Saturday, October 31, 2020

On Being Unaware

     We have lived in our present home for 12 years blithely assuming all was well with our water supply.   When we moved in I noticed there was a water softening system that was not in use.  It looked like it hadn't been used in years.  I assumed that the previous owners deemed it redundant for our municipal water supply.   Not so!

    While visiting our daughter several weeks ago, my wife noticed how much nicer her hair felt after washing in their water, which is soft water.   From that experience we became aware that maybe we had something wrong with the hardness of our water.   Why hadn't we thought of that before?  It is part of being unaware when something is obvious but we are seeing but not seeing.  For instance our coffee pots have routinely plugged up and required frequently cleaning.   The shower heads often have to be changed.  All these clues went flying by us.  

    The upshot of this awakening is a new water softening system.  Wow! What a change!  Every item that is using water has performed better from showers, to coffee making  to clothes washing.  

    There is more to this story.   We have a humidifier attached to our forced air furnace.  This was a new furnace installed in February of 2014.   For the past 6 plus years I have been oblivious to the need to replace the water pad (filter).     You can guess what the pad looked like after 6 years accumulation of hard water deposits.   What a mess!    Another awakening.   It took me several hours to remove the deposits from the frame holding the pad.   On top of that the drain tube was completely clogged with debris.   After a long soak in hot water and a little probing with a wired it was ready to be reinstalled.   Happily a new pad and fully functioning humidifier is in place.   I expect that with the new softener in place the replacement of the pad will be probably be on a season by season schedule.   To be sure of the maintenance I have entered a reminder into my Google Home smart speaker for a replacement at an appropriate time.    Isn't it amazing that things out of sight can be out of mind?  However even things in our sight on a daily basis may not register. 

    To be aware we need to be shaken up from time to time.  In our relationships things can be hidden too.   I am asking myself what calcifications are accumulating in my routine of daily life.?  Are there changes I could make to be more loving and caring both at home and in my social and societal activities?    In this time of political and pandemic chaos it behooves us all to look beneath the surface to see what need to be cleaned out and changed.  

    Finally a comment about the coming ski season.    On being unaware, I visited my home ski area of Greek Peak yesterday hoping to pick up my pre-paid season pass.  As we all know things on the ski slope will be different this year.    To my surprise the passes will not be available until the end of November.   Apparently with all the adjustments to comply with pandemic regulations, they have fallen behind on the routine activities.  Things will be different.   Sadly I do not see the usual coffee hours for our geezer group this year.   Probably locker room boot ups will be eliminated and we will be putting on our gear at our cars.  However, we should be able to social distance on the slopes.   We have spent years unaware of how fortunate we have been to have the freedom of social interaction in the pursuit of the sport we love.  I live with the hope that this crisis will pass and we will not necessarily return to a new normal, but will be  more aware  overall how fortunate we are with what we do have. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Rainy Days

     I have a love hate relationship with rainy days.   Right now at my home we are experiencing a nice rainstorm. During August and September we have had a drought and the lawn has suffered.   I welcome this precipitation that will revive my lawn and reduce my need to water the two apple trees I planted.

    When I was growing up on the farm, I often looked forward to a rainy day during the planting and growing seasons.  A rainy day was respite from the draining labors of farming!  As a young lad I welcomed the relief from both the heat and the tedium of our tasks.   I especially remember how glad I was to have rain when we were transplanting cabbage on a 90 degree day with the wind blowing dust in our faces.

    Having a rainy day wasn't always a relief from work on the farm.  A frequent task on the rainy day was to clean the barn.   I am not sure that this was entirely necessary or was it was another way for my father to keep me occupied.  It was a dusty, dirty job that I hated almost as much and field work.  Sometimes a more pleasant job was in store like maintaining or repairing machinery.   Best of all a trip to town was a treat that we all enjoyed.  Dad would have a beer and I would get a soda!

    Fast forward to the present time of my life and I think about the hate I have for rainy days during the ski seasons.  Over the last 20 years my records show a significant increase of rainy days  and definitely so in the last five years.   Climate change is taking its toll on the quality of our seasons, especially in the Northeast!  Even with rainproof gear, a day on the slopes with rain covering the goggles and running down your neck is not the greatest!  

    May it be so that our rain comes when we need it and holds off for the outdoor activities we enjoy both in winter in summer.