Life of Richard Bleil
The new range arrived today. It’s a beautiful gas stove, with convection option cooking and center grille. Its installation has been delayed twice for weather but today it finally was installed. They showed up about one, and it took about an hour. When they finished, I had to go to my mailbox and pick up a couple of things including two deliveries of items I had ordered. It has been awhile since I took “Corrine”, the truck I bought with the first Coronavirus relief check. Since getting the hybrid, I’ve kept the truck for hauling larger items like wood but usually drive the more economical vehicle for day to day running. However, it’s never good to leave a vehicle sitting unused for too long, so today was Corrine’s turn.
Driving her to the mailbox, I realized that she is such a fun vehicle to drive. My hybrid (Evie) is very nice as well; they’re just very different vehicles with very different feels when you drive them. And then it hit me. I realized what has happened since Corrine about a year ago.
Before then, I was at my lowest. I was living off of my third charitable friend who had opened his home to me in my nomadic years, traveling from city to city with no place of my own. My car had been repossessed, and I was riding a bus to commute to a part-time temporary job and eating something about once a day, but rarely even an actual meal. No, don’t blame my friends; I’m sure they would have happily kept me fed (and all of them even offered to do so). This was my own fault. It was shameful enough to be living off of them to keep me out of the rain and cold, I just couldn’t bring myself to eating their food as well.
Then the Coronavirus hit, an event that is the bane of most people but started my upswing. And Corrine was the start. This beat-up old truck was like me in many ways. She was way past her prime, but still had a lot of life left in her. She needed a little TLC, and with it, she bounced back like a champion.
After the loss of my father, I came into a little bit of money through the inheritance to help me get back on my feet. I used the money to buy a beat-up old house with a lot of potential but sorely in need of TLC (sound familiar?), a house that after a good deal of work is fully functional today and starting to feel like the first home I’ve lived in for many years. I bought Evie, my hybrid vehicle. This was an upgrade of sorts, not that she could replace Corrine as their functionality is so very different from each other, but as a means to save me money since she needs less maintenance and is far more fuel efficient. Throughout I have been buying and upgrading items, getting the tools I need to continue improving the house, and replacing what needs to be replaced.
Today it was the stove. I now suddenly feel like I have a fully functional kitchen. The old refrigerator works and is still here, and the plumbing took some time but is reliable and fine. The old stove worked, but the oven did not. Now I have a working oven, and there’s really no reason for me not to be cooking again, something I intend to pick up this week, probably with either Cincinnati Chili or Italian Spaghetti both of which are recipes that freeze very well for future meals. But the most astounding thing to me is that this has all happened in less than a year. It all happened through the tragic loss of my father, but I’m finally feeling like I’m back.
A quick note on the installation team. A young man came to the door telling me he was here to install the stove, a sub-contractor of the large merchant from whom I purchased the stove. I asked if he needed a hand, but he told me he brought help. This help, as it turns out, is a beautiful ginger-haired woman who is also his wife. This couple was so sweet and kind (and Star made a new friend of his wife, but pretty much left him alone), and it was wonderful seeing a married couple who work together. I’ve seen it before. In fact, I happen to know of another young beautiful and kind couple where the wife is a gorgeous ginger who run a food truck, but to work with your spouse requires a special kind of relationship. Everyone needs time alone from time to time, and in most couples, this time is when the two go off to work. To work together puts them in close proximity day in and day out. They were clearly a great couple, and a great team. As I watched them, I couldn’t help but think that this is something that is still missing in my life, a piece that will probably elude me for the rest of my life as well. As much progress as I’ve made, I truly wish that I could find a partner like they have in one another. Regardless of how much progress I make, without this piece it will never feel like enough.