Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Payback is a Bummer

People all around Pensacola are dropping like flies; the weather fluctuates between hot and humid and cold and dry, with thunderstorms marking the boundaries, and there are colds and flu popping up everywhere. I’ve flown serenely through the season without much problem, just a little four day cold around Christmas, feeling thankful for my strong immune system. I may have been a little smug.

And then, WHAM, it hit. One minute I was in a meeting, and the next, as I headed home, I was sniffing and reaching for a tissue. It quickly got worse. It was one of those nights where you can’t sleep because you are drowning in your own mucus. I know, I know, too much information, too graphic. Trust me, the reality has been worse. I stayed in bed most of Friday, and Saturday, when I was feeling better, we discovered our water heater has sprung a leak. All that mopping up was probably good exercise; once we got all the water up we were OK. Yesterday, my sniffles had turned into aching, irritated sinuses, so I spent the day putting warmth on my face.

This morning, we have the plumbers coming in with a new water heater, I feel marginally better, and I know I will feel a LOT better once I can get a hot shower 🙂

There was a huge blessing in all this. Our calendars for January and February are full, winter is the active season in Pensacola. We have events, we have commitments, and we have house guests coming. In the entire period, I only had five dates with no obligations, and that was this weekend. It’s a strange thing to be thankful for, but I thank God to be sick during a time when I can stay home and take care of myself, and I don’t have to call anyone and renege on an obligation.

It’s also wonderful that if the water heater was going to go (and it is ten years old) it burst while we were here, and we were able to stop the flow and mop up the water before it caused a lot of damage. We had a water heater go out several homes ago, while we were out of town, and oh, what a mess we came back to, and it took forever to get all the carpeting dried out and replaced. It’s wonderful that we could take care of this BEFORE our house guests start arriving.


We’ve been exploring tankless heaters; our heater is smack in the center of the house, a terrible location, where, if it goes, it can cause a lot of damage. We’ll go ahead with a regular old-fashioned heater this time, but suddenly, we have some urgency to trying to install tankless – maybe in the next couple of years. We had tankless heaters in Germany, and in the Middle East; we are used to them and comfortable with the idea. I like the idea of not keeping water warm when we are not using it, and heating it only when we do. I also like the idea of not having gallons and gallons of water spilling into my kitchen, dining room, living room and family room when the tank goes 😦

I miss my energy . . . I no longer feel smug, no longer assured of my good health. I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to be normal, without sinus pain, without this thick-headed draggy feeling. I think I’m on the mend; the last three days I couldn’t even begin to think about writing a blog entry . . .

January 28, 2013 Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Health Issues, Home Improvements, Living Conditions, Survival, Weather | 4 Comments

Maladies of the Soul

Part of my morning meditation is that after I finish my readings from The Lectionary, I find the daily reading in Forward Day by Day. Today’s is particularly interesting, relating to Jesus healing the woman who touched the hem of his garment and was cured of her hemorrhagic disease. He lists some of the maladies of the soul, for which belief in Jesus is the best medicine:

MONDAY, January 28

Mark 5:21-43. [There was a woman] who had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.

Even the most talented and dedicated physician has an occasional patient who can identify with those words. Doctors, being human, are fallible, and some unhappy conditions have no human cure.

But then there is Jesus. Healing was a major part of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Often, as in this woman’s case, a physical malady is cured. This is true today as well. But many people, in Jesus’ day and ours, suffer from illnesses which are not cured, either by Jesus or a physician. What of them?

Three things: First, it is appropriate to pray for healing. Second, dying is integral to the world as God has created it. Generations are meant to come and go; no one should try to hang around here forever. Everyone’s body will wear out someday and a holy death is part of holy living. Third, the most important healing is not of the body but of the soul. Diseases of the soul include bitterness, anger, greed, seeking revenge, grasping for control, and condemning other people and groups of people. From these maladies, Jesus heals not some but all who follow in his way.

January 28, 2013 Posted by | Faith, Lectionary Readings, Spiritual | Leave a comment