Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘coincidence

Relief Comes

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The temperature climbed above zero (F) yesterday. Given the reference point of the biting cold that we have been subject to for the last couple of weeks, stepping out into the February sunshine felt remarkably comfortable. Warm, even. Though it really wasn’t.

Just a little relief from the hunched clenching posture we and the chickens have been maintaining opens up a surprising amount of renewal in mind and body. Rocky and the hens were taking full advantage of the sunny wall on the end of the barn where we clear the snow for them.

Cyndie said the yellow Buff Orpington visible in the background of the image was digging in to take a little dust bath.

In a crazy coincidence of timing, Cyndie sent me a text about how big the icicle had grown from the corner of the barn roof. I suggested she knock it down proactively to avoid it falling unexpectedly. By the time she arrived to tend to the task, it had already fallen on its own.

Apparently, the frozen stalactite sensed our plan just as we were hatching it and took matters up with good old gravity to save us any extra trouble.

I struggle to reconcile a mixture of glee and guilt over the relative good fortune we are enjoying compared to the weather much of the rest of our country is suffering. The extreme cold we have dealt with is something we have lifetimes of experience and knowledge to cope with, while the cold and snow disrupting life in Texas and beyond is bizarrely out of the ordinary for them.

I feel for the hassles they are dealing with while also being grateful we have been spared a similar level of calamity.

May the southern states appreciate how quickly their climbing temperatures will melt the uncharacteristic amounts of snow that have fallen on them as we endure the typical long, slow transition from winter to spring our latitude abides.

Either way, relief does eventually come.

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Written by johnwhays

February 17, 2021 at 7:00 am

Wagon Wheels

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All these years, I’ve been walking past them. Mounted as handrails on either side of the steps to our front door are two wagon wheels.

They don’t actually make for great handrails, so I’ve never been all that enamored with them. In fact, I suspected they were simply replicas. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never really looked at these wheels closely, despite shoveling snow around them every winter.

Last week, when Matthew was here sealing the logs of our house, he pointed out that the wheels deserved some attention, too, and that they were simply screwed into the steps with three lag bolts each. He advised I remove them to sand each one down and put a couple coats of sealer on them myself.

So, I removed them.

It didn’t take long for me to discover these are REAL wagon wheels. Given the fantastic discoveries this past February that three families of my ancestors lived just about ten miles south of here in the 1860s-70s, and that my 2nd-great-grandfather, Stephen W. Hays was a wagon maker who managed a factory that manufactured wheels… having my hands on these beautiful relics is synchronous to an exponential degree for me.

I doubt it would be possible to verify the provenance of these wagon wheels, but I’m happy to just marvel over the weird coincidence of my working on these genuine wheels, given all I’ve learned about what was happening here 150-years ago that my ancestors’ hands were involved in creating.

I’ve got a second coat of sealer to apply and then I will remount these two to the front steps, and I will never walk past them again with the same cavalier regard as I had before.

Of all the features to find mounted on the front steps of a house we bought while entirely clueless about the history of the region and my ancestors’ contributions to it… It just boggles my mind.

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Written by johnwhays

July 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Another Visitor!

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IMG_iP0993eWhat a strange coincidence we witnessed this weekend when, for the second time in three days, a stray dog showed up and lingered all day. Again, this one had a collar with license and veterinary information, but it being Sunday, there was no way to get a number to contact the owner.

This guy was friendly, and when it became obvious that he was happy to hang around, I let Delilah out to meet him. In minutes, they successfully navigated an introduction and seemed comfortable with each other’s presence.

IMG_iP0996eWhat are the odds that we would have two stray dogs visiting us in such close succession? As Cyndie and I watched Delilah and her new pal playfully running together, it occurred to both of us that maybe we should be thinking about getting a 2nd dog.

The interesting thing about that idea is, Friday we decided to go to the feline rescue organization during the weekend to see if we could get a young kitty as a companion for Pequenita. As soon as we made that decision, a series of situations played out that repeatedly disrupted that plan, culminating in a surprising change of thinking from the possibility of another cat, to considerations of another dog.

We aren’t sure what we will do next, but I believe it will involve queries into what kind of dogs there are at nearby shelters that might be awaiting a new home and canine companion.

Sorry, Pequenita, your new pal will have to wait.

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Written by johnwhays

November 16, 2015 at 7:00 am