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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Murphy's Law

Do you recognise the epigram "if it can go wrong, it will"?
It is generally known as Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on an Air Force Project designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.

During the month of December, Murphy's Law seems to have moved into my dad's house, determined to stay. For new readers (I notice my number of Followers has gone up lately!) I'll sum up the background: My dad became a widower in May this year. He is still living in his own home, alone, but with a lot of help from municipal home care staff around the clock now because of various health issues.

When my brother and I were there for 1st Advent, my brother discovered 3 cm of water on the cellar floor, caused by a plumbing problem. Resulted in need of help from big truck with pumps and hoses the following day.

There were also problems with the lock on the front door being on the verge of falling out. Resulted in need of locksmith.

Last week the refrigerator gave up. Resulted in need of urgent purchase and delivery of a new refrigerator. My brother dealt with this over the phone, while I dealt with nervous breakdown (my own, and not very successfully dealt with).

Yesterday it was some pump connected to the heating system that stopped working. Resulted in need of I'm-not-sure-whose-services, but home care staff seems to have dealt with this on their own this time (making the appropriate phone calls) - I guess they're now accepting Murphy's law too and beginning to see machinery breakdowns as part of the daily routine in this house! 

One problem which we have not yet dealt with is that because of the increased traffic (all the home care cars coming and going) the front yard has become all muddy during the autumn, resulting in need of a truckload of gravel, and people to spread that out. While they (who?) are at it, it would probably be a good idea to also have the path up to the house fixed to make it easier for dad to get out with his rolling walker. But with all the other stuff happening we haven't had time to talk to anyone (whom?) about that yet.

While we were doing nothing about that, the weather changed this week. Instead of muddy ground there is (I suppose) now frozen and snowcovered ground instead. Arose another question: How to deal with snow when more of it falls down at the same time. Luckily we have an arrangement since before that the snow plow drives into our yard (which is at the end of the road) and turns around there. But if there is a lot, some shovelling by hand etc will be needed too. (Mum and dad used to be able to do that themselves. Last year, luckily there was very litte snow all winter.) There is another team within municipality organisation which can help with that (at a cost, and only for the elderly). The problem with that is it turned out one can't just ask them once and for all to just go out there whenever it seems to be needed - they need to be to told on each occasion. The job to decide when it's needed will also have to fall on the daily home care staff. (The snow situation here in town where I live, and out in the countryside where dad lives is not always the same.) Luckily though, home care are again being very helpful. My job today was to call them about this, and they did not seem to consider it a big deal to include that too in their job.

Remains to be seen though what Murphy's Law will find to strike at next... (Murphy's Law Site has a lot of suggestions... )



jeannette stgermain said...

Your father is very lucky to have two children taking care of him!

DawnTreader said...

Thanks for that perspective Jeannette... It is very easy (for us) to get stuck in the opposite feeling instead (that we're not able to do enough...)

GB said...

Oddly enough when I read the posting and knowing some of the history the thought that was running through my mind was how caring you are. So, yes, your Dad may have his problems but he also has blessings to count.

Another aspect is that you know that if you could do more then you would do more. That's kindness.

Sandra said...

I believe in Murhpys Law, my own version is: cheer up things can only get worse and probably will. see my blog Nov 19th for My murphy's law post. we have been through the same thing your dad went through. over the past 3 years after i retired, we have replaced the roof, the water heater, the pool pump, leak in bathroom wall that required tearing out not one but two walls, hot water leak under the tile in the kitchen. oh yes, I beleive. Hope all goes well from now on


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