Frenetic

Okay, it doesn’t look like much, and maybe it won’t be, but this is my hope for a leak-free winter, this drainage channel across what are really three different roofs.

This week. A lot of them this year seem to have screamed by, which seems kind of weird for a year stuck in limbo. But this week in particular has felt completely out of control, and I’ve decided to blame the weather.

Not that I want to cast aspersions on a highly needed commodity. It snowed early in the week, not as much depth accumulating as the endless flakes seemed to suggest, but for people living on the cusp of drought so severe it defies classification, we need to be grateful for every flake we get.

The water professionals around here have already put the word out that it’s not just the surface of the Earth that needs saturation, but the entire top 12 inches. In other words, the concern is long-term natural storage of moisture.

So we should not begrudge ourselves so much as a single wisp of snow this winter, and I don’t, really, but relocation of said wisps took up a lot of time in a week that already has plenty of demands placed upon it.

It’s finance week, for instance: that time of the month that always seems to be that time of the month, where payroll and sales taxes are due, as well as payroll itself. It only took three hours yesterday to write the first check; happily for the staff, it did not take three hours per check, but I believe it was after 5 before the entire seven checks got written.

And half a bathroom at work is broken. The leaky faucet that we paid money to have replaced less than a year ago has been leaking once again, so a month ago I just turned the hot water off, because the pace is always frenetic for plumbers in the valley, and it didn’t seem like calling for assistance would get us anywhere. And I haven’t gone very far in my Youtube tutorial for do-it-yourselfism.

But now the toilet is clogged for the second time in a month, and while my trusty plunger and I realized success on the first go (as it were), this clog has defied the plunger and every remedy I have found on Youtube. Next up: Green Gobbler, if I can find it, as recommended by Bob Vila, originator of home-repair shows.

Roofers have also been a hot commodity, so hot that the roofer who promised us early this year that he would come back after the snow cleared to do a more thorough search of the building’s roof to determine where all the water that spilled inside the building might have come from, never returned phone calls.

He currently has an order in with us for sweatshirts; there is a temptation, however mild, to tell him they’ll be ready in a year or two. He never called us back, and even though he’s personal friends with Kara and her husband, he never responded to their entreaties for help after the September blizzard blew huge chunks of their roof off.

In the absence of professional assistance, then, this means that when it snows I need to see about keeping a drainage path cleared on the roof. So part of this week’s frenetic activity has included meeting with my electrician, who does come when called, even if not right away, to see if we can get electricity up to the roof to plug in heating cables. Answer: yes, sort of, and he’s available tomorrow to do this. Just in time for the next snowstorm.

So while I’ve been mucking about on the roof (the solar panels like it, because they’re getting scrapped off on a regular basis now) and in the bathroom, Gilly has been busy celebrating that odd English holiday of Boxing Day all week long.

Which means at a very long last this interminable year that has nevertheless somehow flown by, we are busy. Too busy, really, given how understaffed we are, but because this almost never lasts into the first few months of any year, bulking the staff back up just now may be ill-advised.

In the meantime, though, it’s got Kara running from one end of the shop to the other, trying to take care of orders coming in while trying to help James print the stuff in the boxes that Gilly has piled anywhere she can find floor space. Over on the customer side, Vann is hunkered down over his computer, turning out all the artwork we need.

Busy is good, and we’re certainly not complaining, especially this year when we could really use it. But perhaps we’ve been lulled into a rhythm of low expectations during Pandemia, and with so many customers in December targeting the holidays, no excuse will work if we fail to deliver for them. So there’s a little sense of panic that’s not usually in our December air.

Speaking of delivery, there is no respite from this relentless pace at home, either.

Yesterday, before I decided I should use my morning for party prep since there wouldn’t be any work time available, I was going to regale you with what I am sure would have been an absolutely fascinating tour of ZIP codes of the Gunnison Valley.

This is because Lynn, who works routinely at 81230 and 81210, and sometimes at 81224, and who used to put in occasional appearance at 81239 and 81248, went to work at 5:45 a.m. on Monday and did not come home until 8 p.m. Well, technically there was an interval of about 45 minutes mid-afternoon, so why should anyone complain, but it is fair to say the pace at your local Post Office, no matter where in the country you live, is beyond frenetic.

Last week the Gunnison P.O. made the same mistake it always makes, that of believing Amazon. Amazon doesn’t make deliveries in Gunnison; it delivers to the Post Office, which then makes the deliveries for Amazon.

But the folks at Amazon are as fond of telling whoppers as any fisherman you’ve ever met, so while they promise five truckloads of packages promptly at 4 a.m., they really mean one partially-loaded truck is going to arrive after 6, with a barely-loaded truck following up sometime later in the morning.

Lynn’s co-worker Lora actually volunteered for the 4 a.m. shift last week, meaning Lynn didn’t have to go in until 5. Every day when Lynn would come home in the afternoon and report they had spent the morning sitting in a cold, dark building with nothing to do, I would ask why they continue to schedule for something that is never going to happen. I predicted it; if I can do that, why can’t postal professionals?

Five days later, the postal professionals finally figured it out, and now both Lynn and Lora go in just 15 minutes earlier than their usual start of 6. But then come home later, and go back in to help out.

So if it feels distracted around here, that’s because it is. Especially since the forecast calls for more snow tomorrow.

More snow on the way: that’s how we stay busy on our sidewalks.

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