Sunday, September 25, 2011


This is our first house, and also our first real encounters with home maintenance and repairs. It was well into chilly weather that early winter when we realized we hadn't done anything with the swamp cooler. Neither of us had ever seen one up close, much less the inside, so we had no idea what to do. Still, we were pretty sure something needed to be done before spring. I would go up and try to figure it out.

It was dark by the time we got home and started on the project. I climbed the tall ladder and gingerly made my way across the roof. The surface was covered with a combination of ice and snow. Thankfully, there was a nearly-full moon to provide light for the task. I fumbled about, poking and prodding as I pondered the beastly box. Eventually I managed to open it up. Awhile later, I broke through the icy surface of the reservoir with my fist and, even later, figured out how to open the drain hole.

Looking back, I am amazed that we survived the experience.

Years have passed, autumn has come again, and we decided to cover the swamp cooler today. I climbed to the roof on this comfortably cool evening, then stood at the peak and watched the sun slip slowly down behind the trees in the distance. It was beautiful, calm, peaceful.

On this day, the swamp cooler chore was not a serious risk, not bitterly cold, not marked by confusion and frustration. Instead, I stood a little apart from the busyness of life and paused to see the beauty of the horizon.

It was a lovely gift in the midst of the mundane. I don't want to miss such moments.

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