Spring is springing, a young man’s thoughts turn to Love, and a middle-aged man thinks about his trailer. March 74 certainly came in very lamb-like. I was sick again in February with the flu, more severe in February than January. I felt lousy and miserable most of the month. Then, no surprise, the girls got the flu also. Louise more so than Ingrid, perhaps as she is younger and her immune system not as well-developed. The very good news was that Marge did not come down with it. In general her health is more fragile than mine, but not this time thankfully, as there were more patients to be taken care of. By month’s end we are all well again and looking forward to a pleasant springtime and Easter.
It’s always something to go wrong when you own a home. this time it is our 1962 vintage washing machine. I can still, vaguely, remember buying it. Now the timer and control mechanism don’t function and I couldn’t repair it myself, nor find a replacement. I guess it is obsolete. Marge and I went to look at new washers again at Sears. We have had good luck with them and Whirlpool appliances. We buy a new one that has all the features of the 1962 one and some new ones, and costs about the same amount. that was a relief on the checkbook.
Back to the closeout furniture store. Oh I now have the answer to the buffet; they were to deliver it but still hadn’t done so.
Marge and I were somehow able to do it ourselves. The store loaded it into the wagon and we carried it into the house by taking all the drawers out first and then carrying the main part out. Whew!!!, but we got that done. I still have the buffet, now with some bumps and scratches of accidents over the years. I could not have ever done it without Marge, I didn’t think she was that strong!
I have also started a new home improvement project which is refinishing the oak table that we have. This is a Victorian antique that Mrs. Sutherland gave us. As of now (2016) this table is in my daughter Louise’s home, so it has a long history, and in my opinion still looks good. Marge and I had in ’74 discussed buying a new table. But we liked the old one and as Marge liked to sew, it also serves well as a cutting table. I believe sewing was her equivalent of woodworking, auto maintenance that I enjoyed, a skill one that requires concentration as well as physical skills. While in our first home in NY, she made a very well made mother/daughter outfit for her and Ingrid. I have a photo somewhere and it was very cute.
Marge’s dad had refinished the table top in the past but not the legs. We were both much alike. Those stout legs had been turned on a lathe in the fashion of the 19th century. Large and ornate.
Bumps and bruises, as well as lactic acid from spilled milk had stained the top. Fortunately, there was a furniture stripper close to our home and I took the table to him. He stripped the entire table chemically as it would have been impossible for me to do by hand. He also showed me, in an antique furniture reference book that tables like mine were getting $100-$150. That was in 1974 dollars, so worth the effort. I chemically bleached the table to even out the color variations. The chemical was a poison and I bought it from a pharmacy and had to sign for it. I made little progress on the task while ill, but I should complete it soon and it will be good for another 100 years. Now (2016) it is still in daily use so I think it will easily outlive me.
Marge left in late December, her birthday, to visit her mother. She took the Rambler, and on returning it developed move drive train howls. I think it is soon headed for its end, as it is getting close to 100,000 miles. We had it for 5 years and only paid a few hundred for it, so I guess we got our money’s worth from it.
We did buy a used International Harvester Scout from a Postal Service sale. It is about the size of a Jeep, licensed as a 1/4 ton truck. It was sanded and repainted and had about 19,000 miles on it. We hope that it will be good for short local trips. Ours was right hand drive since the postal service used it. The photo is not ours, but the same model.
The gasoline situation gets worse almost daily. We are fortunate because I have a PP&L company car and can get gas from the company garages. We have some PP&L neighbors and I give them lifts when asked. Marge has been able to get gas for our personal cars, but we have cut down on our driving. Long waits at service station are the new norm. We are going to plan our vacation different this year due to this problem. There are several places within a tanks worth of gas for us to visit. We hate to give up our earlier plans for Easter, but we will do what we can. We hope our elected leaders can resolve this problem, as it is beyond personal or local resolution.
I made a business trip to North Carolina in February with my boss Mr. Seidler. We were evaluating a construction process Duke Power uses as it might be applicable to PP&L. The demonstrations at Duke Power convinced both of us.
I am progressing well on my correspondence course in electronics. The benefits expire in May so I have to hustle. Realistically, I don’t think I may exactly complete all the lessons and kits, but I have learned a lot whether I finish or not. I have always enjoyed building things as well as taking them apart, hopefully correctly back together.
Ingrid has her 12th birthday in March and Louise is reading very well. Time moves along, they are growing up, we are growing older and I think Marge and I are good and loving mates and good parents. Not perfect of course, but pretty good.