Friday, April 30, 2010

Body and Soul

This afternoon, as I was dutifully stirring the tapioca pudding, a turkey hen walked by the kitchen window, looked in, and went on about her business.

I often say we live in the basement, but it's only half true. We have normal size windows (though not enough of them.) But the windows, from the outside, are at ground level. These past few months I have been no busier than usual, and no less reflective, but I guess I have not been in a writing mood. But after awhile, all those words build up and they just have to come out. What I've mostly been reflecting on is the house. Not just the house, really--the lodge, the cabins, the grounds--the body of Trinita.

Living in a basement is not my favorite thing. Even though I get to look the occasional turkey in the eye. It's too dark, and it's too low, and it's right next to the boilers and the more intimate guts of the house. When the doctor comes to do a house call--the electrician, the plumber, the exterminator, the furnace repairman, the cable guy, the phone guy--whoever it is, they have to go through our "living room," usually multiple times.

And there have been a whole lot of house calls lately. A few months ago, in some impossible to describe dirt floor low beam black hole which is right next to where we eat supper every night, water began to flow out onto the floor. I climbed back there with a flashlight and a broom, whisking away cobwebs to get a good look. Yup, it's water. Coming up ... uh, out of the ground, I guess. Well, it is raining cats and dogs right now, but still, this never happened before. Later, Vinnie found a valve to an old pipe and shut it off, but where the water was actually coming from remains a mystery, since it did not seem to be connected to anything in active use.

This past month, Joe from the Motherhouse staff spent a week here crawling in dark recesses and prying open old junctions and fixing our wiring. He spoke in admiration of the antique wiring he found in certain place which is still perfectly functional. Some of the more recent work (i.e. done in the last thirty or forty years) was less functional. At the end of the week, Joe, being a man of few words, summed it all up for me. "Well, Sister, we found a number of ... anomalies, but everything is up to code now."

And most recently, we've had some concern about the Lodge. Once upon a time, long long ago, it was an ordinary horse barn. Then we got the property and began adding on, and adding, and adding. Now it's got 3 wings, a raised roof, a fireplace, and an attic. During our annual inspection of the property, someone noticed a certain skew to the Lodge. Hmmm...... Plumb lines and other arcane instruments were soon brought to bear. Is the roof properly tied together, or isn't it? I am happy to say, someone with professional expertise took a good look and said all is well. Yay.

Trinita is old. And I am feeling my age these recent years. My feet hurt. My knees hurt. I think I need stronger bifocals. Dang. But the body is what it is. It can shape my moods, even my attitudes. But even so. It is a good home for my soul.