I admit I'm no trooper.
I admit I'm no trooper.
To me, roughing it is lying on the couch without a pillow.
That really tests my mettle.
And I don't believe, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
Nietzsche said that.
And he's dead.
Yet, I admit to feeling more than a trace of guilt at the travails many of my colleagues faced following a blizzard that left them powerless.
Not in a man-awed-by-Mother-Nature's-wrath way.
Nah, I mean literally without power.
Mother Nature knocked down transmission lines and left them bereft of such minor conveniences as heat, light, and water.
And they went without for days.
But they toughed it out. They overcame. They persevered. They were miserable.
Now don't get me wrong.
I also lost power.
From midnight to 2 a.m.
My sons had to tell me about it because I was sleeping.
So it seemed inappropriate for me to chime in as the inevitable war stories were recounted.
"I was forced to reset my clock in the morning" didn't seem to rank up there with going without hot food, hot water, and a warm home for 96 hours.
While they were enduring Valley Forge, I was sharing mutton and schnapps with Hessians around a warm campfire.
My guilt was somewhat assuaged with the superstitious conviction that I was now on karma's to-do list.
And, of course, karma came for a visit two weeks later when my water heater succumbed to old age.
OK, not a big deal. Two days of cold showers till Friday when the new water heater would arrive.
But karma wasn't finished.
Another snowstorm struck Friday, forcing me to cancel the appointment and partake of a weekend of cold showers.
Then it was Monday, and I was waiting for the new water heater's arrival, shivering with anticipation as it were.
And then the power went out.
C'mon, karma, I whined. I'm up to six cold showers now. I've paid my dues.
I called the power company, and the lady told me a transformer had blown up. They were working on it.
I'm no engineer, but "blown up" sounded bad.
Karma wasn't fooling around.
Not only would the power outage delay the water heater's installation, but now I was going to get a chance to bivouac at Valley Forge. No more mutton and schnapps for me.
But, no. I got lucky. The power outage lasted a mere 15 minutes. The heat never dipped below 68 degrees.
The plumber soon arrived and had the new water heater hooked up and showering the household with warmth in less than 45 minutes.
Today, I bask in warm water like a tropical whale.
Still, I wonder.
Is karma done?
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England's Plymouth office, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.