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  • Sara Moore

Did it Myself

The other day the bottom door to my woodstove got stuck on the ash drawer inside.   No matter what I tried I could not open it, which meant I couldn't really build a good fire or empty it out.  Z helped, I swore at it (when he wasn't around), I begged for the angels, tried searching for information or advice online (I suck at doing that), and asked a few people but no one could help me.

So what did I do?  I let the fire go out and came home to a really cold house.  The heat is set at 55, but I hate using the propane and it was just unsatisfyingly cold.  And then I got pissed.  Pissed that I had no one to help me.  Or was I really more upset that I couldn't figure it out myself?  That was it.  So I took a bbq fork, opened both the side and front doors of the stove, and tried to poke through the grate to push the ash door and hopefully make some progress.

Nothing.

I called my friend Johnny, who is my stand in husband for some of the things I'm just not capable of doing (like replacing the motor in my washing machine, getting a Christmas tree home or figuring out some car issues).  He asked if I could get into the drawer from above.  I said no.  Then I took the bbq tool, put it in the slot in the grate, twisted it and lifted.  The grate budged!  NO WAY! 

I used my fingers to pry it out, then cleaned out the over stuffed ash box and the stuck door opened easily!  I cleaned out the rest of the compartment, replaced the grate and started a rager of a fire.  My house is now toasty and I'm feeling pretty accomplished.  My fingernails are still filthy but they represesnt a moment of empowerment for me.

I was cooking dinner last night after all this went down, and all of a sudden I had a revelation.  For most of my life I have been wanting someone to take care of me.  Not to take care of me per say, but to SHOW me that they were capable of it.  There were a lot of times in my childhood that I wanted to be taken care of.  I had a job as soon as I was old enough to babysit in 5th grade.  I made my own money.  I then worked at the Littleton Apothecary.  Then I had money, so I had to buy my own clothes.  And then I had my money that I had made, so I started paying for travel.  I went to texas in 8th grade and I paid for it.  My parents may have given me some spending money, but I know that I bought my ticket.  Then my junior year of high school I went on a trip with the school to France, Italy and England.  I paid for it.  Then I went to college, and I had to pay for my expenses while I was there, inluding books, so I got multiple jobs in the field house and busted my ass.  My parents paid for 2 years, I had to pay for 2 years. 

So.  All of my life I've had to really take care of myself.  I was the one who got my brother up and made our lunches.  I helped fold the laundry (and remember getting reprimanded once because I had left it folded on the kitchen table and not brought upstairs), I fired up the woodstove after school and had more responsibilities than a lot of my friends did.  My father was an alcoholic and my mother went back to work full time when I was in maybe 4th grade.  I think it's fair to say we were all struggling in our own way.

Because of that, I just want to be shown that I am worthy of being taken care of.  WOW.  That's pretty intense.  Is that really it?  I get a yes.  I have shifted to being proud of what I'm capable of.  This morning I shoveled the deck, raked the roof, shoveled to the woodpile, the shed and the propane tank.  Then I cleared off  my car and did the dishes.  I didn't mind doing it, either.  But that stuff is relatively easy.  The hard stuff, like the woodstove issue, is when I don't want to step and and fix it.  I've been "fixing" things my whole life. 

I have no idea if this makes sense to you, but it was a monumenal moment last night when I realized that yes, I am able to fix the woodstove.  And to realize why I have resented taking care of things like that was incredible.  I'm not a victim.  I'm a hard worker.  I have always been.  But last night I realized I have always been because it wasn't an option.  I guess I want the option to ask and receive help.  And knowing this means that door has been opened.

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