I've been couting the cost today. Every little thing I allow into my sphere costs something.
For example, my computer which saves me oodles of convenience time and energy from writing snail mail, saves and even corrects my writing, allows me to shop online, and blog causes me to expend much time and effort. Since my computer crashed last month, my Norton's Anti- Virus could not offer a single solution which worked to save my computer from the trojan downloader and trojan vundo virus double whammy. I've already mentioned I had to dump every precious file I could not retrieve and start over from scratch. Scratch meant my $40 year's subscription to Norton's got dumped, but I got a free trial month from factory settings to maybe "protect" my 'puter till I could set the old account back up. Today I spent quite a while online searching for a way to contact the Norton company, but I never succeeded in finding an email or online way to do so without my old forever gone account numbers. Grrrr. I did find several international phone numbers. I called the California number and listened to a recorded message for yet another phone number for customer service. I waited a good long time on hold at that number, listening to annoying versions of "Rudolf" when a gentleman, who sounded as though he was sitting in a cubby in India, plodded through his list of questions and responses. Sometimes the answers didn't nearly match the questions I was asking, "Why can't you just look up my address and name for my account? You'll see I paid in September." He answered, "It doesn't work that way mam. You must wait until I ask you for that information. I will tell you when it comes up." Fine, I'll wait till your computer screen will let me answer that particular question. This is all to say, for every convenience, there is a price. My computer has cost lots of hours this year.
Another cost which is driving me nuts lately, is the impossibility of trying to publish a photo on my blog. I must wait till blogspot's perfect kharma aligns with the swirling universe favorably, and I never know precisely when this single moment of opportunity will occur, then viola, the photo be published successfully. I've been trying since yesterday to load Christmas pics. Notice none have appeared.
Christmas wore me out this year. I wearily laid my head down on my kitchen table in the evening and yawned, "Christmas is really for kids isn't it?" to my father-in-law. Christmas preparations and clean up sucked me in and spit me out like a nasty wet hair ball from a gagging cat. I hope I recover soon from that enormous expense of energy.
Onto the cost of animals. Remember how I've mentioned I'm a recluse uninterested, in fact in fear of meeting my neighbors in order to preserve my serenity? Well, this impacts my family's ability to travel as well. We know no neighbors to ask to feed our goaties, chickens, dogs, cats, gerbil as a direct result of my seclusion neurosis. When the goats were in milk, it was especially difficult to find someone with patience and honest true love for me willing to learn the fine art of emptying delicate udders on a contentious nanny. Also, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and such need the time and investment of vet attention from time to time. Goats require worming and hoof trimming regularly. Our great dog develops matted hair and craves attention. Our cats tear up screens in every window they can reach, and their litter screams "Change me or you'll die from poop inhalation" often enough. Animals insist upon care.
Cars. Cars (and pathetic old vans) constantly fill with nasty sippy cups, doll shoes, tiny lego pieces, straws, stinky used sports clothes, wrappers, CD's, and sticky used lollypop or popsicle sticks. Maintainance of oil, tires, alignment, wipe/brake fluid eats away at a day quickly. Repairs, like a window which will no longer roll up without manual hand assistance, are put off for years in hopes a less busy time will suddenly roll around. Have I brought up the fact that I am not crazy about detail cleaning the inside and out of a vehicle much less the toilets inside my home? Every ride mounts up to something.
Wheat grinders. I adore owning six fifty pound buckets of whole grain wheat to grind at my whim. However, I detest the mess of the machine and kitchen filmed in browish white specks afterwards. While I love a fresh hot loaf of bread or the waft of steaming cinnamon rolls across my nostrils, the wheat grinder clean up is my nemesis.
Then there is the endless payment due each day with four children. Someone needs a ride to basketball, nose wipes, lunch, a hug, a kind word, help with fractions, a clean pair of underwear, a break. Children create ceaseless need.
Here's another biggie. Marriage costs. Relationships require nurture, and I've been working at mine with my beloved for 17 years. Picnics and strolls through the park are rare but longed for.
I think of the timeless truth in, "To whom much is given much is required." I've been given a king's ransom of blessings in all of the above. I certainly can't imagine typing a manuscript on a manual typewriter without going completely buggy. My blog holds a treasure box of who I am and who I'd like to become. This Christmas I had the honor of both sets of doting grandparents at our table. Our animals teach us valuable life lessons through birth, death, and provision not to mention endless flashlight goat tag fun and fresh eggs. My vehicles have carried bleeding, screaming children to the ER for immediate repair. My wheat grinder, a free gift from a friend, rescues me from pounding grain for hours on a stone outside a hut. My children create more joy than I have ever imagined. My husband is my very best friend.
"To whom much is given, much is required." May I do well by the gifts I've been given.
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