July Fourth off with a bang!

Allen has lit the ceremonial July Fourth fire — and there’s certainly plenty of wind to fan the flames. It’s around freezing and the weather can’t decide on rain or snow. But we’ve already had enough excitement for one day.

I got up early to make pancakes. Back in Seattle, Alene was still asleep, so some of what I am about to tell found its way into a rather muddled early-morning dream.

The instant I lit the stove (which is propane-powered), there was a loud bang. I naturally thought for an instant that there had been an explosion — but the stove was still intact — as was I — and the cabin suddenly got a bit chilly. I looked around to see the window in pieces on the floor. Allen had been taking a shower at the time and he ran out pretty fast in his towel — then got dressed even faster.

Now there wasn’t a mess of broken glass on the floor, because this was one of those windows made of smaller panes that slot together in a lattice frame. None of the panes had broken (they were double paned) but parts of the vinyl lattice frame were damaged and bent. While I picked up pieces, Allen looked for something to cover the hole where the window was. Behind our utility room (which is also our bathroom) is a lean-to with all kinds of stuff — and it’s been where Allen has saved firewood. He came back with the largest sheet of material he could find — but it wasn’t large enough to to cover the hole — about eighteen inches too short.

At these point, I should tell you how Alene picked up on this while she slept. She dreamed she was woken by an explosion — and then got a visit from her downstairs neighbor who was wearing a cooking apron covered in flour. Shortly afterwards, she dreamed she had gone out to her living room and found it partially covered by a sheet of plywood — and from outside she could hear a couple of men arguing about the wind. So, her dream contained the main elements of what had been taking place down here near Cape Horn — many thousands of miles away.

Back to my story. Allen and I got into an argument because he was primarily concerned with covering the hole and getting the cabin warm again — while I was more concerned with what blew out the window in the first place. It just happens to be blowing a major gale this morning — as it has been for weeks — so we ended up arguing about wind. Then he ordered me to make some coffee while he found some other way to cover the hole. He’s so darned practical!

By the time the coffee was ready, Allen was back — and smiling. He had found some plastic sheeting in one of the other cabins that we don’t use. And because he had been breaking down pallets to make his July Fourth bonfire, he had plenty of flat pieces of wood to nail together. The window is wide rather that tall, so what he ended up doing was boarding up the ends — and then filling the gap in the middle with plastic sheeting sandwiched between a criss-cross of flat pieces of wood. That way, we have at least some light coming in, although we can’t see much through it. Too bad — because this is the window we enjoy sitting at to watch the weather. It faces east and we enjoy breakfast there on sunny mornings.

Allen emphasized that this is a temporary repair. He will investigate the possibility of removing a window from one of the other cabins to install in ours. I suggested we just move to another cabin. He then gave me one of his looks and asked if I was ever going to make the pancakes.

Over pancakes and coffee, we did ponder what might have happened to the window. The wind here mainly blows from the west, so this side of the cabin doesn’t bear the brunt of it. Allen put it down to a manufacturing defect that caused failure under a sudden change of wind. I let him have the last word.

It was rather interesting for Alene though. If she can focus her attention well enough, she feels my physical sensations — including hot and cold. Seattle is stuck a in a heatwave right now — and she’s found she can get some relief by focussing her attention on me. It doesn’t work when she’s immersed in her immediate environment, because her own physical sensations override what she senses from me. But if she lies down on her bed, especially with her eyes closed, she can feel the temperature of the cabin — and if I go outside, she will suddenly feel chilly. This morning, the cabin was cold for a couple of hours, during which Alene got some quality sleep — and was even able to snuggle under the comforter. It doesn’t work if she’s in the sun, or even looking out at a sunlit scene — but in the shade of her bedroom with her eyes closed, she can be comfortable even if the room is rather hot.

Allen’s fire is a modest one. He decided he’d better not burn any wood that might come in useful later!


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