by | Feb 23, 2015 | Faith, Nature | 4 comments |

“Trouble always comes in threes,” Mother warned us when we were growing up.

In the past couple of weeks, Keith and I have had our three.

First, the mailbox post snapped. We think it had a little help.

Then the washing machine refused to drain or do anything: lights on, but nobody home. While we wait for a new control panel, I wash clothes at a local Laundromat.

Finally – we hope the mailbox counts – last week our TV popped and the screen went black. We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do about that.

Now I don’t mean to complain. The flow of our lives here at Vanaprastha continues uninterrupted. In fact, small changes in routine to accommodate the three troubles have brought back memories and created new experiences.

Keith devised a temporary fix for the mailbox using a stabilizing pole and duct tape, which we hope will last until spring. Every time I see that duct tape, I’m reminded of my father and his father. They could fix almost anything with string, wire and duct tape, especially Grampy, oh and my father’s favorite, epoxy glue.

I hadn’t been to a Laundromat in years. Industrial washers churn out clean clothes in no time. And while I wait, I watch people and imagine what their lives might be like. Maybe they wonder about me, too. If I have the place to myself, I listen to the TV mounted in the corner. Quiz shows and squabbles mediated in court offer a window into a world I would not otherwise experience.

Without TV at home, Keith and I talk to one another more and read through the evening. I must admit I haven’t missed TV at all, although I’m not sure I could say the same about loss of Internet connection.

Snow2_Feb2015Over the weekend, a second major storm hit the area. Not just a dusting over the Three Ridges Wilderness Area but one that roared across the mountains dumping several inches of snow. Again Keith and I cleared the decks, shoveled tire tracks and spread ashes. Because of eighteen-inch to two-foot drifts and heavy rain-soaked snow, we spent yesterday afternoon outside. Our dogs frolicked, and birds pecked at seeds uncovered by our efforts. Sunshine and fresh air filled us with new energy. And I got a fabulous back massage afterwards. Ah…

The truck is parked at the bottom of our driveway. We’re watching for the third major storm.

Troubles might come in threes, but blessings are countless.


  1. Lisa Ellison

    I love the final line of this piece: Troubles might come in threes, but blessings are countless. How very true this is! I would imagine that your Grampy would be proud of your own ingenuity in the face of your “threes” even if they didn’t require duct tape.

    • Carole Duff

      Yup, Grampy would probably recognize another chip off the old block. I wish you countless blessings and thank you for your comment. -C.D.

  2. alexkenny30

    Everything comes in ones.
    I like to think the mailman won’t know where to deliver your new mailbox.

  3. Carole Duff

    Everything one at a time? Not in my and-then-and-then-and-then life.

    And doesn’t a mailbox remind you of being a kid when getting mail made you feel important?

    But I regress…


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