The return after a trip of any duration brings with is a certain amount of chaos. Laundry, always laundry. The retrieval of the dog from the kennel. Dishes in the dishwasher from that last hurried load on the way out of the door. Cleaning out the refrigerator and bread drawer from the accumulation of food stuffs that have passed their sell by date -- or grown mold. Retrieving the phone messages that have stacked up likes planes waiting to land at a busy airport can take half an hour.
And the mail. There are always mountains of mail at the post office, plus whatever packages that were undeliverable in my absence. All the voice mail and most of the envelopes from the post office represent calls to action. They require that I call or do or pay or follow up. It’s right about at that moment that I wonder why I ever bother going away. Inevitably, it takes three days to wade through all the accumulated tasks in hopes of settling back to “normal.”
There was a fly in the ointment this time, in the shape of a recalcitrant burner. Last night was one of the coldest in 2012 and my furnace refused to work. After repeated attempts to jury-rig it myself, I had to surrender to my ineptitude and call a service company. They were going to extort double their usual fee to come help. I was told that if I could get through the night, the fee would drop in half. I went to bed wearing pajamas as a base layer, then a pair of fleece sweatpants and a fleece warmup jacket. I woke up around midnight extremely stiff, I added gloves, a hat and a fleece robe. At 4:30am the house was 48 degrees and I added another down blanket to the one in which I was was already snuggled.
The repair men spent the morning working on the furnace. When they left around 1p.m., the familiar hum of the furnace filled the house. The sound preceded the heat by two hours or more.
Welcome Home...and so it goes.