Saturday, March 10, 2012

Casualties in Kamenica

This winter there have been quite a few casualties here in Kamenica. On a serious note, there have been a lot of people who have died, mostly from cancer, mostly from the contaminated water. I have seen quite a few funeral processions and while I have wanted to photograph the event, it just doesn’t seem right (“There’s that American girl who was snapping pictures when daddy died” yeah I don’t want that).

Ok, enough of the serious. There have been quite a few casualties around my house. Killing spiders and other insects has become a pretty daily occurrence. Sometimes, if they aren’t intrusive/near me, I grant them a pardon, at least temporarily.

When everyone was here at Christmas, quite a few bottles of wine were casualties of drinking and four trees gave their lives in honor of American Christmas.

Several glasses have died due to slippery hands and accidental spills.

Many pieces of fruit have had to be thrown after freezing to death? in my very chilly house.

I have also had many near casualties….many wounded articles of clothing. First was a SmartWool sock that only wanted to dry. I granted the sock its wish and placed it gently in a banitsa pan atop of my woodburning stove. I turned my head for just a second only to turn back and see a brownish mark along the front of the sock and the beginnings of a hole. I quickly rescued the sock, hoping to be able to revive it. I performed surgery immediately, however, stitches weren’t enough and the wound opens a little more every time I slide my feet inside.  

Next we had a slight blunder when rearranging a log in my fire melted the fingertip of one of my winter gloves. I lay awake that night, wondering if the poor glove would ever survive, but somehow, the glove pulled through though and survived the near catastrophe and still, to this day, keeps my finger warm.

Sometime in early February, during the most dreadful cold, I was partaking in an ancient Macedonian tradition, putting your feet in the oven part (away from the flames) of the woodburning stove for a short time just to get some feeling back into your feet. It felt so good. I started to be able to wiggle my toes. Ah. It was magical. When my feet became a little too warm, I moved them back to the edge of the stove and, alas, another fire-related injury occurred. 

Since then, I had been incident free for almost a month, until Thursday, while attempting to start my fire again. (This past week has been a battle trying to get a fire to light. On Sunday I tried with the damp wood, all I have left, and my attempt left me with both my smoke detectors going off and a house full of thick, black smoke. Since then I was working hard to dry my wood out and decided to try again on Thursday (once again, all I got was thick smoke, which leads me to believe there is either a problem with the wood my landlady gave me or more likely a problem with my stove).) As I rushed to remove the smoking logs from my stove and get them outside, somehow, another near casualty occurred. This time, well, let’s just say North Face fleeces are NOT fire proof. 

And lastly, the most fatal of all clothing/fire incidents:
After the SmartWool sock incident of December, I tried to keep an extra close eye on my laundry when it was drying near my woodburning stove, however, about two weeks later I lost a good, faithful pair of underwear (sorry no picture included). While much was still intact, this pair gave me a whole new visual (or more accurately for me it was an initial visual) to the phrase “crotch-less panties” and they were given a quick, but ceremonial bury in the dumpster down the road.
I am hoping as the fire-building season starts to draw to a close (or perhaps it already has for me since my landlady doesn't seem to want to do anything about my fire, or lack there of) to start a new count going for accident free days.

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