a husband and wife team who had e-mailed him that they were heading overseas to do some missions work in three different countries. Their first stop? Kampala, Uganda. I think I'll close this bracket now. The back story of Uganda is pretty much done. I think I made my point. Probably about 10 sentences ago.)

So, regarding my bit of extra $... Uganda came to mind. (Like it ever left.) I know I can't do much to save the country. But my $35 a month will make a difference in the life of one child. His name is Ediwin and he's 5 years old. I picked him because his birthday is Oct 13. (A couple of guys in my family {a nephew and an ex-bro-in-law} have the exact same birthday.) Maybe he'll do significant things for his country? Or his village. Or in his family...

Back to Saturday, and my small financial overage.
It felt like a gift.

I planned ahead and thought that if by some (divine?) miracle I would have another overage next month and the month after, maybe I could get going on that front door project. (The one where I possibly get a new door, along with new locks and don't let the kids gain entry to the house through that portal ever again. ) Or maybe a couch. The one in the living room is 23 years old and reaks of the '80's. Or maybe get a real TV stand/entertainment centre. The 23 year old end table I have everything precariously stacked on has seen better days. As have the speakers, which are 23 years old as well. "Why is everything in this house 23 years old? The kitchen table and chairs are, the mixer is, the TV is, that clock is, these pots and pans are..." Drew was frustrated with all the almost-a-quarter-of-a-century stuff we have.
"Wedding presents. Alot of things we got as wedding presents. Or else we bought it when we set up our apartment together. Make sure when you get married, you buy good quailty stuff. You probably won't replace it til your silver anniversary."

But then. Today happened.
And the dryer that wasn't working last week, got a Clinton-style packing-tape repair job this afternoon. So now the drum spins, but according to Max, does not dry. I will look into the appliance problem more closely tomorrow.

Right now, I'm more concerned about cleaning out my pantry. You see, my furnace is in there.
When I came home from work, at around 4:15 pm, it sounded like a race car was getting its tires rotated behind those bifold doors. The rumbling and the shaking indicated that the car was seconds away firing out of the pit area back onto the track. Max was asleep on the couch and missing all the action. Clint still hadn't gotten up - it's his one full day off and he chose to spend it sleeping.
I roused everyone up from their slumber and set about doing my daily allotment of yelling regarding no one picking up their socks, or cleaning up their dishes or putting away their food wrappers, or returning the milk to the fridge, or flushing the toilet when Clint yelled, "What's burning?"

I could smell no burning, but the noise from the furnace was competing with the noise from my mouth and I was not going to be the one to shut down - so I turned the furnace off.
Again, Clint yelled down, "WHAT IS BURNING?!"
I ignored him because he usually ignores me and even though I'm more mature, this was a case of tit for tat. He didn't mow the lawn on Saturday - I'm not going to jump at his 'what's burning' rant.
Minutes before Mark came to pick up Max and Drew, I went upstairs to change out of my work clothes. "Holy cow! What is that smell? What's burning?" I said to Clint as the odor seemed to be originating from his computer area at the top of the stairs.
"I TOLD you something was burning. It's coming from here."
He pointed to the fresh air vent under his desk.
"That makes no sense, fresh air comes in through there," I said knowingly.

The boys left with Mark, Clint went out with a friend, and I was left in a house that smelt like it was on the verge of combusting.

And I said to myself, "What was I thinking this summer? A hot worship pastor would so not make a great husband. A handy-man carpenter type is what I need. Someone who wears one of those manly tool belts with an automatic snap-back 25 foot measuring tape and has calloused hands with a few battle scars left over from incidents involving nail guns, cordless drills or mitre saws.

I called my brother.
"My house smells like something is burning. Something unpleasant. The dryer drum turns but our clothes just get dizzy, not warm and the furnace was trying to escape earlier by hitching a ride with Mario Andretti."

"I'll be over right after supper."
I think he should move his family closer to me. With my house in the middle of its teenage years, I'm going to need to see him on a regular basis.

Less than an hour later, he was here. Do you know what the first thing he did was? (Besides take off his boots?) He smelled my fake tree in my entry way. I have tiny seasonal (not just for Christmas) lights on it. He was checking to see if those lights were burning the dust that (traditionally) accumulates on the (not just mine, but everyones's) leaves.

Just seeing him do that gave me the confidence to know I had called the right man for the job. No detail would go unnnoticed. He would search all possible clues and determine the culprit.
I could write out the details of his investigation, but even I am getting tired of this marathon post.
Suffice it to say (or to make this long story end once) I need to call a furnace guy. And get a motor replaced at the minimum. I'm preparing myself for the worst though, and am thinking that the overage I was so pleased with 48 hours ago, is not going to be anywhere near enough to cover the cost of a new furnace.

In the meantime, I am sitting in a house that does not have a working heat source. And my fingers, despite all this typing activity, are feeling chilled. And because a furnace guy is going to be rummaging through the room famous for it's dumpability quality - I've got to go clean it so that its all sparkly and shiny for his royal visit tomorrow.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. He said, "I'll be right over."
2. He smelled the leaves on my fake tree.
3. I've got enough fat on me to keep me warm through what could be a cold night.


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