A Needy Neighbor and a Necessary Bath

This morning my willingness to remain unwashed reached its limit. I was so glad to have a 12-gallon pot in which to heat water! It took well over an hour, and then I still had to earn my bath by lugging one gallon of boiling water at a time from the kitchen to the bathroom. I think I made ten trips!

The reward was an actual warm bath, resulting in clean hair and body. Oh, what luxury!

I had some critiquing to finish today too, but my main focus was wrestling with my preparations for the class I’ll be teaching this weekend. I have been collecting information for months, and over the last few days I have tried to figure out how best to organize and present it, but it didn’t start falling into place until today. By the time I had to leave for critique group, I was pretty jazzed about the class and looking forward to it! My outline is finally coming together.

Meanwhile, the doorbell rang this afternoon, and Jasper answered it. It was a boy who had recently moved into our neighborhood, going around introducing himself to the neighbors. Jasper came to get me to meet him and I did. This kid, who is turning 18 this week, came across as overpoweringly needy. He was lonely and very anxious to make friends. He made sure we knew that his birthday is in two days and that his parents do not celebrate it. Over the course of the afternoon he was back three more times, wanting to see Jasper who had gone to help out at the afterschool program like he always does on Tuesdays.

Later, as I was leaving to go to my critique group, this boy was talking to Jasper in our front yard. When I returned home I heard about the conversation. It turns out this young man is an openly gay drug user and I have to admit it makes me very uncomfortable that he seems to be so interested in my fourteen-year-old son. Jasper agrees that it is probably a good idea to limit contact with this young man. Still, my heart goes out to him. He is so lonely and so anxious to make friends. I don’t think he has any idea how conservative and Christian most of our neighborhood is, and I don’t know how to show Christ’s love to him and still protect my son.

Once again, my critique partners were invaluable in pointing out areas of my work that need help. Month by month, they are helping me become a better writer! At the meeting following our critique session we talked about blogging. I ran my mouth a lot because I was the most experienced blogger in the room!

We were hoping to be able to replace the water heater this evening, but when Walter went up to Lowe’s he discovered there are new hoops to jump through if you want to replace a water heater under warranty. One requirement is that he get a certain number which can only be got from the manufacturer, who of course is only open during business hours. So, maybe if he can call and get the number tomorrow, we can get the water heater tomorrow night. I envision another day of keeping the 12-gallon pot simmering on the stove. We got the new motor for the air conditioner today but I don’t think it’s been installed yet. No sign of the new flooring either!

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