Tuesday, March 28, 2023

On the kindness of strangers.......

My name is not Blanche and I am not a character in a Tennessee Williams' play. I'll reserve comment on the author's chosen name later. However, I am a person in need of help from time to time, because I struggle, as many of us do, to:

1. Pay the bills.

2. Do the right "thing" environmentally, ethically and any other .....ally there is out there.

3. Figure out how to navigate the demands of life and still remain sane.

Enter the lists.

This is not a medieval "thing," however, I feel as though, I've been making lists for a millennium.

I'm putting the house in order, so I make lists. My living room list includes a number of items:

1. Repainting the furniture. OK I have 30 year-old Ikea furniture - yes the older ones last this long! However, they need some refreshing. I have actually found someone who will repaint them for a fair price. This is a good start and my first contact with a "stranger" this week. I'll report later on the results. However they did offer to pick up the furniture and produced a quote from a picture. First act of kindness, so far.

2. Installing a chair rail...or something that will stop the chair I use most often from cramming itself against the wall, after an evening of needlework....it's a surprisingly vigorous activity!

There were plexiglass "stoppers" on Amazon for $30 - $50 US. You put them behind the legs of the chair and they stop the chair from pushing against the wall. Well I was tempted, but then I hate paying a billionaire more money. I pressed on. FB groups said to just put some wood behind the chair legs. I though "aha" Home Depot to the rescue. They have a "discard bin" of wood left over from pieces cut for customers. I found a small piece that would work, but I would have to cut it in three places. I asked the "sawer" for help. I said that I would pay for the cuts. He said the wood was free and, since he was free, he cut two perfect 3" x 3" squares that fit the chair legs exactly. I know I have my share of problems with big business, but on a small scale, this amazing stranger was a huge help for me today!!

Not on the living room list, but still on the "this must be done before I die list," is the furnace. I am eternally grateful for two people I contacted today. One is an architect and the other a mechanical engineer. Both said, "Do not remove your rads" and "Heat pump systems break down; their replacement parts are hard to find; you need a back up system."

 So city of Toronto, as much as you want to be carbon neutral by 2035, you have to do better than a $5,000.00 grant against a $15,000.00 outlay for an "iffy" system.

I am very grateful to these strangers who were more than willing to help and didn't charge me a cent.

I'm glad I bought a box of Thank you cards last year. I'll be sending out a few.

Have an amazing day!!

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