Fall 2013

It’s been way too long since I have posted any update to this site! That said, I can continue on with a few more disasters that have inflicted the Chudek household! December 31, 2011 (or was it 2010?) the central heating system (furnace) shut down. Although I had been successful in getting it going several times during previous years, this time it was not going to start, no matter what I did. Imagine trying to find someone who could deliver and install a furnace in the dead cold of winter and do this on a national holiday! I did find a local independent HVAC man who came to our rescue. And when he tested the furnace he let us know that we were fortunate that it would not start because it was producing so much carbon monoxide that it drove his test equipment “off the scale”. He was able to contact the warehouse and get a new, bigger, more efficient replacement ordered and picked up. We ran the fireplace and kitchen oven to keep the house liveable until he completed the installation the following day!

Our gardening activities have been on hold for several years. There has been no planting of vegetables or flowers recently. The apple orchard had been devastated by moles who had chewed the circumference of the trees, cutting off the flow of nutrients from the roots up to the branches and leaves. That was a setback that has been difficult to accept, both psychically (having to pull the dead trees out and cut them up) and emotionally (not being able to enjoy that harvest and fruits of 5+ years of labor and anticipation of the apples). We did manage one excellent crop, about 200 pounds of Harlson apples that were produced by the two oldest trees.

The 2000 Ford Explorer rolled past 100,000 miles last year. This year it got a new set of tires and ball joints. It has been a very reliable vehicle. My 1995 VW Passat has over 150,000 miles and still provides “transportation”, but mostly sits in the driveway slowly rusting away. Since I don’t drive to Minneapolis each day anymore, I have a hard time putting 2,000 miles on the odometer each year. Oh, a few months ago I put a new set of ‘used’ tires on the front to replace the pair that were showing the steel belts!

I am well into my second 3-year term as a director of the local historical society. I created a new website for them and have been busy digitizing indexes of the research library materials. I launched a Facebook page and have been promoting partnerships with other societies within the county. The recession has caused our contributions and funding to be drastically cut during the past 3 years, making the daily operation a real struggle.

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