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Friday, November 13, 2009

Restoring the Cosmos



Calhoun’s Cannons for November 13, 09

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.
Alice Walker

You’re welcome. Don’t mention it. It’s hard work I know, but somebody’s got to do it. And I this time I’m the one. Restoring the Cosmos, that is.

You see, years ago, after some grievously sad times, I developed the Calhoun’s Cosmological Conceit that went something like this: Don’t take life too seriously because God has a wicked sense of humor. Just when you think things are going smoothly, He’ll look around and see you humming along, minding your business, tooling down the road quite happily, thank you very much, and He will start raining down all sorts of bad stuff on you until, crushed down to your knees, you will cry out to Heaven, “Enough already! I absolutely can’t take any more!” at which point He will snicker and then break your hot water heater. When that happens, you know He’s done with you for a while and your life will return to normal.

Then you call the plumber.

And thus it was when my semi-new leach field went kerflooey for no known reason, puzzling even Al at Al’s septic pumping (Head scratching. Dunno. Haven’t seen anything to explain this in 30 years!), so we had to dig up part of the front yard to put in another one. Then I got rear-ended, with my little red X-Box Scion, The Tall Dog Car getting shmushed and laid up in the shop for several weeks, all bent-grilled and broken.

Before Al started in with the back hoe, I raced around with clippers and shovel and dug up as many plants as I could and stuffed them into pots, then left them clustered on the front walkway looking damp and pathetic. Luckily my yard is thickly planted with sturdy natives and hardy salvias, plants that are not only drought tolerant, but able to withstand the most extraordinary abuse. Hit ‘em with a stick, prune them severely, yank them out by their roots and stuff them back into the ground and in most cases they’ll look sickly for a day or two and then just carry on. Tough plants for tough times in tough places.

When Al finished his work, I gazed at the torn up empty section of dirt and with a sigh started replacing the retaining wall’s termite-riddled boards, laid the drip lines down again, and started stuffing the plants back into the ground. By noon I was half-finished, but it was getting too hot to continue. So, dirty and tired, I wandered into the garage with shovel and garden cart only to find a pool of water seeping out from under . . . the hot water heater.

I would like to report that I heard the heavenly Heh-heh, but I was laughing too hard to hear anything. A sign! A sign! God was finished with me for a while.

The next day I got a call that my little X-Box car was ready to go home.

Thus was order to the cosmos restored! You’re welcome. Glad to help.

And just in time for Thanksgiving, too, an annual holiday in which we give thanks for our harvest and bounty, a day set aside to count our blessings, spend time with friends and family, then eat too much and watch football on TV.

In my house, in my world, thanks giving arrives every moment of every day, even for the smallest things, because in Calhoun’s Cosmology, I have learned from experience that we live in a world filled with 30 year-old hot water heaters and being run by a dangerously serio-comic God with a wicked, wicked sense of humor. It’s a risky mix.

True, daily thanks giving will not stop the whirlwind, but it’s a good habit to get into anyway. So pass the cranberries. They’re delicious. Thank you, thank you very much.

15 comments:

annerallen said...

Let us hope, indeed, that God is through with her jokester pranks on the Calhoun household. And that she's about finished with me, too. I'm going to check my hot water heater right now!

Mike said...

Thanks Ann for remembering our military veterans, guess the hot water heater was more important...

Mike Green said...

Yes Mike, Thank you for reminding us that the internet, and specifically the comment section of some online publications are the last true sanctuary of vileness.
To insinuate an insult to our servicemen by the lack of a published testimonial is silly and moronic.
It also demeans the very people that deserve our gratitude.
To our veterans, Thank you!
and to Ann,
Love the articles, And the poems and recipes.
And the new water heater will probably save a bunch of energy, so it's all good.

M said...

I don't have too many things in life that I wish for, but I do hope one day to be able to put a face to the personality that is Mike. The picture I have in my mind right now, well...
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

Thank you Mike Green. Mike's comment is so pure Mike and your comment is dead on the mark. And and yes, the new water heater is an energy star one.

And to M: be careful what you wish for. I mean . . . Eeeuuuuuuuu. No thanks.

M said...

I know Ann, but don't you wonder?
Is "hot" water heater a redundant term?
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

I guess you find it funny, but I actually fought FOR my country, not AGAINST it...

Churadogs said...

M sez:"Is "hot" water heater a redundant term?
Sincerely, M"

Actually, not once it gets up to speed, since the tank heats the water and then keeps it hot so it's a tank full of hot water which the tank keeps heating,so I guess it's a "hot water" heater? Or, more accurately, a "hot water" re-heater?

Mike sez:"I guess you find it funny, but I actually fought FOR my country, not AGAINST it..."

Nothing, absolutely nothing can top that utterly clueless and totally absurd non sequitur. Or as Mike himself might put it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????!!!! Oy!

Liz. mother of Wyatt said...

Googling Los Osos Sewer blogs this morning and came across your delightful blog. I have always suspected the "wicked humor" of God. I even think those crazy mocking birds are part of the hilarity...but only at 3 am. Thank you for the delightful Sunday morning reading.

Aaron said...

Mike keeps getting lower and lower and lower: allegedly fighting for our Country in order to protect the freedoms that he often wants to quash. Nice touch, sir.

Mike said...

Sorry that Aaron does not understand... but then Aaron couldn't get in and hasn't been in the military... but like Ann, he'll fight against any government authority he and she personally dislike without understanding how and why that government was created...

Aaron said...

Yawn.

Alon Perlman said...

One nugget of wisdom from my dad-" these things happen in three's" so maybe you will be off the hook for a while.

Malfunctioning Water Heaters can be fun

Churadogs said...

Wyatt's Mom sez:"Googling Los Osos Sewer blogs this morning and came across your delightful blog. I have always suspected the "wicked humor" of God. I even think those crazy mocking birds are part of the hilarity...but only at 3 am. Thank you for the delightful Sunday morning reading"

There's something hilarious about your first line . . . "Googling Sewer blogs this morning . . . ." Someone not living in Los Osos would read that a go, . . . WTF?????

And yes, Mockers are part of God's crowd of jokesters.

Mike sez:" . . . " ... but like Ann, he'll fight against any government authority he and she personally dislike without understanding how and why that government was created..."

Uh, wasn't "fighting against government authority" exactly how and why our own government was created??? Mike, you're getting embarassing.

Alon sez:"One nugget of wisdom from my dad-" these things happen in three's" so maybe you will be off the hook for a while."

Somone asked about that and I thought the rule of three likely comes from the Trinity -- certainly there's something that makes the number three somehow magical. Three on a match. Famous people dying in threes, etc.

franc4 said...

so.......Mike "fought" for our country, did he?...even though he doesn't quite understand what this country is about. Must have been drafted or told to either join-up or go to jail.(the old way) Now to serve you gotta be "clean".
From behind what desk did you "fight", I wonder.