Today will be another running-around day, mostly for the sake of getting out of the house while the propane-company employers install a Rinnai heater in my living room. With this expense, we will cross another line: we will no longer own a house entirely heated by wood.
Other than the uglification factor involved in adding a boxy white heater to the living-room decor, I am relieved about the change. If we sell the house, we will need to have backup heat so the buyers can get a mortgage. If I live alone in the house, I will need to have backup heat because Tom hasn't cut any wood for the winter. Last year's leftovers won't get me through January.
Yesterday I taught the boy how to sew on a button. I read about a sadistic commander's horrific regime on Australia's Norfolk Island at the turn of the nineteenth century. I copied out some of Rilke's Duino Elegies. I made curried coconut soup with lemongrass. I mowed grass and picked dahlias. In the evening I closed the windows and put on my thick red bathrobe. Autumn crept through the cracks, and the boy played the piano in his room. In a few days I will be back to living alone, but at least now I know what I'm facing.