The Many Jims of Lords Valley

Since I’ve moved here, there are a lot of things that I have learned about services in the Poconos. There are definitely a lot of things that I need done that didn’t need doing in Tallahassee because I’m more on my own here and feel a great responsibility to having the house in good working order. I certainly don’t want something to go wrong in winter! I’ve already been told by the gas company that they will not deliver to me in the winter because of the driveway; same for firewood and for the septic people. Homer’s Construction that has done all the renovation work on the house is my go-to place for most things and, if they can’t do it, Andrea provides recommendations for me.

This week I wanted to get the chimney and fireplace cleaned out after the many fires last winter, not to mention that I’m pretty sure it’s never been done. So, Andrea gave me the name of a chimney sweep. I began to notice a trend. All of the guys who have provided services are named Jim. You probably haven’t noticed this although I have blogged about them all. Lately, there’s Jim the chimney sweep. Then there was Jim who delivered firewood, Jim the fence guy, and Jimmy who shoveled the stairs for me last winter. How odd. All different ages — I would guess from thirties to fifties. But there definitely seems to be a pattern here. Jim Creegan, the chimney sweep, was very nice and extremely helpful.

photo-1 Did you know that some houses have a little door at the bottom of the chimney? Apparently I can brush the ashes through the trap door in the fireplace (which I knew about) and the ashes fall to the bottom of the chimney and then it can be cleaned out from outside and not messing up the living room. This was new to me and I was reluctant to use it last winter because I didn’t know how safe it was. Jim assured me that it was okay to use and I have the utmost confidence in my chimney now, although it’s a little scary looking into the trap door so I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to clean out the fireplace itself. photo

Jim mentioned to me that he had just installed a wood burning stove in the fireplace of another “woman my age.” You can only imagine my reaction to this comment. What did he mean by that? What age? Why would a woman my age need a wood burning fireplace? What is the connection? He tried hard to back pedal but only dug the hole deeper into comments about single women needing help with fires among other things. I finally told him that the best course of action would be to change the subject. We ended up laughing but it did get me thinking. I hadn’t really thought of myself as old until his comment. Is it that apparent? Do I look that needy? Lots to think about. It just might be time for me to get a job and have less time to think!

But, I digress. All of the Jims have been very kind and offered a lot of help and advice. I’ll stick with all of them but still depend on Homer’s (Tim) for most things. Oddly there are no Jims working for Homer’s. Do you think there’s anything to this phenomenon? Is there some symbolism I’m missing? Should I only trust Jims from now on? I can hardly wait for the next time I need a new service to see if it is provided by Jim!