This past summer my sister was visiting and somehow we got on the subject of home maintenance. My sis has this theory that our dad failed us because he never taught us any of this stuff and here we both are (her single and me widowed) trying to figure out how to maintain a home. So she tells me that you are supposed to change the furnace filter every 3 months. I almost gasp. My husband has been dead for 8 months and he was sick for 7 months prior to that, so there is a very strong possibility that the furnace filter has not been changed in a long time, because I have never done it. I don’t exactly feel compelled to jump right on this task, but when Fall approaches, I decide I really should address this challenge. I go down into the basement and try to remember (thankfully my husband showed me once) how to access the filter. The filter is very stubborn and does not seem to want to come out, but I finally wrestle it out and can see right away what the problem is. There is almost 5 inches thick (OK that’s an exaggeration, maybe 2 inches) of cat fur caked onto the filter; definitely enough black Shadow fur to make a decent pair of kitten britches. I write down the size of the filter so that I can purchase the correct size then I notice that there is a piece of duct tape on the furnace and written on it, in my husband’s writing, is the date that the filter was last changed and the date that the next filter should be put in. These dates are 6/8/08 & 9/8/08….Yikes! It very well could have been 2 years since the filter was changed. No wonder there was so much fur. I put in the new filter and now all is well in that department. I will do my best to stay on track with the 3 month rule.
About a month ago, I was getting my morning going, standing in my kitchen getting ready to make my coffee. I looked out on my backyard and I see what appears to be a dead critter on the edge of one of my flower beds. I gingerly tip toe out there to find out that it is a dead baby possum. Under my breath I curse my husband as he is not here to dispose of this dead creature. That’s his job! So I go into work and since I am really bad at asking for help, I just sort of hint around to people asking them if they would like to come over and help me out. One coworker tells me she would just get her husband to do it and them immediately realizes that is not a very sensitive thing to say to a widow and apologizes. One of the guys offers up a plan. He says Step 1. Drink 2 beers, Step 2. Get a rag and cover the dead possum with the rag so you don’t have to look at it, Step 3. Get a shovel and a rake and gently slide the possum into the shovel being careful not to flip it over so that you see it, Step 4. Dump it in the garbage. So I start contemplating this plan. Can I do this? One of my girlfriends does offer to come over and dispose of it, but she wants to come later in the evening when it is dark. I’m not too keen on this idea, so the next morning, I put the plan into motion by going directly to step 2. I don’t like beer and I’m not about to drink 2 at 9:00 in the morning. Operation possum disposal was a success! I really can do it!