The Week That Was

28 Sep

Well, not a full week, but it certainly seems as if it has been that long. And it’s only Wednesday.

Monday morning, The Squire went off and bought new bulbs for the lights when they only needed ballasts. He had to go back to the hardware center to get the ballasts anyway, and then discovered he’d gotten the wrong wattage of bulbs. Like the Tar Baby, I just didn’t say a word. (It’s a good thing he can’t read my mind, though.)

Monday morning while The Squire was dancing with the lights, I went up to visit Eldest Daughter, Local Granddaughter, and Granddaughter-in-law. While I was there I did a load of wash, which I brought back home, fully intending to put it on the line to dry.  As it happened, the weather clouded and promised rain, so I threw the sheets into the dryer. When the dryer buzzed, I went into the back room to discover most of the contents of the water heater all over the floor.

Lovely, just lovely.

The Squire turned off the water, and hooked up the garden hose to drain the rest of the tank, while I called the folks who had installed said water heater. They came out yesterday – Tuesday. I don’t know what it says about our water, but that was a three year-old, glass lined heater with a six year warranty, with a hole eaten into it.

Yesterday morning I hopped into the car, filled the tank, and set off into the wilds of deepest, darkest Pennsylvania. I have become very friendly with a young Amish lady who had worked at the local farmer’s market until right before the birth of her son.  Linda had invited me up to visit, so I cranked up the GPS and headed off for Loysville. This little town is directly south of Altoona, and only a few miles north of the PA Turnpike.  Slightly over a hundred miles, in other words.  I must be crazy.

We really did have a pleasant afternoon. The weather was just perfect, and we enjoyed a nice lunch, then she showed me around their farm.  Chickens for eggs and chickens for market, a large vegetable garden, and offered to hitch up their horse and take me for a buggy ride. Lunch was homemade soup and sticky buns, and a glass of fresh milk. I haven’t had farm milk since about two years after The Squire and I got married. Delicious! What a difference between fresh milk and pasteurized stuff!

We talk comparative religion, and all sorts of things. She offered to make me a smoothie for the road, and then really surprised me by pulling an electric blender out of the closet and plugging it into a wall socket! They have solar panels, which she uses for a few appliances, and her wringer washer. The stove and fridge are propane, and all of the lights are Dewalt lanterns. You just never know bout these things.

Linda said a lot of the rules are changing. There isn’t enough land for all of he Amish to farm, so many of them have turned to woodworking, and other businesses, and they need computers to handle their records. They also need telephones because placing and receiving orders by snail-mail is almost impossible, and using a phone shack for business is even more so. Once you get used to having a phone for business, then you want one in the house. Linda and her husband have one in the living room; it’s a desk set, but works on a TracPhone  principle, and they use solar power to charge it.

I got royally lost coming home.  I managed to get on the Interstate, but the Get Gas light came on just after I crossed the Maryland line. Gas stations are few and far between up there, and I had to drive about six miles on fumes. Then, I couldn’t work my way back to the Interstate, so I had to rely completely on the GPS, which had been set – not by me! – to avoid freeways. I saw parts of Maryland I never knew existed. The trip up took me two and a half-hours, and the trip back was four!

Next time, I’m taking a plain old Maryland State Police road map.

Right now, we are waiting to see if this flood warning is going to amount to anything. The Squire has moved all the “floatables” off the carport, and we have plenty of drinking water and food. We did get about forty-five minutes of steady rain, but it really didn’t amount to much.  According to the Weather Channel, it is supposed to rain from tonight clear into Saturday. We shall see.


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